Posts Tagged ‘Coaching’

Welcome back to Season Two of It Ain’t Over: A middle-aged mom’s attempt to make it to the CrossFit Games!

We ended Season One in 72nd place – exactly 52 slots away from Carson City. That’s a few slots less than my age, 55. This year I’m changing things up. My training partner, Lynn – a 45-year-old badass firefighter/physical therapist/single-mom – moved back to Australia, her homeland, leaving me wondering what the hell I was going to do to train for the games.Lynn&I

So, this year I decided to put together a team of experts to help me train. I have a coach and a chiropractor. I’m also seeing a PT and a massage therapist.

First, let me introduce you to my coach: Zach Caswell. Zach is my Olympic lifting coach. Why am I focusing on Oly lifting? Oly lifting is exclusively about the snatch and clean and jerk but if you can do these two lifts well, your overhead squats and thrusters will rock and you will vastly improve your balance and strength.

Zach is a former professional rugby player, which explains his total indifference to inflicting pain. He also played college football. He’s this huge bearded mass of muscle and I’m easily old enough to be his mother. But he didn’t laugh when I asked him to train me’ Turns out he’s one of those teddy bear kind of guys. He actually feeds his cats ice cream with a spoon.

MeZachEvery Sunday morning Zach holds an Oly lifting class at CrossFit CityPlace. I attend religiously. It’s like church but with cussing and sweating. After a few classes I concluded that Zach knows his shit and he’s passionate about making athletes who can lift efficiently. In my world, it’s all about efficiency. I may not get a lot stronger at this age but efficient movement will allow me to perform longer and avoid injury. So, Zach’s my man. (more…)


Sometimes, when get an email from my coach, Matt, and I read the hellacious workout he has planned for me, I imagine him sitting in front of his computer, conniving like Dr. Evil: “Ha! Let’s see if she will actually attempt this!”

I always do. Still, I  wonder if he’s trying to kill me.brewstermainDr It’s hard work and after awhile I ask myself, “Am I getting any better or just looking like an idiot?” Well, last night I got my answer.

I dropped nearly two minutes off my Helen PR. I’m down to 11:38. And I know if I wasn’t in South Florida in the middle of July, in a box without AC and it wasn’t 90+ degrees and 110% humidity, I might be able to go even faster. (There isn’t enough chalk in the universe to keep me from flying off the pull-up bar when my hands get that sweaty.)

Finally, progress. REAL progress. For a 54-year-old woman, I’ll take an 11:38 Helen. I think I’ll hang on to my coach, too.

My parents died of cancer. My father went first and my mother started another round of chemo the week after we buried him. She died 16 months later.

As they were battling their diseases they were told to have something out there – not too far in the future – to look forward to. For my father, it was the birth of his first grandchild. Then his second and third and fourth and fifth. He ended up living more than a decade with his cancer.

My mother wasn’t as lucky but she always had “something” out there. First Communions. Visits to and from her grandkids. A week at a beach house with her kids and grandkids. Always something out there to look forward to – to shoot for and dream of. I think it kept them going for as long as their bodies would allow and made them content.

I liked that they lived that way. Even though I’m not facing a terminal illness, I do the same. I always have a goal or dream out there. Mostly it’s vacations. But in the next year I am dangling some bigger carrot  out there: My daughter will graduate from college and I will go to Crossfit Games.