Friday, January 12, 2024

CrossFit in my 65th year: Act II

It wasn't a pretty lift. My butt came up but my chest was slower. The depth was marginal. But on Jan 2 2024, into my 65th year, I more-or-less equaled my back squat from two years ago. Even so, it was 10 lbs less than my "lifetime" best set when I was just 60.

And that was the end of Act I of my CrossFit journey. After 10 years, starting when I was a kid of 54, I've archived all my lifts and numbers. I'm a blank slate now, setting new numbers for the next few years.

Seeing my MRI helped me face the truth of oldness. I had squashed a disc (not my first) during some warmups 6 weeks before, and with persistent L4 numbness I decided it was time to get my first images. Forty-four years after some poor body surfing choices, and a bit of living, that spine looks ugly. 

Even I had to admit the obvious; I'm not going to set any more personal lifetime bests. Of course I only got them in my 60s because I started late! Also, no more standing on my head for handstand push-ups. That cervical spine ain't so great and cervical nerve problems are real bad.

It's not impossible that I'll figure out a way to do a ring mucle-up before I die, but I'm fine if I don't. It's a relief to start fresh.

Act II came a lot later than I'd expected when I started, but I never thought I'd be doing my big lifts at 85. I'm a physician, I know how it goes.

I think I'll be able to clear the bilateral L4 fragments with some physio and staying under 200 lbs of axial loading for a month or two (easy, just do more reps). For $30 a year I'm using the machines at my the community center. Emily and I make a date of it! CrossFit used to look down on that nautilus-type equipment but we're all older and more pragmatic now.  I can get a good leg workout there without loading the spine.

I think I'll clear the disk fragments in another 4-6 weeks; I'll be getting a physical therapy plan in a week or two. I figure machine lat pull-downs with some programmed flexion will combine a bit of traction and fragment smushing. If physio doesn't work there's always (ugh) surgery. Physicians generally avoid surgeons, but they do have their uses.

Act I is done. Act II has started. I'll figure out Act III if I get to to it.

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