Murph 1
Holly and her husband after finishing “Murph”

I read a lot in the January/February issue of WOD Talk that made me think. I wanted to share the piece on endurance athletes with my sister, who is a marathoner, and the CF playlist with my trainer, who has been complaining about music lately. However, nothing captured my complete and undivided attention like “Fit-Fitters”.

The author was deeply offended by the title—positively indignant. I, on the other hand, would have looked at the smart-ass kids who had called her a “fit-fitter” and said, “I can beat up your momma.”

That’s right: your momma. I am 45 years old. I have been CrossFitting for three years. I’ve worked out in Mannheim and Maine, in Texas and Florida, and even wrote about working out at Ukraine’s only CrossFit gym, M4, in Kharkov.

Having said that, I’m probably never going to compete. Why? I don’t need to. I’m self-motivated. I don’t need others to yell “nice work” or “push it” to know I’m working as hard as I can. Let alone some 25 year-old whose metabolism is still set to “on”.

Joint Laxity_thumbbenttowrist
A textbook example of joint laxity. Holly’s thumb bends to her wrist.

So, let me give you an example. I have loose joints, technically called “joint laxity”. This is fairly rare, but not unheard of amongst orthopedists. Your GP, however, is going to stare blankly if you mention it. What it means is that my joints are apt to pop out of place. I’ve tried to think of it as an evolutionary advantage. I don’t break—I just pop apart like legos… or maybe one of those tent poles with the bungee cord running through it—collapsible, but I snap back together. It can be the sign of some pretty awful diseases, but in my case, it is simply hereditary. It also means that I have to keep my joints strong and stretch not at all (it would be easy to stretch my way into damage).

This can manifest in any of a number of ways at CrossFit. I am doing shuttle sprints and: bang! A bone in the side of my foot pops out. Next thing you know, I am doing a one legged, knee slapping hoe down, smacking my foot on the floor to get it to pop back. Do I stop? No.

Holly mid Push Press

…or the time we were doing barbell rollouts. Now, I have abs of steel, so I was not afraid. My shoulder, on the other hand, objected to the point of dislocation. I’d hyperextended and paid the price. I remember hearing the pop and my trainer and a bunch of folks yelling, “Now roll it back…” I sat up, popped it back in (ouch), and walked over to the GHD to finish my workout. I did “Murph” a week later.

Quite honestly, I’m not sure when CrossFit became exclusive and elitist rather than welcoming all comers– especially in a country where being overweight or obese is the norm. Shouldn’t we celebrate all efforts? I am probably not going to finish first and don’t really give a damn if I do (Okay, maybe I do a little). I don’t come to the box ready to set a PR every single week: I set it when my body is ready. When you have a tendency to pop, each lift is a cautionary tale of good form and slow progression.

So, yeah, I am a middle aged woman who is prone to wearing lots of pink at CrossFit because I find it ironic. And yes, I am more concerned about staying fit than being competition grade. And you know what? I am a fit-fitter, and I can still kick your momma’s ass.

[author title=”Author: Holly Evers” image=””]Holly Evers has an MA in Russian Literature and an MFA in Creative Writing. She has 3 bikes and one car and started CrossFit three years ago after a free trial left her with “rigor mortis of the legs”. She is from the south although she currently lives in St Cloud, MN. Every year she looks forward to the month of July when she can thaw out and dust off a pair of shorts (but just one). She works out at Crossfit St Cloud, in St Cloud, Minnesota, which welcomes all comers.[/author]

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