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One Woman’s Manifesto

 I refuse to become one of the walking undead. The unwell. The quitters, the complainers, the crybabies. Those who say “Oh, well, I’m fat” and just accept it. Those who don’t even try. Those who won’t get off the couch and on the road to anything but the drive-through. I am so done with them.

Although I have reached what used to be quaintly referred to as “middle age” I no longer think of it as some green pasture to lay down in and count my money until I die. This is my prime.

I will not go gently into the good night. I will not let my body spread, my willpower relax, and my determination downgrade. I am making a stand here. Like Dylan Thomas, I am raging against the dying of the light.

I refuse to listen to “Oldies Rock” and wear “Mom” jeans and appliqué my sweatshirts with seasonal greetings. I won’t use the phrase “old enough to know better.” My body is older but I am better. I am fine.

I vow not to become one of those people who stroll past hard-working CrossFitters and sneer, “You’re not getting me to do that.” Instead, I will be one of those people who stop and ask, “How can I do that?”

I am not too old for triathlons; I am too young for complacency. The next forty years is a long time to sit on the sidelines. I am not too old for anything; I’m too young for life on the f***ing couch.

I am not in the wrong place. I am, finally, in the right mind at the right time.

To me, movement is like breathing. And, trust me, you don’t want to get between a woman and the source of her oxygen.

So, step aside, I’m taking my turn at the pull-up bar. And I brought some bands for my girlfriends so they can take this path too. Get used to us. We’re here for the long haul. We will not go gently into that good night.

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22 comments
Lisbeth
Lisbeth

Thanks, everyone! I really appreciate your words of support! I'm proud to serve the CrossFit community. (And in case you don't realize it, you can visit the CrossFit Lisbeth page on Facebook and "like" it -- and thereby get the Words of the Day in your Facebook stream.)

Nancy
Nancy

When I started Crossfit a year ago at age 56, I was surprised that they don't 'handicap' or automatically modify for older crossfitters. Now the thought of that idea just makes me laugh. No whiners, no excuses - and that includes age. I love it!

Rich B
Rich B

I am 60. I knew a man once that was THAT person. Crossfit changed that man. I am a better person now than that man. Get the f*c# out of the way.

Keith M
Keith M

I really enjoy your posts!

Jerilyn
Jerilyn

is there a way to get your WOD sent to my email address every day? Maybe even recorded wake-up messages?!! These are always truly inspirational! :)

Dianna
Dianna

This post really spoke to me today and I wanted you to know that. As I lunge into my 42 year, I do so with proudly shredded hands. I tackled Murph this morning (60 unassisted/no band pullups & 40 with the uber skinny band - a new PR). I am and feeling really good about it, even though I am not the leader-board type. Although I am often the last one to finish the WOD, at least I am fighting the good fight against chubby, doughy, momville. Your post captures this effect perfectly. Thank you!

Ann
Ann

I'm not going quietly either. Gonna run, ski, swim, skate, cycle, & Crossfit my way all the way to the end!! 51 and just getting warmed up!

E
E

I'm 24 and I did CrossFit for 6 months last year and can't explain how it made me feel..beyond awesome. I recently moved to a new city and day after day I read your posts, they're inspiring me to want to go back. Tomorrow I'm going to check out the affiliate. I love your website. Thanks Lis.

Lis
Lis

Nice to have you aboard, Staci and Jason! Now, if only we could figure out a way to combine CrossFit and lacrosse without losing all of our teeth . . .

Jason K.
Jason K.

I too refuse to go quietly in the good night. You and your kind aren't ruining, Crossfit you are redefining femininity and kicking ass at the same time. I knew there was a reason I loved this website and there it was: "...deadlifting, back-squatting, clapping push-up lacrosse mom is ready to kick your butt to Dumbassville and back again." As a lacrosse dad (soccer's for skinny sisses), and as a former member of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, never quit, never give up.

Staci
Staci

Amen, Sister! Save one of the thick bands for me :)

Lis
Lis

Charity and Cindy -- thanks! Always glad to hear from more CrossFitting women -- I think there are more of us out there than anybody realizes.

cindy schmitt
cindy schmitt

thanks for a great post. Love the Dylan Thomas poem, but really love your attitude. I'm 53, discovered crossfit in March. I was always a runner, but I never felt as strong as I do now.

Charity
Charity

Thank you thank you thank you! I'm absolutely loving your website!

Lis
Lis

Well said, Chris! And thanks to everyone for the kind words! They mean a lot. (And a special thanks to Joe and Liz -- you both may not be in our neck of the woods but you took the time to reach out and I appreciate it. Glad to be of service!) Burn, Becky, burn! Just back from the Albany East Coast Challenge -- where I couldn't compete but I watched a lot of people push themselves past the redline and keep on going. Truly inspiring. Can't wait to get back into the gym and see where tomorrow takes us!

Chris
Chris

Lis, Bravo on yet another eloquent and incredibly motivating commentary! It's so refreshing to hear from someone on this side of the spectrum. More and more, I'm hearing people say things like, "I'm so out of shape. I need to start walking." or "I need to go on a diet for a while so I can lose a few pounds." THAT'S NOT HOW IT WORKS, PEOPLE! Staying healthy is a constant battle. If you diet and work out for a period of time and then stop, you'll be back where you started (or worse) in no time. The human body is really an incredible tool. It can adapt to a variety of physical situations. If you give it the right fuel and push it to the limit, it will adapt accordingly and grow stronger. If you decide to sit around and do nothing, it'll adapt to that as well. I think more people need to understand that age really isn't a factor here. Get motivated and STAY motivated. That's really the key.

Kathrine
Kathrine

Lis.... You are def the best !!!!

LIz
LIz

WOW! Everytime I feel like blowing off a workout I will think of you and your article! I'm proud to be a middle-aged crossfitter!

Jill
Jill

I have time to do either laundry or a workout before I go to my swim meet today... After reading that - I'll be making up a work out! Thanks.

Joe
Joe

Love your site. Wish Iwas in your part of the country. I was looking at some affiliates and yours is the best I have seen. Real workouts for real people. Keep up the good work and good luck with CFW!!

Becky T
Becky T

I love it Lis - you articulate the idea and feelings of Crossfit better than anyone. Today I went for a vaccination and as the nurse injected it into my arm it started to burn. It caught me off gaurd and I looked at her and asked "is it suppose to burn like that? The one I had six months ago didn't." She informed me that vaccinations can burn when they are injected into muscles. She said I had "a nice muscle there". Six months ago I received the same vaccine in the same arm. There was no burning. Therefore I deduce there was little (or no) muscle. I started Crossfit five months ago. Thanks Lis - it burned and I was damn proud of it.

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