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Photo courtesy of CoconutCirclePhotography.com

In a stunning display of ageism and ignorance, organizers of the Disney Fit Challenge (Sept. 26 – 28 in Orlando) have created separate age groups within the RX, Scaled and Recreational Divisions but NOT the Masters division.

Although the age groups within each division have not been released, according to the DFC web site, “Divisions have been established allowing for a wide range of physical ability and skill in addition to age groups allowing competitors to see how they place not only within a division but also within their respective age group.”

Except for Masters athletes.

The Masters division begins at age 40 and anyone over that age – regardless how many years or decades beyond 40 – will compete against each other. That means that a 60-year-old athlete could end up competing against a 4o-year-old. Apparently, the folks at Disney don’t have a problem with that.

However, the Disney folks believe it would not be fair for a 39-year-old athlete to compete against a 21-year-old – so they are creating age groups within RX, Scaled and Recreational divisions to level the playing field.

Really. Read the rest of this entry »

As of today, I have been on the planet for exactly 20,089 days, which makes today my 55th birthday!

A lot of women probably don’t want to turn 55 but I have been longing for 55. Two reasons: 1. My employer provides lifetime medical benefits to employees 55+ who have worked at the company for at least 20 years. 2. Weights and movements are scaled for 55+ Masters in the CrossFit Open.

KeepCalmIn other words, I don’t have to lift as much weight or throw as heavy a damn wall ball as you do! Na-na-na-na-boo-boo. 

The lifetime medical benefits are great. However, the odds of me ever retiring are pretty slim so I may never get a chance to use them. Still, I earned them and that’s all that matters.

As for the scaled weights and movement, I intend to take ruthless advantage of that advantage. Ruthless.

For example, here was the Week 1 WOD that I did last year:

WOMEN – includes Masters Women up to 54 years old

Proceed through the sequence below completing as many reps as possible in 17 minutes of:

  • 40 BurpeesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • 45 pound Snatch, 30 reps
  • 30 Burpees
  • 75 pound Snatch, 30 reps
  • 20 Burpees
  • 100 pound Snatch, 30 reps
  • 10 burpees
  • 120 pound Snatch, as many reps as possible

And here’s the 55+ ladies’ WOD

MASTERS WOMEN – includes Masters Women 55+

Proceed through the sequence below completing as many reps as possible in 17 minutes of:

  • Jackson40 Burpees
  • 35 pound Snatch, 30 reps
  • 30 Burpees
  • 55 pound Snatch, 30 reps
  • 20 Burpees
  • 75 pound Snatch, 30 reps
  • 10 burpees
  • 90 pound Snatch, as many reps as possible

See where I’m going here? There’s a big difference between a 55# snatch and a 75# snatch. Like a 20 pound difference. It gets better, I now get to use a 10# wall ball – which I didn’t even know we had – instead of the 14# wall ball. Four pounds makes a big difference.

I now get to do jumping chest-to-bar pull-ups instead of regular chest-to-bar pull-ups. I don’t know what a jumping chest-to-bar pull-up is but it can’t be harder than a regular C2B, can it?

It kind of feels like I’m getting a AARP discount on my lifts and movements and by-golly, I deserve it. So, to honor this special day I’m going to work on my 35# snatches and see what a 10# wall ball feels like. Ah, the privileges of age: wrinkles, gray hair and jumping C2Bs – whatever they are.

Maybe some non-paleo cake, too.

Yes, Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus. His name is Arnie

Arnie Robinson sent me an email today with an early Christmas present. Arnie, organizer of the Resolution Games on Jan. 11-12 in Pompano Beach, Florida has decided to scale weights in the masters division!

67 year old Jim Bimonte of CFHC Pompano Beach is the latest master's competitor to sign up for The Resolution Games.

67 year old Jim Bimonte of CFHC Pompano Beach is the latest master’s competitor to sign up for The Resolution Games.

What does this mean? For starters, it means a 54-year-old woman, such as moi, won’t have to lift as much as a 40-year-old woman. There is still only one masters division, but Arnie has decided to scale the weights by decades. Age 40 is still the minimum age for the masters division, but 50-59-year-olds will lift 10 pounds less than the 40-49 year olds. Masters athletes between 60-69 will be scaled another 10 pounds and 70+ yearolds – God love em – will be scaled even more.

This is brilliant. Scaling within the masters division doesn’t require extra heats – which would make the competition last even longer. Masters still compete together and against each other, but with different weights depending on their age.

But wait, there’s more! Arnie has also created a Masters Team division! Yes, you heard me correct. A Masters Team division.

And if you order now, you get 25% OFF registration just because you are a Crossfitter of a Certain Age. Use coupon code CertainAge25 on the registration page.

This is our chance to show the CrossFit world that masters athletes will come out and compete if the playing field is level.

Thanks Arnie!

It just so happens that I am a fan of Epic Meal Time – the YouTube internet cooking show devoted to  putting as much fat and calories as humanly possible into meat-based entrees.

It’s a pretty simple premise, kind of like Cheesecake Factory Gone Wild set to The Terminator soundtrack.

All I want for Christmas...

All I want for Christmas…

Taste seems to be a side issue. It’s calories and fat. And bacon strips and bacon strips and bacon strips and bacon strips and bacon strips…

I doubt I would have stumbled onto EpicMealTime on my own. No, I needed the knuckleheads at CFCP to turn me on to something this…this…this…profoundly odd.

I probably wouldn’t have noticed the guys watching and Epic Meal Time clip because if they’re not working-out they’re standing around the large computer screen mounted on the wall looking at YouTube videos of:

1. How to do a particular lift and the unfortunate consequences of doing it wrong

2. Reruns of the CrossFit games

3. Random weird stuff

4. Butts – specifically the butts of women who obviously do LOTS of squats

Read the rest of this entry »

There really is no elegant way for a woman my age to say this, but my snatch was on fire this morning!

Okay. Enough with the double entendres – I won’t share with you details of my explosive hips or random utterances of how good it feels. Seriously, my snatch was something to behold – at least I thought so.

Enough with the snatch jokes already.

Enough with the snatch jokes already.

Granted, I did not have much weight on the bar – a measly 45# – but I have not even attempted a snatch in weeks so I was anxious to see whether all the resistance work with chains and bands had paid off. Man, did it ever. I threw that sucker over my head like it was nothing and then I dropped down into a deep overhead squat over and over.

It not only felt good, it felt comfortable and fast. I had a feeling – a hope – that the Westside Barbell training I had been doing would give me the power and strength I desperately need. It did.

I am completely smitten with Westside. It makes sense to me and I need more things in my life that make sense. The training is hard – not just because it takes a lot of time but because I’m working little teeny, weeny muscles that I didn’t even know I had and they hurt like hell. Read the rest of this entry »

When I was a kid, swimming was my salvation.

Between  the first and second grade we moved from a small town in northwest Wisconsin to a well-to-do city in southwest Michigan. I was clueless. My idea of a country club was the Elks Club, where I had learned to swim.

In Michigan, I was surrounded by kids whose families belonged to real country clubs. Instead of the vending machines we had at the Elks Club, these country clubs had a real snack bars that served real french fries, which kids ordered and then charge to their family’s account. In my little mind they were getting french fries for free. Life wasn’t fair.photo (43)

Those kids made fun of us when they came to our decrepit pool at the Elks’ Club for a swim meet. They didn’t bring any dimes for our vending machines and couldn’t believe we had starting blocks made by someone’s dad. I inflicted my revenge by kicking their rich little asses.

I was fast.

Things only got worse in high school, where the rich kids wore monogrammed sweaters and went on family ski vacations. We stayed home and went to the community pool, which averaged about 70-degrees in the winter.

We were very good swimmers and by the time my brother graduated from high school, he was the faster high school swimmer in the United States. Every college in the country wanted him.

Swimming was the great leveler: it didn’t matter how much money your family had. If you were fast, you were popular. People wanted you on their team. Take off that monogrammed sweater and put on a Speedo and the only thing that mattered was how fast you could get from one end of the pool to the other.

I couldn’t keep up with them when it came to pedigree, but I could in the water. And that gave me self-esteem and confidence in myself.

What does any of this have to do with CrossFit? Read the rest of this entry »

I wear a lot of hats. Journalist. Homeowner. Dog lover. CrossFitter. Slayer of cockroaches and small rodents. Mistress of Duct Tape Repairs.

But above all, I am a mom and that means I have spent a lot of time – and I mean A LOT OF TIME –  picking up stuff and putting it away and telling others to pick up their stuff and put it away. It’s just what moms do.download

Even though my beloved daughter is an adult, I still pick up stuff and enjoy telling others to pick up their stuff and put it away. So you can imagine how much fun I have at the box, especially after a WOD that involves lots of toys, such as wall balls, boxes, jump ropes and kettle bells.

Actually, most of my fellow athletes at my box are very conscientious. But there are a few – WHO SHALL REMAIN NAMELESS FOR NOW – who do NOT PUT AWAY THEIR TOYS! Take Dom and Tommy and Ryan, for instance. They are strong young men who can lift a lot of weight, which means they go through a smorgasbord of plates: 5lb, 10lb, 15lb, 25lb, 35lb, 45lb… Read the rest of this entry »