In 2018, my wife heard about a Crossfit box in our town and decided to try it out. She liked it and got me to try a class, too. The coaches were nice, the workouts were challenging and different than I had done before, and the other folks there were also fitness and wellness minded. So I did my onramp initiation and made Crossfit my main fitness regimen.
Though I could do pushups and pull-ups and run, I had a lot to learn about box jumps, double-unders, handstands and olympic lifting. The warmup stretching was good, I learned some lifting and rope-climbing skills, the metcons were challenging, and as you can see, I picked up a lot of vocabulary words, too. Since I made it to the box three or four times a week, I gained some fitness I hadn’t had before and made a lot of new friends.
I also picked up a few injuries. In my quest to do kipping Crossfit pull-ups, my shoulders got sorer and sorer. I had more and more trouble doing pushups and benchpress was nearly impossible. I was really afraid that I had injured my rotator cuffs, so I became a student of shoulder stretches and rehab. These provided some relief, but then in my zeal to get back up on the pull-up bar, I felt and heard something near my left elbow pop. That same day I was spotting a friend doing a back squat, when the bar rolled off his back and jerked that same arm down at an awkward angle, rupturing the bicep.
An orthopedic doctor took a look at my arm and said, “It’s mostly cosmetic. Once it heals up you can do what you want.” I decided I would change what I wanted to do. I think my muscles could handle the workouts, but my 62 year-old joints struggled. Plus, we started feeling the impact of the monthly fees, much more than we were used to paying. I know, I know, everyone said it was worth it, but we were trying to scale back our expenses rather than increase them up as I began to consider retirement.
So we decided to ramp up our home workout capabilities in the garage. We invested in a Concept-2 rower, a Rogue air bike, a box to jump on, some Crossover Symmetry cables, and a barbell with a few weights. I hung a pull-up bar from the ceiling, we put down some thick stable mats on the floor, put a TV up on the wall for streaming or DVD workouts, and got a big garage fan. We already had a set of adjustable weight Bowflex dumbbells. I was able to find lots of CrossFit-esque workouts online that we could do at home, and Beachbody Live provided all of our favorite workouts and a lot of newer ones, too.
We had all that in place when COVID hit, gyms closed and everyone was quarantining. We were set, with all kinds of workout possibilities in place. Over the past year, we’ve added jump ropes, some elastic bands, a couple of kettlebells, some med balls and an inflatable stability ball.
And we got our Peloton back, too. My wife saw one a few years ago and we ordered one so she could do some spinning bike workouts at home. We had lent it to our kids last year, but they stopped using it, so we brought it back home and I gave it a try. I like having this option for a non-impact cardio option a few times a week.
I am currently working through Beachbody’s P90X2 workouts with Tony Horton. Plain old pushups and pullups and situps get new life with seemingly infinite variations, even balancing on med balls and stability balls. I never get injured doing body weight exercises, so this is definitely my speed as I close in on my sixty-fourth birthday.
So our main philosophy right now is to keep on moving. Do something each day to work on strength, flexibility, mobility or endurance. I’m pretty much a first-thing-in-the-morning workout kind of guy, while my wife likes the afternoon hours.
Having written three entries about fitness and two about running, I realize we’ve spent a lot of time exercising in one form or another. It’s part of the fabric of our lives. When we start doing more camping, we’ll have to figure out the best way to do this on the road. Our journey will continue.