The Most Important Part of My Dad’s (Secret) Identity
I want to start off this post about my dad with the most important information about him:
His legal first name is Bruce. Legal middle name is Wayne.
Back to the heartfelt story: My dad is my #1 fan when it comes to my CrossFit competitive aspirations and career in the health and fitness industry. He proudly wears all the swag of the gyms I worked at and the teams I competed on. I had spent a long time trying to get him to come into the classes I coached. He always told me that he would start up CrossFit as soon as he retired.
It was almost fate that he retired when he did. He had a grandson along the way and wanted to devote his newfound time and energy to his family and health. 6-months pregnant, my dad started attending classes with me.
I remember the first day he came in. He will likely be embarrassed at my chronicles of his humble beginnings. Getting onto the Rower during the warm-up was a challenge. His hamstring mobility didn’t allow him to strap his feet in and grab the handle without falling over. The Samson Stretch was a struggle. He couldn’t get into a Lunge without losing all balance and being completely in his front toes. He also lacked the strength to get back up out of the bottom.
Next on the list, Burpees. Don’t even get me started there. Many of us see the Burpee as a soul-wrenching movement that elicits fire in your lungs and a fist shake towards the sky. If you strip the Burpee down to its simplest parts, it is the mere act of getting your body from the ground to a standing position. The Burpee was near impossible for my Dad without assistance holding onto a rig up right or box.
Needless to say, it was a bit shocking to get him started. We heavily scaled range of motion for movements. Loading was minimal. Safety was of the utmost importance for a 40-year desk jockey who was late in this 60s.
Bruce had a lot of determination. He kept showing up to class day-after-day with me. Even if a workout was heavily scaled, he brought fire and intensity to each session. With his consistency, he saw the results rather quickly.
Now, I can get into all of the details on his lift numbers increasing and endurance improving, but when you’re getting towards your 70s, we were equally as excited about his mobility improving. He was able to get onto a Rower without assistance because his balance and mobility had improved. My dad can do simple tasks in every day life easier, like running around and carrying his grandson.
Increased work capacity, strength, coordination, balance, proprioception, endurance ALL drastically improved. His metrics were improving. But what about the inside?
First photo, day 1 he was 225 lbs. Pre-diabetic A1-C levels. Blood pressure 150/100.
Second photo, 6 months in, he was 205 lbs. (20 lbs. lost). No longer pre-diabetic. Blood pressure 118/70 with his medication cut in half.
Third photo, almost 2 years in. 185 lbs. (40 lbs. lost). Completely OFF of BP meds for a year.
Yes, my dad has undergone tremendous physical transformations. He has not only lost weight, but changed his body composition CONSIDERABLY.
What’s his secret? Consistency.
What’s the secret to consistency? Adhering to a program, a community, or a program that keeps things fun and goal-oriented.
My dad and I attend Sundown CrossFit 4-5 days a week together. Days that we can’t make it in, we do Outside the Box workouts together in the driveway. This combination of gym plus garage gym programming suits our lifestyle with a toddler.
We keep each other accountable and consistent by making exercise a goal-oriented activity. We don’t focus on pounds lost, even though they are valuable to keep track of. Instead, we focus on pounds gained… in our lifts! After class, we talk about improvements on running capacity and ability to hang from a Pull-up bar.
Take Time to Smell the Roses
It’s so easy to go through the motions but never reflect on the journey. I find that when I talk to him about his improvements and how well he’s doing, it helps him shine and feel the sense of accomplishment keeps the momentum going.
The other day, my dad was lifting with 3 athletes in class. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him put 85 lbs. over his head. He then presumed to Deadlift 135 for 30 reps in a metabolic conditioning style workout. Boy, how the tides have turned.
He now beams with pride at his own accomplishments. He is now a more ABLE and CAPABLE human being. Staving off sickness and bringing his body into wellness. He is focusing on safely increasing his capabilities and increase in health markers is following suit.
What’s up next? CrossFit 2020 Masters Open. Get ready for some awesome material as my Dad registers for his first Open season 🙂
Spreading the Wealth of Fitness
Know someone who would benefit from Crossfit, like your parents, family, etc. but they are intimidated by the high complexity and weights? Have them try out our 10 Bodyweight Workouts.
Know someone who would be a perfect candidate for OTB? Have them try our 3-Day Workout Sample and see if it’s for them!