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CrossFit Changed My Life: Sue Pepe by Sue Pepe - CrossFit Journal

In Athletes, CrossFit, Videos

July 31, 2011

Video Article

“Just show up” was the advice given to Sue Pepe by her son-in-law. After two weeks of CrossFit, she was at a crossroads of whether to continue or give up. Pepe decided to challenge herself.

“No matter what the workout was, I came and I just kept repeating that same message to myself: ‘Just show up,’” Pepe says.

Pepe is a 61-year-old CrossFitter at Hybrid Athletics, home of Rob Orlando.

“I had been sedentary for over 20 years and wanted to get physically fit and lose weight,” she says. “When I first started, I couldn’t even run. I was walking.”

Now she says she is able to run around the yard with her grandchildren and do things she never thought possible.

“I’m actually more fit than I ever was,” Pepe says. “That’s been the biggest thing for me: getting my life back.”

9min 14sec

Additional reading: Seniors and Kids by Greg Glassman, published Feb. 1, 2003.

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30 Comments on “CrossFit Changed My Life: Sue Pepe ”


wrote …

Great interview... thanks for sharing your journey with us Sue. I love the community videos that show people there is more to CF than the games. Don't get me wrong, I love the games, but this is a classic example of what can happen if we put one foot in front of the other. I couldn't help but think about my mom and my mother in law while watching this...still working on them:)


wrote …

Thanx Karl for your comment. So excited to be crossfitting and I encourage others my age to start. It is an awesome way to get fit and belong to a great community of nice supportive people.


wrote …

I feel like kindred spirits; our stories are so similar. Walking through that door the first time(maybe second and third too) is so scary. But it's even scarier to NOT walk through that door. Regardless of age or ability, the CrossFit community respects effort and hard work over all. At the end of the WOD, we're all the same - sweating and gasping and high-fiving all around. YEAH!!!


replied to comment from Carolle Robinson

Hey Carolle

Thank you for the comment. Would like to chat with another kindred spirit! If anyone wants to contact me my email address is I am also on facebook if you want to friend me!thanx


wrote …

Sue - Thanks for your courage and being an inspiration. Coming out of the Games weekend I found myself to be more inspired by the masters groups then by the others. While Rich, Annie and the rest are great athletes, one can expect to see young fit people doing great things. But seeing men and women in there 50's, 60's and even 70's crushing the workouts was not something that one would normally expect to see. Well you and others like you are changing what one can expect to see from your age group. I make it up to CT from time to time and have trained with the great folks at Hybrid, on my next trip I hope to have the pleasure to meet and train with you.


wrote …

thank you for your comment. It's great to get feedback like this. So much is inspiring about Crossfit and the support from the CF community is awesome for sure. Looking forward to meeting you at Hybrid. I am blessed to have great coaches at Hybrid!


wrote …

Sue, thanks for sharing your story and enthusiasm for Crossfit. I'm hooked, have been for about 18 months. I'm 51. My 65 year old wife is another story, 300#, meds for diabetes and high blood pressure. She "got" Paleo a few months back, and in 10 days dropped her BP and Blood sugar so low she ended up in the ER-just to have the guy take her off her meds and admonish her to check her vitals herself. I'm hoping she gets more comfortable with trying some Crossfit after she sees your story. John


replied to comment from John Lyman

What a great story about your wife. Tell her it takes baby steps and one step in front of the other. I think it's awesome that she got off her medication, big big accomplishment.


wrote …

Great experience!
Sue, congratulations and great job.
And so encouraging!
Once you get it up, keep it up, eh?


wrote …

You got it M P , up up up!


wrote …

This is why I CrossFit. As a 31 year-old male that often ranks at or near the top at my gym, I aspire to be as strong as Sue 30 years from now. Life is what you make of it. Thank you, Sue.


wrote …

Hey Scott

I guess it's never too late! I so wish they had this way back when and hope more young people get into it.



wrote …

If I could bottle that smile and sell it I would be a millionaire in a week.


wrote …

Hey Glenn

They say you live longer if you smile! thanx for your comment.


wrote …

That was awesome, congratulations Sue on your drive to finding how to get fit. I need to show this to my father about to turn 61. Thanks for the motivation.


wrote …

Sue, you are awesome. I just completed two months with Crossfit. I'm 36 and was watching the games,now more intimidated by Crossfitters in their 60s and 70s.


wrote …

Hey Kyle

Tell your Dad he can do it and "Just show up" is the key, the rest will fall in place and he will be hooked!



wrote …

Hi Shinto

So glad you found CF too. It is so rewarding to finish a wod and then feel good the rest of the day.



wrote …

Inspirational, Sue. My story is almost identical. My son started me and CrossFit Plano (TX) is helping me improve in every cf move. There are no other 60's females in my gym, either...we seem to be spread across the country. Maybe we can start our own support group! I'll email you!


wrote …

Hi Susan

I have wanted so bad to chat with people my age, but never did I dream it would be on line! So cool to meet you and looking forward to sharing.



Dane Thomas wrote …


Thank you so much for just showing up.

My mother died 5 years ago at age 62 from metabolic syndrome (including diabetes and fatty liver disease). If she had had access during her last decade of life to the training, support, persistence and attitude that you display in this video she would very likely still be with us today, enjoying life and watching her grandchildren become wonderful young adults.

By sharing your journey with us you magnify the effect of your efforts. Keep it up, and keep smiling!


wrote …

Hi Dane,

Wow! Thank you for the comment and that would be me if I didn't find CF. That is the true meaning of why I say CF saved my life. You really put it in perspective for me as a reality of the path I was on before CF. We need to be good to ourselves and add years to our lives instead of taking them away.

thanx for your support



Hi Sue, I just started crossfit about 2 weeks ago. I just had my 56th birthday so it is good to hear about the experience of someone in my age frame. Congratulations on your accomplishments. You have great courage! I have worked out before, but not like this! It's a challenge and it will be worth it. Keep it up! Sue K.


wrote …

Hi Sue K

So glad you started CF.It will change your life and turn around the aging process and most of all "worth it".


wrote …

Such a great video! HQ, please make this video available on You Tube so we can share it with others!


wrote …

Ive been crossfitting for 8 months now. Ive been asking my mom and dad to try crossfit, but they just keep blowing me off. The say their too old & theyll die if they try something like CF. I think they will die if they continue with their present lifestyle. How do you get someone in their 50's to just try crossfit?


wrote …

Sue, you're such an inspiration! I started CF after 40 and like you found that the most important thing is to just show up at the beginning. Now a few years later, my goal is to keep crossfitting and be as strong and healthy the rest of my life.


wrote …

Very encouraging stuff!
I'm 49 and have been Crossfitting for 3 months and am so excited about how it's changing my life.I agree with the just showing up.I can't do recommended module weights yet and I'm far from a pull up but that's what's so great about Crossfit-you know you can get there and to any other goal you have.I hope to keep improving and to stay healthy for the rest of my life and be an example to my kids and grandsons.
I'm so stoked that I would like to think of making it a career when I'm able.I'm at a great place of transition and watching your positive attitude confirms those feelings.
Keep going.Bless you.


wrote …

Hi Sue,
You are amazing. Im sending both your videos to my mum to help inspire her. She is 61, overweight, type2 diabetes, high blood pressure, puffs out just walking 50m, on a cocktail of meds. Makes me so sad to see her this way. I've tried to put her on the right path but I think she has all of your old fears about being too old or too overweight or scared of gyms or low self confidence.
It's easy for me (27, fit as a fiddle and loving life) to tell her to get control of her health, it's a completely different thing for someone like you to tell her the same thing. Your inspirational. Thank you


wrote …

Sue , you are a shining star and inspiration keep it going !

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