Retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Bill Center was obese and in declining health. He reached his goals to achieve functional fitness by giving CrossFit a chance.
I couldn’t get up from the floor.
My body—270 lb. and just 63 years old—lay prone because I lacked the strength to command it upright.
Rising from the floor is such a basic capability, a natural motion first achieved before most of us could even walk. And it was now a capability that existed only in my past. As a retired rear admiral in the U.S. Navy, this was a new and alarming experience. You don’t get to command warships with hundreds or even thousands of crew because you are incapable. My career took me to such a rank precisely because I’d always been so capable. I routinely surpassed a Navy-mandated level of physical fitness decade after decade.
Now, after leading destroyers and aircraft carriers through times of war and peace, I could not lead my own body to simply stand up.
How did this happen? How did I ever get like this? And, if I couldn’t even stand up on my own, how could I get back to being a capable, physically active person?