“I wasn’t sleeping. I couldn’t get up out of my chair. I had trouble getting the door open and out of the car. I was starting to feel my age,” said Leola Schell.
She’s 80. As good an age as any to start CrossFit.
Enter Kent Stamey, the owner of CrossFit Hickory and a man who is CrossFit to the core. In fact, on his core—his stomach—is a 6-inch tall tattoo of CrossFit’s Pukie the Clown mascot. And while the shaved-headed, mustachioed, heavily-pierced father of five kids (aged 14 to two—“It has something to do with the water in the trailer park,” he jokes) has never thrown-up during a workout, he did learn the hard way that the concept of “scaling” is essential. He believes that scaling is the secret to his success with Leola Schell and the way to go for new CrossFitters of any age and adiposity.
After a month and a half, Schell was doing four sets of 20 squats, three sets of ten pushups, hoisting herself up on a rope for 3 seconds, and performing other feats of strength and agility that had been long beyond her. She was also getting a full night of sound sleep and “popping up and down out of bed” like a jack-in-the-box. By three months, she was starting to do the regular WOD.
Written by Roy Wallack, the CrossFit Journal senior editor, this is the fitness story of an 80-year-old guinea pig named G-Ma.