I’ve had a lot of things on my mind this week that I wanted to blog about, so much so that’s been hard to narrow down a topic. However, after reading David and Bobby’s latest blogs, I decided to expound a bit on their topics.
Why get up every day, put on the same sweat stained clothes, slip your feet into a pair of stinky shoes, and face another day of training that is sure to make you cuss, make you sore and make you mad. It’s not always fun, it often hurts and it often sucks….so why do it?
I can’t answer the why for you, but I can answer the why for me. I literally train to improve my life at this age and for my future….to push off disease and the nursing home.
Most of you are thinking that you’ve got plenty of time to worry about those things. In my 20s and 30s I wasn’t thinking about a nursing home either, but I watched my paternal grandmother die after a long period in the nursing home and my maternal grandmother currently living out the rest of her days in a nursing home, so you can damn well bet it’s on my mind.
My maternal grandmothers’ mind is pretty sharp still but her arthritis has her tied to a wheel chair. She will sit in her wheelchair and watch the days pass by until her time to pass on. Sounds grim I know….WELL IT IS!! It’s terrible and we’ve all experienced this with family members and yet continue to go through life thinking, “well, I’m going to die eventually so I might as well enjoy it while I can.” Well, I plan on enjoying my life while and can but I am also going to do my best to not end up like my grandmothers.
The Role of Genetics
I am blessed with longevity on both sides of my family, but we are also cursed with Parkinson’s Disease on my paternal side. Two generations of it, in fact. My dad (now 74) got an official diagnosis about 2 years ago but started showing signs about 5 years ago. His mom was diagnosed around 2001, and passed away with complications from PD in 2007 at the age of 82. There are many studies out about how people end up with PD. Some research shows links between family members, others link to environmental. With two family members with the disease, you can bet my chances have certainly increased. This scares me half to death, not only for me, but also for my children. I will not live my life in fear, however I will live my life doing my best to prevent being stricken with PD (as well as other diseases). My kids will not want to see me in the condition I am currently seeing my dad in.
We can’t always control what will happen as we age…or can we? The oldest competition level CrossFitters is Jacinto Bonilla. He is 78 years old. You can watch a CBS report on his life here. “I love being strong. I love being able to move. A lot of things that a lot of young people cannot do, or are not willing to do,” Bonilla said. Bonilla’s prescription for living stronger is, motivation, inspiration and perspiration. Bonilla isn’t necessarily interested so much in longevity as he is in living out his years as a strong person so he can continue to enjoy his life and not wither away.
What Can You Do?
It has been proven time and time again that strength training is necessary to prevent bone loss in both men and women. Strength training is also necessarily to prevent muscle loss. Additionally, serotonin and dopamine are chemicals produced in the brain “neurotransmitters” that improve mood and protect against mental health disorders. Serotonin, which is produced by long-term exercise, decreases depression and hostility, and improves agreeable social behavior. Dopamine improves your mood and long-term memory. Don’t we want these things as we continue to age? Isn’t knowing these things enough for you to make the decision to commit to training? It is for me.
It’s Too Expensive
When potential members tell me, “I can’t afford CrossFit”, the only thing I can think about is, “You can’t afford not to do CrossFit.” While I don’t think CrossFit is for everyone, I do think that a large majority of people use finances as an excuse. When I first started coaching I told everyone about CrossFit and how awesome it is and you should totally come try it, its great, etc.! I was so passionate about it and I couldn’t understand why others weren’t. My husband often reminds me that I’m not “normal”.
Perhaps I’m not normal or perhaps its others just being weak minded. I know have grown to understand more that some people are just not going to train their bodies to be stronger and healthier. I have to constantly remind myself of this and that I can’t save everyone. Some people will just end up as Zombie Bait and that’s all there is to it.