Finding CrossFit at Fifty

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Ten years ago, Megan McCann, now 50, lay in a hospital bed with nine fractures and multiple other injuries. A truck had hit her as she rode her scooter to work in Atlanta. She spent four weeks in the hospital, underwent nine surgeries, and used a wheelchair for several months. 

For the next 10 years, she did little, if any, exercise. 

“I’d always been athletic, always maintained my weight through exercise,” said Megan. “But as I got older I became more sedentary.” And the weight piled on. 

“Then this woman I met started talking about Crossfit, I was like, ‘You’re kidding me.’ The only thing I knew was that people overdid it and got rhabdo. I thought, ‘No, I’m not going to do that.’ But Deb kept talking about it and telling me how they could modify it.”

She did her own research and realized it was true – if you found the right box.

Megan has been at RPE now for four months and everything has changed. She went from not being able to touch her toes to deadlifts. From not being able to lift her arms over head because of a frozen shoulder to snatches, jerks, and overhead squats.

She remembers one day early on when the class was practicing back bends. Megan, who used to be a gymnast and did them all the time, struggled. Then Julie appeared with a giant medicine ball and showed her how to do it. 

Megan was so overwhelmed she went into the bathroom and cried. “It was so amazing to me that I could do that again,” she said. “I never dreamed my body would ever do it.” That was the day, she says, she officially drank the Kool-Aid. 

Unfortunately, Megan also injured her knee early on. Turns out it was a meniscal tear. In August, she had surgery. Four days later, she was back in the box.

“My biggest fear was losing the momentum of Crossfit,” she said. Every day, the coaches modified the workout for her. By early October, less than two months after her surgery, she back-squatted 55 pounds 100 times. 

Another bonus? She’s lost 20 pounds with no other changes in her life. Although, she admits, “I am starting to make smarter choices about what I eat.”

Why are we telling Megan’s story? Because so many people think you have to be young and fit to do Crossfit. The reality is that anyone can do Crossfit – at any time. You just have to show up.