September Member Profile

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Name: Barbara Black

Occupation outside of being a CFCA champ:
I am retired from education after 37 years doing a bunch of different things including teaching, program development, art and grant writing to name a few.

Residence when not in Gloucester for the summer:
Now I spend my winters (6-8 months) sailing in the Caribbean with my husband and dog on our 44 ft sailboat. We have been doing this for 11 years.  After 10 years cruising and getting older I began to feel like I wasn’t sure if I had the strength and stamina to continue much longer at the pace and with the pleasure that I had begun.  Joining Crossfit has changed all that.  The total experience has amazed me because I would never have done any of the exercises that I now do on a regular basis.  Almost everything that we do is new to me since joining Crossfit. I used to jog 2.5 miles five days a week before work but that was 11 years ago.

Favorite workout or lift:
My favorite workouts include the Turkish Get up and anything with the barbell.  OMG strength training for a 67 year old!!! Imagine my surprise when I went half way up the rope (and I’m afraid of heights)   Half way may be my limit because that Is my limit for going up the mast as well but WOW.  I hate the heart pounding stuff because I really need it and my endurance and stamina have definitely improved as a result.

Which class do you usually attend?
I usually go to the 8:30 session because its not too early (I’m retired after all) and that leaves most of the day ahead of me.  I also wasn’t sure that I would have the energy later in the day.  I’m happy to report that I now have energy throughout the day and feel energized enough for an afternoon workout if I can’t make the morning.

How did you find out about crossfit?
I first heard about Crossfit from my brother and sister in law who advocated strongly for me to go to a couple of sessions with them. They  loved the training and Paleo so much that my brother is now a trainer at the Ocean City Crossfit in Berlin Md.  Needless to say, the training proved to be everything and more that they said.

How has Crossfit changed your life outside of the gym?
Crossfit has vastly improved my quality of life from the energy that I wake up with, my ability to do work on the house and boat that used to exhaust me even before starting, to playing hard and long with grandkids. For example, last week while camping I (the second oldest of the 4 grandparents) was the only one swimming across Ricker Pond in Vt while the parents and other grandparents sat on the shore smiling and waving.  Personally I prefer to play with than watch the little kids.  I guess you can hear from this that family is what motivates me.

What and/or who motivates/inspires you?
The other big motivator for me is seeing others work out.  This is especially true for me when I see someone in the gym who is really struggling. It doesn’t matter if they are already fit or not I know they are giving all they’ve got at the moment, maybe more. Oh, I also love to see my coaches really grimacing in a workout and realize that they probably feel just like I do at that moment.  I love to hear  “good Barbara.” and realize that someone is keeping an eye on things.

Name one goal/personal achievement you would like to achieve with the gains made through Crossfit?
My personal goals connected with Crossfit relate to staying really fit and energized for at least 3 more years of cruising and many more years of painting (art), grand-parenting and travel.  Evidence that I might be getting there comes from my most recent doctors visit for my annual physical in which my doctor said for the second year in a row that I was the healthiest and most fit person for my age that they have in their practice. I’ll be 70 next year and I expect to be doing Crossfit then too. I’m actually stronger now than I was 5 years ago; If profiling me will help other “elders” get into Crossfit then I am all for it. Thank you Crossfit.

What’s your favorite aspect of CFCA?

My favorite aspect of Crossfit, being with a group of folks that not only want to get and stay healthy, strong and fit but support each other in that effort.

Any advice for newbies?
I would advise “newbies” to take good advantage of any and all modifications to the workouts that feel too difficult.  They allowed me to have a great sense of accomplishment instead of failure. Also, I got stronger and in many cases began to do the workout without modifications eventually. So OK, I may never do a chin up without a band but I most definitely have muscles in my upper arms and shoulders that were not there before.

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