Reflections from Member Nigel Wilson on his CrossFit Journey So Far…

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As I approach my first anniversary of CrossFit it is an appropriate moment to reflect on what the last year has meant to me. This was not my idea; I was was happy being a 58 year old, obese and diabetic with high blood pressure and high cholesterol…….. it was not always like that. I had been a player……. a long time ago – six marathons, a long football career and more hours on squash courts than I care to remember. But people of my age all have such war stories that we occasionally (actually quite frequently) relate, and the older we get the quicker and better we were.

My son returned from Afghanistan at the end of 2014 and decided I had become a bit fatter and slower while he had been away and it was that now or never moment……… it was time for CrossFit !!!!!!!! I looked at the website and just said bollocks! I am too old for that shit and I hate gyms.  He said: “Dad, I have booked us in for 10 introductory sessions with a bloke called James who seems like a good lad.”, “How are his resuscitation skills?” I asked. I cannot describe how nervous I was watching the end of a particularly brutal 6.30 am class while we waited to start the first of the introductory sessions. I realised that my son was getting his own back for all the ski school classes I forced him to go to on family ski trips.

James was excellent. Always keeping me out of my comfort zone without doing any permanent damage and I quickly became addicted to the feeling of achievement after every session. The end of the first 10 fundamental sessions was looming and the thought of going into class filled me with dread, why could I not stay in the safety of James’ PT sessions? There was a moment when we reached an agreement that my daughter would take over the adult supervision responsibilities and join CrossFit and I would do a second set of fundamentals, a good compromise for everyone, but only a temporary stay of execution and 10 sessions later I did finally go into class.

Once I had overcome my initial fear I realised that the classes are what CrossFit is all about. A group of people of all different abilities and ages experiencing the common theme of pushing themselves to the limit, that hand shake at the end of a class, that tap on the shoulder and a well done from a CrossFit colleague. That nod of approval from the CrossFit coach, that even at my age makes my day! That feeling of satisfaction that carries you through until the next class. I travel from Hertfordshire three times a week just to experience that common bond among a group of people who hardly know each other but have just completed today’s WOD together. Occasionally you look across the room and there is a young buck with his shirt off punching out toes to bar or handstand press ups like he was born doing them, and the only crumb of comfort that you take is that he is probably hung like a hamster!

My highlight was the 12 Days of Christmas, I did four of the 12 the sessions, and they go down as the most difficult physical thing I have ever done. It was that feeling of; well I just cannot do this as you are reading the whiteboard and thinking someone was taking the piss, an hour later you were laying on the floor desperately trying to drag oxygen into your lungs with the biggest smile on your face and you realised how far you had come in the past 12 months under the guidance of a group of coaches that are as good as I have ever seen.

So, what happened to that 58 year old obese diabetic ? Well he is 59 now is still a diabetic but everything else has changed and he has a personal goal of all 12 days of christmas at the end of the year …….. “Ah, but a man’s reach must exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for ?”.

Member Nigel Wilson

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