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February 26, 2016

Video Article

Nancy Hoshaw survived a heart attack at 48 and breast cancer at 60. At 73, she’s entering the CrossFit Games Open, which kicked off Feb. 25. While some compete to be named Fittest on Earth, Hoshaw is competing with time and age—and she’s winning.

After seeing decrepit women on a trip to Israel, Hoshaw decided a slow slide into a retirement home wasn’t for her.

“My goal is to stay healthy and independent. I cherish my independence,” she says.

Her coach at CrossFit Bay Area in Webster, Texas, is two-time CrossFit Games athlete Jordan Cook. Cook describes CrossFit as a lifestyle, noting how the community keeps people active and energized while they preserve and improve function.

“The whole point of … functional fitness is not just to get better at fitness but to help us in our everyday life,” Cook explains.

While Hoshaw was dead set against doing the Open last year, she’s all in for 2016. When Cook shared an Instagram video of Hoshaw preparing for the five-week competition about a month ago, she inspired people around the world and found more motivation herself.

“I feel like I can encourage other people, but at the same time I’m encouraged myself,” she says.

“It’s amazing the doors that you can open if you just … give it a try.”

Video by Elliot and Lindsay Schrock.

5min 58sec

Additional reading: “Older, Wiser, Fitter” by Marty Cej, published April 3, 2013.

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