After a sedentary lifestyle, a badly injured back and other health complications, J. Rich Wilson dives into CrossFit in an attempt to better his quality of life before turning 40.
As a kid, I did all the typical suburban WASP stuff—tennis, soccer, the summer swim league. In high school, a pair of defective knees took me off the pitch and into the pool full time. I swam year-round for a fairly competitive team and found some athletic stride for the first time. College began the slow decline of my body. For the next 15 years, I coasted on decent genetics and the residual fitness of my youth.
Now, at 33, I’ve noticed the view of my feet from above is increasingly obscured by a disappointingly solid belly. A sedentary lifestyle has resulted in a mildly arthritic back, an inability to do yard work when hung over and a reputation for having a large head that I don’t remember having prior to 26.
It wasn’t long before I felt like Indiana Jones running away from a giant boulder emblazoned with the ominous number “40.” I only had a few years before it caught up to my increasingly soft body and flattened my chances to rebuild a base of fitness that could last into my middle years. I figured by the time that boulder catches up, I need to be strong enough to take the hit. Doing nothing seemed like the way to ensure maximum suck-ness at 40. It wasn’t until a critical mass of those around me started drinking the CrossFit Kool-Aid that I convinced myself there was hope for my neglected shell.