My guess is plenty of people have read — or heard — about my exploits at Warrior Crossfit Muscatine and wondered: What is that fat 45-year-old, bald guy trying to do? Kill himself?
In a moment, I’m going to address that question.
First, however, you need to know about today’s special Memorial Day workout, which is known in Crossfit circles as the Helton. It was named in honor of U.S. Air Force Security Forces 1st Lt. Joseph D. Helton, 24, of Monroe, Ga. Assigned to the 6th Security Forces Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., he was killed Sept. 8, 2009, near Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.
The workout consisted of three rounds of: 800-meter runs (I did the rowing machine instead), 30 kettle bell squat cleans (I used two 35-pounders for the first round and then 30 pounders for the last two rounds) and 30 burpees.
I slogged through it in 38 minutes and 30 seconds. The fastest person in our group did it in 20:54, which strikes me as unbelievable. It was easily one of the hardest workouts I’ve done there. I guess I will always hate burpees.
So why do I do this?
Well, like practically everyone else, I’d like to lose some weight and get in better shape. And Crossfit is helping me with those goals. After spending much of the past 20 years sitting at a desk and not being nearly active enough, I like knowing I can still summon the strength to move furniture by myself.
My wife bought a two-piece china cabinet today at the Salvation Army store. I carried both pieces out of the store by myself, loaded them in the Bronco, hauled them home, unloaded them and carried them into the house. I’m not sure, but I think the young lady at the store offered me a job as a furniture mover.
This is the kind of thing I’ve always done well. Thirty years ago, I would have tried to pick up almost anything you put in front of me. And most of the time, I got the job done.
Even if it’s harder now, I like the challenge. Doing stuff like this is what my friends at the gym call functional fitness. To me, that simply means being able to do the stuff we encounter in everyday life: Carrying a heavy bag of groceries, moving quickly up a flight of stairs, bending over to pick up the 6-year-old who comes running at you.
For all of those and hundreds of other reasons, I can’t think of a good excuse for not doing Crossfit. It sure beats sitting at a desk and not doing anything other than getting old and fat.
I found this video today about Tennessee Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck’s introduction to Crossfit. It’s kind of long, but it’s also inspirational to know that a 36-year-old NFL quarterback’s struggles with Crossfit aren’t all that different from mine. Or yours, too, if you would just give Crossfit a try.