Physical confidence, CrossFit and MovNat

CrossFit has been so great for me! By staying with it for the past eight years solid, I’ve lost any perspective on what my life and body would be like without it. I am 48 years old. At my age, many people are matronly and weak, or stiff and heavy, and many also have health and metabolism compromises that are accelerating the aging process. These processes take away your vitality and agility in a vicous cycle. Don’t use and challenge your body appropriately, don’t eat right, health is compromised, it’s harder to challenge your body, the ability to move deteriorates, bad food makes it harder to access your body’s energy, you’re tired all the time, stressed, and can’t move. Would this have been me? It’s hard to imagine but it’s certainly possible.

Okay, so I learned to deadlift and squat and press, clean and jerk and snatch, and I learned to push my body through conditioning workouts that are hard for me. The stronger and better I got, the harder I was able to push, so the workouts never got easier, and I’ve stayed fit. Yes, I’ve plateaued. I’m pretty happy with my plateau in many ways. I can deadlift over 200 pounds, squat close to it. I can finish a CrossFit workout in the middle of the pack with experienced/fit/youthful people. I was very pleased with my most recent “Fran” time with the butterfly pull-ups. CrossFit-wise, I now work to stay on my plateau and that’s fine with me.

BUT: Nevertheless I have felt my agility declining for the past couple of years. As I learned CrossFit, I loved incorporating new “stunts,” such as pistols, hip-overs, one-arm barbell snatches, and bar muscle-ups. Still I found myself not bounding down stairs two at a time like when I was young, not dashing across the street to beat the cars, not choosing to walk along a narrow log to balance on because I didn’t trust my balance. How could this deterioration occur when I’ve stayed so fit?

I decided to add the MovNat method to my training. Their hip mobility drills, which are performed mostly with the butt on the ground, are helping me loosen up my whole lower body for better agility and bounding. The balance practice, on a low beam and on slightly unstable, uneven things like a half-sawn drift log, is strengthening my lower legs and feet and training me to trust my brain and feet/legs to be accurate. With just a small amount of training (three sessions so far this year plus work done on my own in the gym and at the park), I already feel like I have a younger body! So far this is not complicated or exhausting. It is a learning process.

My goals right now: be able to vault over something in a basic parcour style; be able to mount a balance beam or similar (like a bridge rail for swimming!) and comfortably stand up and walk along it, turn, and squat.

CrossFit is great preparation for this, but I see MovNat as being more about fine motor skills. The two are a great complement to each other. I want CrossFit, at least in my life and my gym, always to be about exploration and finding the fun in hard physical skills/stunts rather than being about competing in certain set, expected exercises that are all codified. That’s what I loved about CrossFit when it was new, and that’s what I see MovNat as bringing to it from the perspective of a CrossFitter.