CrossFit at 60

By Craig Nelson

In The CrossFit Life

February 02, 2012

PDF Article

Craig Nelson shares his views on CrossFit after discovering the program at age 60.

Birthday milestones never meant much to me—30, 40, 50 years old—bah, who cares?

But 60? That’s a serious number. One can no longer claim to be middle-aged, and Social Security, Medicare and other indices of old age are looming realities. Thus, as my 60th birthday approached, I found myself contemplating how I could whip my body into shape and get an additional decade or two of use out of it.

I found TwinTown CrossFit primarily because it was located two blocks from my home. I talked to Teddy Kim, the owner, who told me his own before-and-after story. Before: 5 foot 7, 245 lb., pre-diabetic, micro-fractures in his feet from carrying all that weight. After: the chiseled hunk of granite I saw before me. I did the baseline workout and, of course, it was brutal.

Sign me up.



26 Comments on “CrossFit at 60”


wrote …

Ha Ha! I can relate!!


wrote …

At 60 this year I will be doing a marathon and 2 half ironman races and at least 6 other shorter races. I can lift, run, cycle, swim more than I ever did in my entire 60 years on the planet. All of that is the result of knowing girls like Helen, Fran, Cindy, Grace and a few others. It's remarkable.

Craig, I have the same missing brain lobe for DU's. But I keep practicing. Why not, I've got 10 years before 70 comes around.


wrote …

Ken, yes the girls have been a great help. But I met one yesterday, Karen (150 wall balls) whom I loathe.

I will absolutely keep practicing. In fact I think I'm about to make a breakthrough with the DUs...I'm starting to put 2-3 in a row. My next goal is the HSPU.

Thanks for your comments.


wrote …

Awesome!! Thank you for sharing! I am 51, just started Crossfit three weeks ago!
Double Unders ? I just keep try to jump for more than 20 seconds at a time? Ha!..... I have never had more fun working this hard.... Keep it up old man!!!


Gabriel Haas wrote …

Awesome article. I'm 38 and sometimes feel old at the gym, what with all these whippersnappers running around, but you're an inspiration. Thanks for sharing.


wrote …

Really appreciated this article. Yes, you must get a tattoo (silly question).


wrote …

AH Men brother, you did a good job of hitting all of the points. I can say that at 67 and with 6 months of CrossFit under my belt the 70 that Ken mentioned is not as daunting as it seemed before CrossFit.


wrote …

Craig, well said. Puh-lease do another one of these articles at 12 months in.


wrote …

Great stuff. Rolling towards 45, I often find myself as one of the older, or oldest, in the group. Craig reminds me that it is all state of mind. Thanks for that.


wrote …

Enjoyed that very much, a great read.


wrote …

Enjoyed that as well. At 52, 6+ years in I'm certainly headed for a better 60 than I might have been. Thanks for that Craig. Welcome aboard. Fasten your seatbelt.



wrote …

Good Read Craig! I really enjoyed the list.


wrote …

I think i really like you craig. Your list is something i identify with mostly- I arrived at CF as a 58yo woman with a tattoo of ...wait for it a pitbull ( my dear departed jake) so maybe a pitbull spirit directed my path... but everything else on the list resonates... I too have a struggle with DUs.. will get them, HSPU and kipping before I am 70.




wrote …

Absolutely loved the article. Improved my whole day. Keep it up - old geezer power!


wrote …

Thanks Craig, your article just made my day! Keep up the good work. Michael


wrote …

Craig you are my man. Loved your article. I'm 54 and been at crossfit 3 years. I can appreciate everything you have said. I'm writting this with two bags of frozen peas on my knees, I will heal soon and you and I can go do Fran


wrote …

Craig this article is great! My father will be turning 53 years young this April and I am trying like hell to get him to join a CrossFit box near him in Tampa... you've just given me more ammunition =) Keep up the great work!


wrote …

Craig, that is an excellent article! Welcome to the CF Community. Also, I don't believe observation #5 for 2 seconds.

You should sign up for the CF Open. It's fun to get to workout with the whole world.

Best of luck with your training and I hope you write more in the future.


wrote …

Craig, thanks for sharing what so many of us are feeling. I am so fortunate to work out in an affiliate that has really encouraged me through the last 3 years. Now I am 61, but when I started, my goals were #1- finish, and then #2-don't finish last. Goal number 1 is up to you, and fortunately, there are enough newbies that I can generally accomplish #2. However, I also challenge you to do the Open and see how you stack up. You might be surprised! Good Luck.


wrote …

I have trained with and coached Craig personally, and I can say with great confidence that he is one tough MFer! His age never even crosses my mind, because he trains just like everyone else, with everything he's got. He has brought great inspiration and hilarity to our gym. We're lucky to have him. Nice job Craig!!!


wrote …

Yeah......this is good Craig!! At 66 (they call me HOG - Hot Old Guy- at my box) I have been at WODs for about 1.5 years and only regret XFit was not around 35 years ago. But its all about today and tomorrow and the next WOD. Just coming off a meniscus tear (happened on a rope climb!!) and surgery so the knees are experiencing trauma never experienced heretofore making the elusive DU a bit more challenging (almost there though.....practice....practice....practice!! Missed going to the nationals last year by one spot and am convinced mastering the DU will put me in the running next year. Trying to chase the 72yo machine, Jacinto Bonilla our of NYC (check him out as he is now officially sponsored by Reebok and really a class act). Am also a VIetNam era vet and I relate to your observations. Tattoo.....hmmmm......maybe the yak-in-the-box graphic would be cool. Thanks for the article......great reading


wrote …

Before Crossfit, I was 58 going on dead! Now I am 61 going on 50! Don't really appreciate being called a goldenager but a Crossfit Masters, Oh yeah!


wrote …

My 60th birthday is in June, but my bigger landmark birthday will be on October 3-year Crossfit birthday. Right now I'm healing after pulling my calf muscle running uphill sprints. An average 70+ person asked me "Why isn't walking up the mountain good enough?" "Because I can run." Since I started Crossfit, I have become a passionate student of running, nutrition, and body mechanics. I am having a blast! Not only do I have better arms than my 25-yr-old daughter-Crossfitter (not a competition, mind you), but my iPod library can beat up your iPod library, and every once in a while a coach or fellow gym rat tells me I'm badass. Crossfit is golden...age is just a number...and the only numbers that really matter to me these days seem to be how many reps I can get in before the buzzer.

Good to read about other Masters folks.


wrote …

Great article! Love the "real world" approach to fashion. Like you, I came to Crossfit as a 59 year old, 245 pound "specimen." That was over 4 years ago and now I am a "svelte" 175 pounds and in much better shape than I have ever been. I do Crossfit 5 days a week and recently added hot power yoga 3 days, which is a great complement to Crossfit. I am also on a mostly Paleo diet and have even thought about competitions. I did the National Games Open this year and last and was better this year than last. Like many my age I struggle with arthritis in my knees, so I have to modify (not much running or box jumps) but my coach is always ready to make sure I am drenched in sweat and leaving in pain! Good luck with your training and keep it up!


wrote …

Great article. Please write more.


wrote …

Would love to see an update on this article!

Leave a comment

Comments (You may use HTML tags for style)