Dr. Allison Belger turns 40 and finds that masters events provide a new outlet for her competitive spirit.
Throughout the past year leading up to my 40th birthday, I had been reflecting on many things, as one often does in the face of such a milestone. Beyond the typical musings, I had thought a lot about my life as an aging athlete and how I would continue to challenge myself physically given the constraints of my responsibilities and the realities of my aging body.
It had been a while since my days of competing to win. While winning is nice, for most of us the prospect of being No. 1 in any athletic endeavor ends with the acceptance of a college diploma. But CrossFit changes everything. It taps into those parts of our psyches that house competitive instincts and fuel our physical pursuits. It calls upon dormant hormones and startles to awareness the athlete in all of us. With each WOD, we are forced to decide how hard we will push, how fast we will go, how much we will lift, how well we will move.
Perhaps this is why CrossFit also makes us competitive, regardless of our age. After all, competition simply entails trying to do something well—better than the last time or better than someone else. Why would that drive, that emotional involvement, dissipate with age? I’d argue that it doesn’t.