Father Andrew's Hot Body Gym

January 27, 2010

CrossFit One Year Anniversary

Filed under: real talk — Tags: , , , , , , , — Mara @ 4:15 pm

By Joan Sangree, age 60

During the Christmas vacation of 2008, my daughter, Mara, and her husband, Joshua, introduced me to Crossfit. I have done a morning routine of stretches and exercises for many years, which kept me fairly limber with some tone. I could manage my farm life including lifting 50-pound bales of hay. However, when I received the diagnosis of osteopenia, the beginning stages of osteoporosis, I knew I had to do something more. Knowing myself, I needed something that I could do at home and that was short. Crossfit was the perfect solution.

That first workout of simple squats, presses, and lunges seemed manageable. I felt energized and excited. I was proud of keeping up, and thought I was in pretty good shape, given my age (59 then).  The wake up call came the next day, and for the duration of the vacation, when I had to hold onto the sink to lift myself off the toilet; my quads were so sore!

Over the last year, I have kept up a Crossfit workout 4-5 times per week. During the other days, I have continued my old routine, which included running on a mini trampoline. I had only a few CF routines, provided by Mara and Josh, and minimal equipment. Over time, I increased my weights, and I only recently added hill sprints.

Occasionally I would slack off and avoid doing CF for a longer stretch. I noticed that quite quickly my weak areas started giving me trouble. I have had a vulnerable right hip since pregnancy that has sometimes hurt so much it kept me awake at night. But when I do squats regularly, I don’t hurt. My old routine had not sufficiently protected me from this pain, but somehow CF does.

So, groaning and grunting, despite not wanting to get up some mornings to face CF, alone, with no one to coach me or share in my pain, I have persevered. When the group talked about their goals, I thought, “Mine is just to continue!” I regularly remind myself that I feel better, that I love having muscles in my arms and back that I can see (visual reinforcement!), and that I assume my bones are getting stronger. That test will come later this year.

This Christmas, as I reached my CF anniversary, again on vacation in Tallahassee, I thrilled myself by completing the workouts the kids were doing (if scaled), including sprints that used to exacerbate my hip. The coup de gras, however, was when I dead-lifted 125lbs several times! Absolutely amazing.

Thank you, Mara and Josh, for your patience, coaching, and enthusiasm, even from afar. I hear you with me in my head during my workouts, and it helps keep me going.

Joan gets set to deadlift for her second time ever...

... and she has the 125# off the ground!

Congrats to Joan for her perseverance and the courage to make a change when many might give up!


  1. We are honored to have you as a ‘distance member’ of FAHBG Joan! Keep at it and we hope you visit again soon. Tell Aaron (?) to try throwing a 15 lb medicine ball through a hoop twice a week!!

    Comment by Micah Vandegrift — January 27, 2010 @ 5:31 pm

  2. Yeahh Joan! Happy 1 year!

    Comment by Abby Vandegrift — January 29, 2010 @ 8:19 am

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