July 01, 2004
The CrossFit family mourns the recent passing of Dr. Roy Walford, the world’s preeminent longevity researcher. Dr. Walford published over 300 scientific articles on the biology of aging. From his laboratories at U.C.L.A., where he worked for nearly forty years, Dr. Walford’s work centered on extension of life span via caloric restriction.
Dr. Walford’s untimely death at 79 (he’d long and publicly planned for 120) from ALS does not, in the least, challenge the validity or contribution of his scientific work on aging. The suspicion among many researchers that caloric restriction might, as it has in lab animals, extend human life span, should, and will at least in the short term, survive Dr. Walford’s death.
Sadly, we expect Dr. Walford’s shortfall to marshal, somewhere, a case for gluttony. We will honor the Dr.’s life and work by helping keep perspective. We do the same for the late Dr. Atkins when we remind some of his detractors that terminal brain injury from accidental head trauma could not have been realistically prevented by his or any other diet.
The culture we endeavor to nurture within the CrossFit community is focused on practice and results above theory and theory above personality. For us too much of fitness, nutrition, medicine, and health is marketed, associated, promoted, understood, debated, and even recognized in connection to a personality first, a theory second, and clinical practice or efficacy only third.