Top 12 reasons why this 47-year-old HATES Crossfit


This isn’t me, but it’s pretty accurate. I’m often like this BEFORE the WOD. (Photo by NorCo Crossfit)

After nearly three years in, I have a love/hate relationship with Crossfit.

It’s mostly hate.

The majority of my 47 years were blissfully Crossfit-free, and I lived out my days happy and free of the dread associated with upcoming workouts and the soreness associated with past workouts.  It was all good.  (Except for the whole fat, weak, undisciplined, out-of-shape, crappy-quality-of-life part of it.)

And then, my do-gooder wife shamed me into it because she wanted to “lose weight” and “look and feel better.”  Kicking and screaming, I went, lost 50 pounds, and had to listen to an incessant stream of I-told-you-sos.  She’s now one of those annoying people who gushes on and on about how much she loves Crossfit and couldn’t live without it.

I’m not one of those people.  What I love about Crossfit can be summed up quickly:  I love it the second the WOD (workout of the day) is over.  Everything up ’till then sucks.

With all that said, here’s the top 12 reasons — specifically and in no particular order — why this 47-year-old absolutely hates Crossfit.

  1. The trainers tick me off.  I’ve had several of them and they’re all the same.  First of all, they’re all built like Greek gods and goddesses;  B) they always act like they “care” about me and are all concerned with my welfare, though I suspect it’s all an elaborate put-on, like the moon walk;  Thirdly) they never seem to buy any of my perfectly good excu- reasons why I can’t do something or complete a WOD.  The fact that I could be my current trainer’s dad hasn’t earned me one modicum of respect or sympathy.  What’s with these people?
  2. The Posting of the WOD.  Every morning, my trainer posts the WOD on Facebook, and for some stupid reason, I read it.  This is at around 6:30 a.m.  I work out at 5:30 p.m.  Using my fingers to do the math, that gives me 11 hours to dread the WOD.  I can do it driving, while playing Candy Crush on my phone, working, sitting on the pot, giving a work presentation, just anywhere.  I’ve become quite proficient at dreading the WOD and trying to figure out ways not to go to the box.
  3. My conscience.  There are WODs where I really, truly believe that if I try to do one more pull-up, my arms will actually fall off.  Or that my bleached skeleton will be discovered under the bridge at the 400-meter mark because I decided the run back to the box (what we call a Crossfit gym) was too much trouble and it was easier and more comfortable to go ahead and die there.  It would be quite simple to just cheat and not complete all my reps or rounds, but for some reason, I rarely do.  Don’t get me wrong — I might accidentally cheat a rep or two here or there — but I seem incapable of really letting myself off the hook.  It may be that I’m afraid the Crossfit gods will catch me, send me to Hell, and program an eternity of “hero” WODs.  And I ain’t going there, buddy.
  4. Young people.  OK, I know that many people will say that at 47, I’m still a young man.  But those people are, like, 92.  My box is full of people who are actually young — 20s and early 30s and such.  I marvel at them.  I was watching one young guy, Phil, doing burpees the other day with the strength of an Olympian and the finesse of a dancer.  Ten or 20 at a time without slowing, bouncing off the floor and into the air with an arrogant defiance of gravity.  By comparison, I’m like a six-foot-five-inch sack of dog food repeatedly crashing to the ground and struggling to re-animate itself back into an awkward standing position, topped off with a pitiful hop that wouldn’t clear an earthworm.  Young people suck.  I hate them.
  5. Thrusters.  Who the hell came up with this exercise, anyway??  Hitler?  Thrusters involve doing a front squat — often with heavy weight — and then elevating into a push press at the completion of the squat.  Rinse and repeat.  Frankly, it’s rude and uncalled for.  Aren’t we already in here working our asses off when we could be home on the couch like normal people?  Must you squash our very spirit, too??  If the punishment for a felony was five years of 135-pound thrusters, I guarantee you, prisons would be unnecessary.  There would be no crime.
  6. The music.  So, we’ve established that there are young people in the box, right?  Much to my displeasure, it seems that young people don’t want to work out to James Taylor, Dan Fogelberg, or ELO.  Quite the contrary.  Hip hop music seems to be the sonic driver of fitness these days, and it’s actually educational.  Yesterday, I learned some new words while doing hand-release pushups.  Unfortunately, I can’t use these words unless I’m attending, perhaps, a drive-by shooting or a drunken frat party.  (They might be a little harsh for the frat party, now that I think about it.)

  7. “Rounds-for-time” WODs.  As much as I try to convince myself that I don’t have much of an ego, I have to admit that I really do hate always being last.  RFT WODs, if you don’t know, are a collection of movements and reps that are repeated over a set number of rounds, usually five, until completed.  All participants start at the same time and finish, well, whenever they finish.  By contrast, AMRAPs — as many rounds as possible — are completed within a specified time range, usually 15 or 20 minutes.  Everybody starts AND finishes at the same time, recording their total rounds at the end on the whiteboard.  I love AMRAPs.  I love them because I’m not left there trying to complete my workout in desperation while others have long since finished, stretched out, showered, dressed, gone home, gotten married, had kids, grown old, and died.
  8. Partner-carries.  It is what it sounds like.  As part of the WOD, you have to literally carry your partner some specified distance — perhaps 200 meters.  I’ve done this once.  My partner was my trainer, Nick, who is 28 years old, 240 pounds, and built like Tarzan.  I’m 235 pounds, NOT 28, and NOT built like Tarzan. We had to do a bunch of other crap before carrying each other 200 meters apiece, as if that wasn’t insanity enough.  I’m not sure which was worse — being the carrier or the carry-ee.  Slung over Nick’s back like a bag of garden mulch, his shoulder jammed into my already-upset stomach, I was being rattled to pieces, upside down, out of breath, trying desperately to hang on and not puke all over me and him both.  At one pitiful point, Nick scooped me up in his arms like a gasping, gangling, bald-headed, white-bearded, Benjamin Button baby and ran down the busy street, cars passing with aghast faces peering out in shock and people deciding whether or not to call 911.  It was one of my crowning moments, let me assure you.
  9. The smells of the run.  Most Crossfit boxes are in retail strip malls or in industrial areas.  This makes running very interesting.  My favorite parts are the smells I encounter along the way.  On a 400-meter run, those of us at Crossfit Barefoot run a gauntlet of fragrances that waft from a Chinese restaurant, a Pep Boys auto shop, an exhaust-laden street, a pee-smelling highway overpass, and numerous dumpsters, cigarette depositories, and trashcans.  I feel like Katniss in “The Hunger Games,” dashing to reach her bow in the cornucopia and not get slaughtered in the process, except my opponents are disgusting odors.  Combined, these odors usually win.  (By the way, you may enjoy this blog I wrote about attempting my first trail run.  You decide:  Daniel-Day Lewis or Jerry Lewis?  Click here.)
  10. Handstand pushups.  When executing a handstand pushup, you literally stand on your hands with your feet overhead resting against the wall.  Then, you lower your head to the mat and back up again, like a pushup.  That is, if you can do them.  You first must be able to “get on the wall.”  This is my problem — getting on the wall.  Call me an elitist, but I prefer to walk on my feet.  I’ve been doing it all my life and I’m good at it.  I’m not a gymnast and one look at me will confirm this to everyone except, perhaps, Stevie Wonder.  Me trying to get on the wall resembles a gawky 4th-grade girl attempting cartwheels in a city park, the difference being that gawky 4th-grade girls can actually DO cartwheels.  I have yet to complete a single handstand pushup, but I’ve certainly mastered the art of the failed attempt.  Nailed it!
  11. Encouragement.  This, I know, sounds non-intuitive, but I really hate receiving encouragement.  You see, when I’m the one offering the encouragement, it’s usually because I’m impressed with the person and their performance.  “Hey, way to go, Alex!  Great job!” or “Good job, Andrea!  You’re killing it!”   But when others encourage me, I suspect it’s because they are sad for me or they are truly afraid that I might die and they want me to go out on a positive note.  “Good job, Mark!  We’ll be sure to send your belongings home to your family members!  Great work!”  Encouragement sucks.
  12. Positive change.  OK, I said these weren’t in order, but I actually saved this one for last because it’s the worst.  I’m here to tell you, if you’re considering taking up Crossfit, for God’s sake, DON’T!  It’s an insidious trap, because much to your eternal horror, positive changes will enter your life despite your best efforts.  You’ll lose weight, get stronger, start looking like Tarzan (guys), and literally feel better, which is super annoying.  If you’re like many people — my wife, for example — you’ll even enjoy the process itself and cherish the camaraderie and new friendships.  And what will this mean??  Yep. You guessed it. You’ll have to keep doing it. More trainers, posted WODs, guilty consciences, disgusting young people, thrusters, hip hop, rounds-for-time, humiliating partner-carries, odor runs, thinly-veiled encouragement, and positive change. It’s a vicious circle. Run! Run while you still can!

Oh, and your do-gooder wife will keep telling you she told you so.

(I hate Crossfit…)

* * *

UPDATE Nov. 17, 2017: Read about my trekking company’s misadventure as we ventured onto the 12.5-mile Fiery Gizzard Trail in Tennessee.

UPDATE! Read my brand-spanking-new Crossfit-ish entry: The Top 10 Reasons I Might Not Work Out Today.

NOTE: This particular blog has resulted in hundreds of thousands (you read that right) of page views and an upcoming story in the September issue of “Men’s Fitness” magazine.  Watch for it.  Also, read my follow-up blog, “Crossfit and aging: The value is in the TRYING.”

Also see: “Top 9 Reasons why I should be the ‘Face of Crossfit’ instead of Rich Froning,” “The Top 11 Things a Crossfit Virgin Should Know,” “Top 10 Lame-Ass Reasons Not to Exercise”, “Top 11 Things a Warrior Dash Virgin Should Know,” and “I Know You’re Trying to Be Nice. Don’t.”

That's me — black shirt, bald head on the right — contemplating ways to get out of the upcoming WOD. Don't I look happy?

That’s me — black shirt, bald head on the right — contemplating ways to get out of the upcoming WOD during the warmup. Don’t I look happy? (Photo by Vanessa Hampton)


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386 Responses to “Top 12 reasons why this 47-year-old HATES Crossfit”

  1. Lola Potter says:

    You have put in writing everything this 55-year-old CrossFitter is thinking every day. THANK YOU!

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Glad I could be of service, Lola! Thanks for reading and commenting! Best of luck with your Crossfitting, and remember: Don’t let your trainer give you a hard time!

      • joey says:

        yup. 52 yrs old, also hating yet somehow continuing the self punishment.

      • hisdaughter says:

        Awesome dad! I had to reply because I don’t know how to comment :/ Real funny! Mom is sorta annoying about how much she likes Crossfit 😀

      • And here I was thinking that 50-year-old me’s sentiments were uniquely my own. I’ve actually given myself a time cap. I started Crossfit in April of last year and I figured come April of this year, if I’m still NOT raring to go to the box each time, then I should quit. You see, I play badminton on my off-Crossfit days and it would take a major catastrophe to keep me from playing. I was thinking I should feel like that about Crossfit. Now you have me on the fence on that.

        • Mark Johnson says:

          You mean, leaning toward quitting or leaning toward NOT quitting? Here’s what I’ve decided: As much as I freaking hate a lot of it, I know it’s great for me, period. And I really to enjoy the friendships I’ve developed in there. Therefore, I’ll keep going until something prevents me from doing so. I hope you will, too!

      • That was hilarious! I loved the partner WOD, haha!!

      • Howard Kim says:

        you are way ahead of me. At 55, I have to scale at least half of the WODs.

      • Steven says:

        Tears of laughter streaming down my bloated48 yr old face and yet- I want some Crossfit in my life. No wait- I really believe I need it. Thank you for the warning s and the encouragement?!

        • Mark Johnson says:

          Hey, Steven! Hahaha! Glad I could generate some tears for you! And I see you’re with Kubota — I’m an old Kubota man, too! Never sold them, but used them on my dad’s farm for years when I was a kid. I still fantasize about having my own mid-size Kubota with a bush hog. (Of course, then I’d have to acquire enough land to bush hog on.)

    • cindyjuliano says:

      and this 54 year old! thank you so much! glad to know i’m not the only one out there who feels this way! Crossfit is truly a love-hate relationship for me, too! and it’s really fun being the oldest person in the gym…always.

      • Judy says:

        At 69 I’m thrilled that what I can do bears a slight resemblance to what others are doing – I’ve only got 6 months under my belt so it will get better.

    • Tom says:

      Insert me in place of man with bald head and black shirt, but add 10 years. The best part is finishing. Hey, I was luck enough to rupture my plantaris muscle in my calf. First day back I thought I would take it easy- Murph work out (oh Boy).

    • Ditto for this 65 y/o:)!!!

    • Liesbeth says:

      You’re a baby. 61 and just started crossfire. When I drive up to the box I hate it, but when I drive home I love it. 🏋️‍♀️

      • Mark Johnson says:

        Excellent, Liesbeth! You’re an inspiration. At 50, it’s been a while since someone called me a “baby.” (That is, as related to age rather than lack of courage. I get called “baby” about that on a regular basis.) Thanks for the comment and keep at it!

    • Jim Spencer says:

      Oh yes, you have me dead on.54 yr old guy do insanity and burned out and look 4 ways not to do it.glad I’m not alone! Good luck all

  2. Christian says:

    This is great!! I was laughing so hard at my desk I got sssshhhhh several times. Thank

  3. Pamela says:

    Absolutely hilarious read. And 100% true. Every.Word.
    A 45yo CrossFitter chick

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Sometimes the truth is what’s funniest. As a 40-something Crossfitter, you know exactly what I go through every day. (Although you’re probably a lot better at Crossfit than me!) Thanks for reading and posting!

  4. Trish says:

    Too funny! Loved this one. This 47 yr. young works out at home for the very reasons you expressed. Oh and it was obvious which one was you without an explanation 🙂 Keep em coming…..

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Thanks, Trish! I’m not sure if I was easiest identified by my bald head or my unhappy expression! Good luck with your home workouts!

      • Whitney says:

        I just wanted to say Thank you to you Mark and the other 40 and over men and women who didn’t give up on fitness! Ill be 50 in June and I hope to be in the best shape of my life!

  5. Cathy Reynolds says:

    HA!!Mark I was literately laughing out loud as I read this!! I particularly like the description of dog food in your analogy!!! Sure miss you guys !

  6. Tom Beckwith says:

    Mark, Add 13 years to the age (60) and you’re talking about me!! Great article.

  7. Awesome! Thanks for the laugh and making me feel guilty at the same time. Was reminded of doing burpees with you on one of those long torturous saturday “for time” support you! 😉 Don’t worry, there was no pity. Old man, you are an inspirational CF cult member – never stopping, always determined and always giving your best. You put the rest of us to shame! Miss you at the box!

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Jen, thanks so much for your comment. I remember that Saturday WOD when you encouraged me through those last 10 burpees! That was a tough one. However, I don’t think I’ve ever put anyone to shame! But that’s very sweet of you to say — I appreciate it. Miss y’all too!

  8. Uncle Buck says:

    My wife has me on this “cross-fit” program……….my WOD goes from weedeating. to hedge trimming to push-mowing, to car washing, to polwing the garden to…..the list is endless. The end results are always gratifying………….as to a neat yard, clean car and such………….but she is worse than any trainer……..she is an expert in mental manipulation.
    I feel your pain…………….looking forward to winter and the changes of the WOD…wood chopping. closet organization……..Love you’all

  9. As a published author and self-proclaimed humorist, I feel qualified in stating that you, Sir, are a very, very gifted scribe!

  10. Lisa says:

    This is AMAZING! So hilarious and EXACTLY my thoughts when I WAS cross fitting. I have stopped because I just couldn’t stand all of the above anymore. I hope someday to go back, but right now, I love running with my dogs, and playing soccer on the weekends without dreading the week day workouts after four games!! LOVE THIS!! THANK YOU!!

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Lisa, thanks for the awesome comment! Yeah, if it weren’t for my do-gooder wife, I’d probably have bagged it by now. I’m always glad I finished and proud of myself after every WOD, but I always dread the next one just as much, too. I’m constantly teetering on a fine line between “I love Crossfit” and “I don’t love Crossfit enough to actually do it.”

  11. Arlene says:

    Thank you from a 48 year woman you have said everything that I think but would never say

  12. Mt says:

    I am assuming the last picture is your warm up….what game/what aRe you playing/doing?! *casually ignores all your complaints*

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Thanks for the comment, mtaylor. I don’t know the name of that warm-up, but we had a few medicine ball and were passing them around the circle pretty quickly, essentially doing Russian twists with each movement. I don’t blame you for ignoring my complaints; everyone else does…

  13. Kelli says:

    It took me like an hour to read this. I had to stop 4 trillion times to wipe the snot from my nose, the tears from my eyes, and because I was laughing so hard that I thought I might throw up and die.

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Hahahaha! This comment was worth writing the whole thing!

      • Kelli says:

        Unfortunately, it was all the truth. I literally put my phone down, stopped reading, and took multiple breaks to get a hold of myself. I took one of my breaks to take out my contacts and started laughing like a mad donkey and nearly gouged out my eye. Then I tried to use the potty on another break. That did not work out well (laughing like a hyena on the toilet while trying to do snot control on the face does NOT make for a pleasant bathroom stop), so I gave up on trying to be ambitious on my reading breaks and laid down to laugh until I wanted to throw up (and die).

        • Mark Johnson says:

          Please don’t throw up and die! I don’t want your untimely demise on my conscience. If you don’t mind me asking, Kelli, where do you see my story? It’s getting a lot of activity today and I can’t tell where it’s all coming from. And thanks again for your very funny comments.

          • Kelli says:

            I had a friend who posted it on her feed on Facebook. I actually saw several friends post it. And then I posted it. It’s viral now. 🙂

            I am a crazy CrossFitter myself. I’m 29, so you probably dislike me a lot. And a former gymnast. But I actually suck at CrossFit. Pretty badly. People 50+ in age kill me in WODs all the time. What am I talking about? People who are 80+ in age kill me in WODs. :/

          • Mark Johnson says:

            Kelli, the reason I probably dislike you a lot (not really) is because, as a former gymnast, you can do HSPUs and other stuff where you go upside down. I bet you can do muscle-ups, too. I can’t even dive into a swimming pool without belly-flopping. When I use the word “dislike,” I actually mean “envy!”

          • Fan of Crossfit says:

            Mark this was hilarious but Kelli your comment about the contacts was so funny it made me cry, snot, cough, etc. I could barely talk to read it to my husband. Who of course laughed at me.

    • Michelle says:

      What Kelli said.

  14. Sharon says:

    This is hilarious. As a 55 y/o Crossfitter and trainer this was dead on. I laughed so hard as I am sitting here barely able to lift my arms to type.

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Sharon, you’re a trainer and 8 years older than me, so I’m on my knees, head down, arms outstretched, bowing to you. (Literally, I’m doing that to the computer right now.) If you were MY trainer, I’d be in deep ka-ka because I wouldn’t be able to play the age card when things got really bad. That’s my one saving grace. Thanks for the comment and congrats on your Crossfit success!

  15. My Tuipala says:

    Died laughing so hard my abs are sore……Super hilarious and right on point! very well written!

    • Mark Johnson says:

      If your abs are sore, you must’ve read this blog two days ago. (At least, that’s when my sore abs kick in.) Thanks for commenting and sharing, My Tuipala! (Cool name, by the way.)

  16. Marshall Breite says:

    Mark, even though you are still a “babe in arms” compared to my 61 years, I loved your article. If I was at your box, you would definitely not be the last one finished!

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Don’t be so sure, Marshall. At my old box, there was a 65 year old (maybe older) who routinely kicked my butt. I’m just very tall and slow. When my trainer yells, “Fast elbows,” during cleans, I roll my eyes. My elbows ain’t gettin’ any faster, dude… Thanks for commenting and representing the more experienced age group!

  17. Steve Kasprisin says:

    I am a 60 year old Crossfitter in my 3rd year and was wondering when you were at my box watching my workouts. The one thing you did not mention was the dreaded double unders 2 years and still can only do one without tripping!

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Steve, I agree that double unders are of the devil. Strangely, though, it’s THE one thing in Crossfit that I have a knack for. The first time I tried one I got it. Problem is, I can’t do too many before gassing myself. Skill — yes. Stamina — no. Everything else in Crossfit? Skill — no. Stamina — no.

  18. Kristi says:

    Hilarious!! I’m a 47 year old CrossFitter and just recently started coaching at my box… Been doing this for 2 years, and everything you said was “spot on”. I read it out loud to my hubby that I’m still trying to convince to get on board… still no-go. Something about kool aid and cults… ;-). I had tears while reading, thanks for the good laugh! You write really good, I subscribed!

  19. Judy McBride says:

    Perfect!! I’ve been out of the loop since
    “Sandy” Than other issues, now it’s just a matter of getting back. This 58 year old Mother of a coach knows she needs too!!

  20. Tom Glaser says:

    This was sent to me by my daughter – a crossfit younger afficindo – who has talked me into Crossfit – at 64 I should know better – the only thing I feel you may have left out in this blog is how inflexible & sloppy we “oldsters” look when trying to do a Turkish Getup or the 5th Burpee – and I thought pull ups were difficult. thanks for writing what I have been feeling – I also watch a lot of video trying to learn all these movements trying to become a “Supple Leopard”

    • Helen Brennan says:

      keep at it and you will become a “supple leopard”.. and stronger and have fun and all that Mark says as well…I started at 58 and here i am still CFing at 63 and lovin it ..never ever dreamed that as a 63yo woman i could possibly be doing these things and enjoying it so much. The only drawback is the ny Cf bucket list keeps growing

  21. Barb deane says:

    Great article as a sixties female I am feeling the same way but wouldn’t give it up for anything

  22. Ben says:

    Ok, I’m probably going to be one of the only negative comment-ers on here, at least that I’ve seen so far. I am sorry, and I’m sure most of what you say is pretty true, except for the most part you just seem pretty whiney about it. The reason most peoples’ workout routines fail is from lack of motivation, so your conscience, the trainers, your fellow crossfiters, are all there to help motivate you so you continue. You complain about “having” continuing it because you feel obligated, but that’s just a fact of life that in order to stay in better shape, you just…. have to keep doing it. Yeah, it sucks. But that’s just the way it is. Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as annoyed by the obnoxious people who just can’t shut up about cross fit, but there are always going to be annoying people in the world. Get over it. My main point is, as a 47 year old, you are probably in better shape (and I’m just throwing out a number based on conjecture) about 75%-85% of the people your age. Doesn’t that make you feel great? Why are you complaining about having lost weight and feeling a ton better? Isn’t that the whole point? And before you accuse, no I’m not one of those “Greek God” types. I’m only 23, but I feel generally in the same boat as you. Most of my buddies or others I work out with can generally do more, go longer, faster, higher, etc. My 54 y.o. step mom can kick my ass in pretty much any activity. But guess what. Unless you’re a gold medal Olympian, there’s someone who’s better than you. Except that and move on. I do rather dislike hip-hop as well, but just ignore the words, and use the rhythm to keep you going. I am (actually) glad that many have identified with your article and found it side-splitingly hilarious, however, even though I also identified with many of your complaints, I did not find it funny, but rather the pithy grumblings of discontent man because so many of your arguments were based on little else than pretty much ‘just cause’. So be annoyed for a little while, get over, and move on, and continue the fantastic effort you’ve put forth to do what so few other can bother to do. Don’t worry what the gods and goddesses can do, just be proud of what you have done and can do.

    • Mark says:

      @Ben- I guess you missed the satirical nature of the entire post.

      • monda clemons says:

        Well put Mark, dude needs a lesson in humor!

      • Karen Mickle says:

        “Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a choice word, aptly spoken.” (Mark, this was my first thought regarding your reply to HRH and 23-Year-Old-Knower-Of-All-Things.) I’m certain you were as grateful to bask in the depths of his wisdom and insight as I was to read about it. U.R.FUNNY! Keep writing, and I’ll keep reading.

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Hi,Ben. I appreciate the fact that you spent so much time and effort on this comment. I’m always amazed when something I write creates so much thought in someone else.

      By the nature of your comment, I’m assuming that you expect a response, so I’m happy to oblige.

      I hate to point out what appears to be The Obvious, but you’ve missed the point. This article is what is often called “tongue-in-cheek,” which means I don’t really mean what I’m saying. I think that most people are getting the idea that I’m actually promoting hard exercise — Crossfit, specifically. I’m also commenting on life and exercise as a 47-year-old. But since you seem to be taking this article very seriously, I’ll be serious for a moment.

      The hard truth is, strength, endurance, and flexibility are athletic qualities that are much less available to a person of my age group than to a person of yours. Another hard truth is that, if they’re being honest, most 47-year-olds would prefer a 23-year-old body. But this in no way means they’re jealous or bitter toward younger people.

      As a 23-year-old, there’s really no way that you can truly understand much of what I’m saying, if you’re taking my all my “complaints” in a literal sense. Make yourself an Outlook reminder to check back with this article in 24 years. Then, it may ring true and funny to you, and not seem to be the pithy grumblings of a discontent man. The fact is, I’m quite content and very proud to be a Crossfitter. I mainly do Crossfit to set an example for my three children, so they will learn how to lead healthy lives.

      As far as the gods and goddesses go, again, Ben, you’re missing my point. These people are my good friends and I admire them greatly. I’m not worried about what they can or can’t do.

      I’m sorry you didn’t find my blog funny, Ben. That’s OK. I hope you’ll continue to be a staunch proponent of Crossfit and carry the flag proudly. But as someone who could easily be your dad, I’ll give you some parental advice: Before you call a complete stranger “pithy” and “whiney” and “discontent,” re-read the article in question ask yourself, “Did he REALLY mean this, or could he be using humor and irony?” In other words, lighten up. Let me introduce you to an old friend of mine. Ben, meet satire. Satire, this is Ben.

      Now that we’ve cleared the air, Ben, if you’re ever in Nashville, I’d love to have you work out with me at my box, Crossfit Barefoot, or even drink a beer. I bet I can make you laugh!

      • Ben says:

        I deeply thank you for your thoughtful response. Another thing I should have mentioned is that I do realize is that I understand that I’m not exactly the target audience of this post and I did realize when I was writing my post that I could have no way of knowing what having a 47 y.o. body. That being said, I do often take things a bit seriously so thank you for setting me straight. Maybe if I had read some of your other articles I would have understood the point a bit better (assuming you have other satire articles which I’m sure you do). Being so young I am always trying to learn from those more experienced than I so thank you being the one I learned from today.

        • Mark Johnson says:

          Ben, don’t sweat it, man! I do occasionally write some serious stuff, but not very often. Even when the subject is serious, I like to find ways to make it funny, usually at my own expense. At 23, I was way too busy trying to be cool, fending off poverty, and chasing women to be writing or reading satirical articles about exercise and aging, so given my own sordid past (15 years as a road musician), I can’t judge too harshly. The bottom line is, you’re smart and mature enough to understand the value of taking care of your body. It took me to 44 to get that. You are to be congratulated and admired! Best of luck to you.

  23. Love this post! You expressed my sentiments about Crossfit perfectly…a love/hate relationship for sure.

    In the spirit of community, may I also share a piece I wrote on Crossfit? You can read it here:

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Carrie, thanks, first of all, for your comment. Secondly and more importantly, I LOVE your article! Fantastic! This is precisely what makes Crossfit the unusual and wonderful thing that it is: the people and the community. I doubt Mr. Glassman foresaw that element when he developed Crossfit. And I love how you give us a real-world example of the importance of the strength you’ve developed. It’s a little more than just looking hot in a bikini or swim trunks. For me, Crossfit is largely about dealing with chronic lower back problems in daily life. Anyway, thanks so much for sharing this on my page. I’m honored! I may even try out some Bikram yoga, too!

  24. charlene says:

    Laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes…all of it so true…

  25. Sudi says:

    Mark…this could have been me writing this:) Except for the odors because our CrossFit is in the pristine mountains at 9000 FEET!!! So, the 400 meter run seems like 400 miles..ha ha!! LOVE your article and I also love how serious Ben is…

  26. Megan Frebault Carmody says:

    Great insight — especially, the part about the music. I cannot distinguish one song from another. I kinda like being 52 and a crossfitter though!

  27. Kathy Fortin says:

    Oh, my…at 55 years old, this makes me want to go sign up. Somebody stop me!!

  28. Jacki Dool says:

    I whole heartly agree with everything you wrote. Enjoyed reading exactly how I feel about crossfit. Especially the thrusters. Thank you!

  29. female crossfiter at 48 says:

    sorry..48 year old female and love crossfit. can’t relate to any one of these…prolly would relate to your wife. i’m a great burpee-er and love the music.

    • Mark Johnson says:

      “Female cross fitter at 48,” you’re my hero, just like my wife. I think it’s awesome that you can’t relate. I wish I couldn’t relate!! Seriously, I truly do admire the folks who have the natural drive to excel in something as tough as Crossfit. You are inspirations.

  30. DJ says:

    49 year old here – who absolutely agrees 100% with what you wrote. Very astute and funny take on what us old farts go through…You sir are my new hero!

    • Mark Johnson says:

      DJ, had you seen me spread eagle on the floor after our 4-rounds of 1,000-meter rows tonight, you wouldn’t have thought me heroic. I did look like an old fart, though. Thanks for an awesome comment!

  31. Shawn walsh says:

    This was awesome! Can’t wait to share this. I’m glad I still have 6 years before I start feeling this way!

  32. Absolutely hysterical! I shared this in my box’s Facebook group and we’re all quoting it and laughing uncontrollably. You hit the nail on the head. Repeatedly!

  33. Kim says:

    Thank God I’m not alone! Being 51 and working out with all those youngsters often makes me feel bad about myself and I hate that:(

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Kim, I hear what you’re saying, and my only advice would be to do what I’m doing in this blog: just laugh at yourself and admire the youngsters. Even though our backs hurt, and we’re not as flexible as we used to be, and we’re not slimming down as fast as we want, and we’ve probably passed the point of ever offering any real competition to Rich Froning and Annie Thorsdottir, we can still improve ourselves dramatically and serve as inspirations to those whippersnappers. Don’t feel bad about yourself. Rather, feel wildly proud of yourself! How many of your 51-year-old friends are throwing around 35-pound kettle bells, running two miles, and kicking out some deadlifts?? A very tiny percentage, I’d wager. You’re a member of a rare breed.

      • Heather says:

        His response is exactly right. I am 43. I left a box because it was not meant for people who were a little experienced, a little fluffier ( in my case anyway), not as bendy as they once were…. the list goes on. I found a new box that suits me. This article was spot on. I hate to love CrossFit. Got my sister addicted. Do not feel bad about yourself. What you are doing is amazing. Most wouldn’t even attempt it.

    • Holly says:

      Believe me, I have my days, too. Then I remember that I’m NOT 28 and so shouldn’t compare myself with them. I do a great job for a 42-year-old and occasionally even do something faster than one of those 28-year-olds. Very occasionally, but still. I like to think they look up to me as someone they’d like to be like when they hit 42 and have 3 children of their own. I don’t know if this happens, but a girl can dream. 🙂

      Hang in there, Kim!

  34. Kate says:

    I’m 27, and I feel the exact same way!! Great read!

  35. Kenny W says:

    Very entertaining. I’m not a Cross-Fitter…at least yet. At 48, I was fed up with not being able to do active things with my daughters. So I dusted off the box Insanity came in a year earlier (and not used) and got to work. I hated Shaun T, Tanya, Chris and all the others in the videos. I hated the “hip burners”. But there I was every morning, turning on the TV hoping today would be easier than yesterday. It usually wasn’t. Fortunately, I completed the program and didn’t feel guilty about not restarting it. Now 2 years later, I’ve continued staying in shape by running and swimming.

  36. Cory says:

    Great stuff and so true and I’m the older guy at my gym at 35.. ! I did a 15 min EMOM WOD today with Clusters and now I feel like I need to take 15 Advil just to fall asleep so that I can get up at 6:45 to check tomorrow’s WOD.

  37. Lizzie says:

    As a 42-year old CrossFit newbie…I get it. My box used to post the WOD, but they stopped. This leads me to worrying all day that I’ll have to run a mile AS THE WARM UP. It seriously gives me scaredy farts. So inappropriate for a lady…

  38. Vangi says:

    Nearly died laughing. But my 45 year-old, six babies worth abs were too sore from today’s frickin’ wod to get the full belly-laugh effect. So great. So true. So FUN. Thanks!

  39. Ale says:

    I’m a 23-yr-old girl that is laughing hysterically at your post because you just put in words everything I “hate” about Crossfit. Thank you for your awesome post!!!

  40. Debbie says:

    A good friend of mine at work send me your article via email…as he knew I would enjoy it. I forwarded this article via facebook for my crossfit friends. Hilarious! From a 44 year old!

  41. Rebecca says:

    Well, I am 35 and share all of your thoughts (especially #11). I once had an 18 year old trainer tell me not to drink water during a WOD and to just keep going. Of course I stopped, drank my water, looked at him and told him I am twice his age and if I don’t drink water during the WOD I will probably die. A little dramatic perhaps, but I felt at the time that it was true.

  42. Rachel says:

    Beautifully said. Love your sense of humor and writing style!

  43. Jim says:

    This is so true and funny…thats coming from a 55 year old crosfitter doing it for almost 4 years. Keep up the good work buddy! The AARP group has to stick together!

  44. So. Damn. Funny. So. Freakin. True. I laughed until I cried. You have no idea how much I needed to do that today. I am already crying on my own today because I’m a CrossFitter who is now in menopause (49 for a few more months) AND PMSing (I get it all) and I’m so sore from Monday’s WOD I wonder if I may have broken both arms the pain is so ridiculous. You absolutely nailed the burpee form. I’m with you brother. And yet, I’ve never loved working out more. You couldn’t pay me to go back to a “regular” gym! Thanks for a stupendous post!!!

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Katherine, your comment makes my heart happy. My lovely, do-gooder wife has been battling menopause since her mid-30s, strangely enough. (She’s 42.) Every night, I’m essentially sleeping with a blast furnace. (A really cute one!) You and she could have quite a conversation about this. So glad you found some enjoyment with my post!

  45. Jacks says:

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for putting all these thoughts I’ve been having about Crossfit into words! I thought I was the only one who thought this way! About 75% of my box population young Tarzan-types and 24% are Zeus types who are older than I am who literally kick my ass during WODs. I’m the less than 1% who feel like a semi-truck has run me over just after the warm-up! Great blog post!

  46. John says:

    My “do gooder” wife posted this on our boxes FB page. Laughed harder than I have in a long time. 40 year old crossfitter with little to no background in fitness, couldn’t do a pull-up 2 years ago, resisted the cult a long time but am a full fledged kool aid drinker now…..
    Oh, you have may have to answer to my wife, I’ve been stuck reading your blog since I read this!

  47. Dawn Ti says:

    LOL! I train at home and have to listen to all you described from my own oxygen deprived head. Every time. And I’m 52 and can come up with some good stuff in there. Thanks for the read read! You ROCK!

  48. Whitney Klingele says:

    My dad is the reason I do CrossFit. I 23 and hate every minute of it! He is one of the trainers at my box, so I usually know the WOD before I go too. I walk into the box, look at the board and go, can’t I go home yet?! But then I change my shoes, grab my rope and start my warm up. Complaining the whole way through. Then we get to the WOD and lord, its like it never ends!
    Thank you so much for putting this all into words! made my day to know that I am not the only one in the CrossFit world who “hates” every minute of it all.

  49. LJ says:

    Dude, you gave me a “Come to Jesus moment!” I have been an inconsistent member of crossfit for nearly two years. It is either I am trying to recover from a strained back or I am so afraid to turn into the driveway. I use to look forward to working out until I came to crossfit. Now, I am just trying to find a happy place. I can’t do double unders and burpees nearly make me pass out. I wish I can stop but I just bought this speed rope, knee stabilizers, wrist supporter, and weight belt. Yeah, I don’t know what the hell I was thinking. However, I got to at least try them out. Right now, I am picking and choosing my WOD’s. Any WODs with burpees you wont be seeing me. Highly enjoyed this blog!

  50. LouAnn says:

    Cheers from a fellow 47 year old CrossFitter (only been at it a year and a half)! The article was fantastic and so true on so many levels. I laughed out loud so much of it. Thank you! Now go sign up for the OPEN! : )

  51. Allison says:

    Thrusters are a special gift from the devil himself…..

  52. Rick says:

    Great read Mark. I am 58 and about to enter my 6th year of CrossFit. You nailed some key elements of CrossFit that I frankly have learned to ignore. Perhaps ignore is a form of hate. Oh, and those handstand push-ups? Yeah buddy. Still have not completed one unless a wall climb followed by a crash to the floor counts.

  53. Jeff says:

    Fantastic read Mark. It’s like you were in my brain. I’ll definitely be sharing this with my geriatric mates. Keep up the great work buddy.

  54. David McGovern says:

    Your three children should be very proud of the example you and your wife are setting Mark.

    As a journalist, I ‘hate’ your penchant for writing, in the same way you ‘hate’ your younger trainers (read ‘envy’). Seriously, I admire the gift you obviously have for communicating serious ideas in a fun, satirical way.

    I don’t do CF but have begun daily training in order to keep my 46yo body in some sort of nick. However, my gym of choice does not offer many of the features your CF box obviously does. As such, this is one Aussie athlete that has found your article provoking, as well as entertaining.

    Might need to check out the local CF scene…if only for the extra vocabulary I will clearly gain from the music!

    • Mark Johnson says:

      David, before I hit the sack, let me thank you for your wonderful comment. I just wish I could come to Australia and thank you in person! Just the fact that you’re doing anything to keep your body in some sort of nick (love that!) has put you ahead of most folks, certainly in America. Best of luck to you, my friend!

  55. Michelle says:

    This 42 year old Crossfit Chick was nodding throughout this entire post. It’s like you are in my head!

    Love your work!

  56. Juan says:

    as an “older” guy in the gym, I loved this!! You have to be clairvoyant!! Fprgove the typos…I just finished a wod

  57. Michele says:

    Just so you know, sometimes us 32 year-old crossfitters look at the 22-year-olds and hate them too!

  58. RR says:

    Bro – James Taylor or Dan Fogelberg for a WOD? Much respect from a fellow age-grouper (46), but c’mon now…. 😉

    Loud, obnoxious, profanity-laced rap, thank you very much.

    • Mark Johnson says:

      RR, although I’m a devoted JT and DF fan, I was slightly exaggerating on that point! I don’t, however, subscribe to the profanity-laced rap or grunge metal. I’ll take some Zeppelin, Boston, Cry of Love, Edgar Winter, Police, Stevie Ray, Dire Straights, Queen, or Skynyrd, though. Then, I could KILL some workouts!

  59. Cindy piant says:

    Awesome. I always tell my box we need a geriatric WOD for us over the age of 40. I chuckle while suggesting it but, darn it, it would be nice seeing similar skin aftershocks after I land from a burpee as my skin fights to catch up to my cracking bones. This was spot on for me. I am not the one who gets excited about my anticipated ass kicking WOD. I’ve had to stop looking at the WOD ahead of time as I was finding too many reasons to be “too busy”. Thanks for the heart felt empathy.

  60. Angela Isola says:

    I love it! I am a 47 year old mom whos daughter is a crossfit coach, so for fun i thought i would join her classes…. ugg, i lasted one year and had a blast but every word you wrote is true… so stinking funny. I may go back in the spring but my body just doesn’t do what it used to do… Love your blog! Forever a crossfit mom, Angela I

  61. Linda says:

    Hilarious Mark, and a brilliant piece of writing. As a 45-year-old cancer survivor now missing a few body parts, and with no previous talent in any sport whatsoever, I totally hear you!! I love crossfit, but some days it’s definitely a love/hate relationship!

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Linda, from now on, when I get down on myself halfway through a 5-round WOD and don’t think I can do another rep, I’m going to think of you. YOU will give me the inspiration to keep going! Know why? Because YOU’RE A BAD-ASS FIRE-BREATHER who accepts no excuses! You’ve got my utmost respect and admiration!

    • Naideen says:

      Ahh, so there are others! It makes me so happy to know I’m not alone. 44 years old, always last, always sore, not skill but love it. Staring at my ripped hands today asking ‘why’ but I know I’ll be there again tomorrow!

  62. m3isme says:

    As a 5’10”, 50-year old female who has been crossfitting for almost three years, I confess you had me in stitches. When I joined our gym, I joined with my then 12-year old daughter and my then 15-year old son. (There was no kids CF, so they did our WOD with highly scaled weights.) They quickly mopped the floor with me. Let me tell you, that felt awesome! Seriously. Fast forward almost three years and my snotty (read “beautiful and accomplished”) almost-15-year old daughter explained to me last week that she “loves” burpees…they’re so “easy and fun”. (Yes, I do think she might be broken.) My only comfort? She hates wall balls, which I don’t mind at all. I’ll take it! Oh, and the tall thing matters!! I have long legs and long arms. I’m not bendy, I’m not fluid, and I have a long way to travel when I fall off the box. Still, I’m just so darned proud of myself for finishing a WOD.

  63. tracy says:

    I’m only 32 but share your hate for thrusters. It was definitely Hitler (that jerk). And I’m only 5’4″ but seem to perform burpees much the same way as you, about 3-5 at a time. Thanks for the laugh.

  64. Chrissy says:

    Oh my goodness, I laughed and laughed and laughed at the partner carry description!! This was fantastic! Thanks for the laugh!

  65. Wendy Littleton says:

    47 yo female crossfit 2years and every reason listed I have on some level said to myself of out loud . Love this. AMEN!

  66. Pam says:

    Great article. Husband and daughter wanting to know what I was reading that was so funny. As a 47 year old about to celebrate my one year anniversary as a Crossfitter I can relate to your experiences. It’s amazing how quickly we become addicted to something that can feel like torture at times. The improvements in the way I feel make it so worth it. Thanks for sharing!

  67. Melissa says:

    Amazing! So well put. I am in the 30’s range and I feel EXACTLY the same. I love CrossFit, but always thinking of ways I can miss a wod. It never works out :D. Thank you for the much needed humor 😀

  68. Brad says:

    Love it! As a fellow 47 yr old I completely agree with everything.

  69. p. rice says:

    you nailed it my friend. So much so I am subscribing to the blog. We all have our moments when our inner voice overrides our outer voice.

  70. George Evans says:

    Wow that was funny but I don’t think workingout is for you. I on the other hand just turned 44 today, started doing crossfit 3 months ago I. my garage and I love it. I beat the hell out of myself everyday and can’t wait for the next workout. Crossfit has changed the way I look at workouts And I will never go back to a regular workout.

  71. Hazel says:

    Oh my gosh what a great piece Mark! I laughed so hard through each point you made. I am 60 this month and I can tell you I sooooo feel ya especially on #4 and #11. So glad you are a CF! Thanks, i really enjoyed this:)

  72. Jimmy Boatman says:

    You have simply outlined my daily experience exactly. This 40 year old can’t seem to stop regardless.

  73. Cindy says:

    Hilariously brilliant!!!! Sniggered myself almost completely off my chair!!!!

  74. Wendy says:

    I can’t stop laughing, absolutely brilliant and hilarious I’m 44 and every day something on my body is hurting and I go back every time for the mental and physical abuse. Awesome Mahalo!

  75. Barclay Williamson says:

    Absolutely hilarious!!!!!!!!

    Yours truly,

    Annoying Young Person

  76. Shelly says:

    Not much more to add to all these wonderful comments. You did a fantastic job of describing what we FEEL like. But after all the pain, comes that other feeling… AHHH …….YEAHHHHH!!

    (50 years young!)

  77. Mark (2) says:

    Brother you hit the nail fair and squarely on the head. As a 49yo three year CF “veteran” I hate CF for one full hour a day but for the other 23 I love what it does for me. Mind you for a good 8-9 of those hours I am sleeping off the WOD aches, pains and strains….

  78. Louise says:

    You are right the coaches show no mercy! My coach “If you want to be able to get up from the toilet when you are older, squat lower!!!!”
    Thanks for the laugh, I could relate to it all!
    I’m a 5′ 118lb 60 year old female CrossFitter whose 1 rep max deadlift is 200lbs 🙂

  79. Terri says:

    I absolutely love this because I can really relate. I hate it when people use the term LOL but seriously did laugh out loud and am still giggling to myself. Thanks great read, you made my day!

  80. Cally J says:

    This is hilarious! Keep up the good work, and I highly recommend not reading the WOD before you go… I skipped one this morning after seeing there was a 1.4km run at the end >..< paid for it later with XLR8. (PS I still can't do a double under!)

  81. Keri ropati says:

    Brilliant keep it up mark 🙂 !

  82. Lisa Burgess says:

    Laughed. My. Ass. Off!

    Mark, can I be so bold as to include another hate – certainly from the point of a 46 year old female crossfitter?

    It’s what I like to refer to as the Wet Pant WOD – anything involving double unders! The mid WOD bathroom dash should be included in the AMRAP or at the very least as a scaling option! I’d be a world champion.

    I’ve spoken to other women and some have suggested I just go “Beast Mode” in the WOD. I’m afraid my beast Mode involves a huge splash factor and a subsequent splatter pattern that resembles a violent murder crime scene. Of course, then I’d have to endure the horror of the thinly veiled encouragement.

    No, I prefer instead to increase the knicker volume tenfold and get it over and done with!

  83. Jules says:

    Mark, I started CF at 48 and I’m 50 now..this particular blog really hit home with me IN EVERY WAY! Hah! Thrusters! Yup! Young whippersnappers! Check! (But let me put this little thought in your mind if you haven’t tried it yet..emom burpees/row for kcal’s) simple yet hideous 😉

  84. Antony Lo says:

    Very funny. Thank you. My only objection is the punishment for prison – it would have to be Kalsu – 100 thursters at 135lbs for time with 5 burpees every minute on the minute…and you start with 5 burpees…that is Hell on Earth :/

    I write a blog on CrossFit related health articles if you are interested – – please subscribe to mine like I just subscribed to yours!

    Thanks again for the read 🙂

  85. So funny! Laughed out loud with the paragraph about partner carries 🙂

  86. Kristy says:

    I have tears in my eyes from laughter! I am the Crossfit loving wife who has convinced my non-exercising husband to give it a go. Brilliantly written – even my husband laughed (instead of rolling his eyes when I mention Crossfit) and he is still willing to give it a go!

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Tell your husband that I spent six months eating ice cream and Ho-Hos on the couch and listening to my wife’s CF stories until she finally shamed me into trying it. After lower-back surgery 6 years earlier, I was TERRIFIED to lift anything heavier than a 2-liter Coke. Three years later, I’m a different guy. 🙂

  87. Bruce Eicher says:

    Great stuff Mark! At 59 and cross fitting for over 4 years now, I can tell you it does get better, especially when the hearing starts to go. Now you don’t have to hear the music, coaches, or those cheering you on.

  88. Peter G says:

    I laughed, hard. I’m 53, and made the transition from runner to crossfitter. I might be the oldest one at my box. Of all the things written here, the one I most agree with is the music. Who makes this crap, LOL? But, I love crossfit.

  89. Tara says:

    I just got my boyfriend in Crossfit. He is hating me right now!

  90. Hugh says:

    I am still in my 30s and I was appreciating everything you said here. I also laughed so hard, I lost my vision for a few minutes, and could not operate heavy machinery. Keep up the good work, I mean that. Be well.

  91. Linda says:

    As a 62 year old Crossfitter – hang in there! I am just so happy to get in and out of the box every day in one piece!

  92. Carlie says:

    I’m 21 and I have to admit, I agree with this post in its entirety. It’s hilarious. Even though you’re talking about my age group in bullet #4, I feel that way about other people my age after 18 years of gymnastics gave me the body of one nearly double my age. haha this is awesome, everyone at my box got a big laugh out of this. Thanks for sharing!

  93. Tom says:

    If you do not like Crossfit, then stop going and go find your way to a friendly place like planet fitness. There nobody cares, you can figure out your own workout and not a soul actually will talk to you, or give you encouragement.

  94. Heather Jackson says:

    So funny…. And so true! I have asthma and have used it as a good excuse to NOT exercise for 19 years…. Crossfit instructors don’t buy it….and now my asthma is getting better!!! So it looks like it’s more Crossfit WODS in my future!!!

  95. sean lion says:

    I’m in the same age bracket and a very similiar position as you and can tell you the best thing you can do to improve your Xfit experience is never, never look at the WOD before you arrive at the box. As a matter of fact, I don’t even look at it til 5 minutes before the actual workout. It makes a huge difference.

  96. Roy says:

    50 yrs. old, CrossFit victim for three years. Every word you wrote is spot on.

    If anything, my dread period is worse! Our WOD’s are usually posted about 10:00 or so the night before. This allows those of us who hit the morning classes to go to bed with a feeling of dread and trying to do the math in our head of what we need to load on the bar to actually be able to complete the WOD without permanent injury or projectile vomiting. Sleep is often fitful and interrupted.

    It’s not unusual at all for me to spontaneously wake up at 4:00 a.m. or so, an hour before I have to get up, and lie there unable to go back to sleep because I’m dreading the WOD.

    How do I respond to this dread? More often than not I go, wondering why I volunteer for this! Not just volunteer…PAY!

    Even worse, my 17 yr old daughter has started going and she is ALL in! The days I’ve convinced myself to just stay home, the little brat MAKES me go!

    GREAT read and I’m a now subscriber!

  97. 7:30 Rick says:

    I literally spit coffee all over my keyboard when i read:

    Thrusters. Who the hell came up with this exercise, anyway?? Hitler?

    Thank you for summing up the past year of my life in one very interesting and funny read. – 46 year old CFer

  98. Christina says:

    Friggin’ awesome!

  99. Kevin says:

    Awesome article! Made me laugh quite hard and then i was hurting from the WOD on Monday. And trust me it’s not just older guys who think this. I can relate to 11 of your 12 points wholeheartedly; but like you said, I cannot stop!

  100. Craig Ziegler says:

    Loved this. I’m a 63 yr old with almost 2 years in CF. My daughter, a trainer and regional games competitor, had been trying to get me to join her for over a year. My wife and I finally went to watch one of her workouts to get a feel for it; she was doing Fran that night. We politely said ‘no thanks’! Six months later we started and haven’t looked back since. Moral of the story, don’t watch a workout first, just dive in!! Thanks Mark.

  101. Samantha says:

    Love this! You totally nailed it. I think these things all the time…and I’m only 34. lol

  102. Tara says:

    OH MY GOODNESS!! I’M LAUGHING SO HARD AT YOUR COMMENT! I agree with the mid WOD bathroom break during anything requiring double unders!

  103. Todd Fletcher says:

    This article is spot on. I too have that love/hate thing going on. I joined CrossFit just over a year ago, because I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. Was the oldest guy in my box at 55, but now I’ve got competition from a 70 y/o! Oldest woman is 60, and she’s been CF’ing for over 5 years now. Your description of the burpees was perfect! You summed up how I feel after the first 20… But what I’ve found is worth more than anything I could ever put a price on. I’ve found community.

  104. Taralea2003 says:


    Thank you for this blog…and I’m thankful for whoever in my Box found your blog and shared this with me today. I read it as I am staring at 3 Advils I’m about to take as a result of yesterday’s WOD…and I did mine without any weight but double reps for time. UGH!

    I agree with everything you posted.

    I’m a 33 year old CFer who was tricked into going by her younger husband because ‘it’s fun’. Yeah…if you like torturing yourself. OMG after my first workout the owner/coach even told my hubby he didn’t think I would come back. Now a year later (inconsistent attendance due to several physical injuries..only one from CrossFit) I am back at the Box in a walking cast because I’m tired of being home away from my ‘family’. I find that when I can’t get to the Box, I miss my 5pm class mates. So after clearing with my ortho, I’m working out with a walking cast.

    CrossFit is the only thing that has kept me coming back for torture 🙂 I look forward to reading more of your blog!

    Thanks again for the laughs!!

  105. Desiree says:

    Thanks for sharing. Belly laughing truisms here!

  106. suegaycol says:

    Write on. Nicely told. Right on. I will absolutely subscribe to your blog. Keep it up (and keep CrossFitting, your wife will love you even more)

  107. Ben says:

    Nice article. So true. 58 and must not be that right or smart. Very humbling watching grand kid age and the 20 and 30 somethings finishing a chipper before I am half way through.

  108. Samantha says:

    Yesss. This was awesome! You pinned it right on the head.

  109. Chuck Miller says:

    Mark, I loved your blogpost. I started Crossfit at 61, a year and a half ago. I wish I was young like you. I am usually last at all the RFT too. I look forward to seeing pregnant women in the gym, because sometimes I can finish the WOD before them (at least after their 8th month).

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Hilarious, Chuck! I’m right there with you. I got paired up with a pregnant lady during a team WOD a while back. I felt oddly superior that I was “carrying the team,” despite the fact that my partner was carrying around another human being inside her stomach. (Then I thought about it a little and felt like an idiot!)

  110. Leena says:

    WOW – Wonderfully written piece and so true too – I can relate to it – being a 50 yr old and have been Crossfitting for 7 yrs now – when I went to my physiotherapist with shoulder issues I was told “You are competitive – but you cannot compete with a 20 yr ols mentality against 25yr old with a 47 yr old body” – LOL – that is when I got it and learned to accept my limitations due to age and recovery time – still enjoying my WODs and hate doing it. I say I like lifting heavy s*** and I want to do be doing this when I am 80 – will still lift heavy s*** maybe not as heavy as I do now

  111. Leena says:

    Oh and I forgot to add – 7 yrs later I still cannot do a pull up without bands – cannot do a HSPU – can barely manage to get a double under – but I can lift heavy 🙂 – I can skip 150 jumps in minute 😀 – guess I felt the need to brag about something – ha ha

  112. Jenny Hodges says:

    This was great. And totally cemented the reason why this 42yo always rows instead of run the 800m. The smell of the BBQ joint we have to run by. Yup. that’s the real reason! 😉

  113. Kristina says:

    Absolutely hysterical! I was laughing out loud at my desk at work. Even as a young Crossfitter of 26 years I can definitely appreciate all of this! I think my favorite parts were the burpee comparison and the partner carries. Brilliant writing!!

  114. Kat M says:

    Oh Good Lord this was hilarious and right on the mark! Seriously, thrusters are horrific and yes, Hitler designed them!

    At almost 39 I have given up that “compete with the 20 year old collegiate athlete” types – I like the competiton I get with my mortgage paying, arthridic non-gymnasty peeps. Its a gravitational pull to anyone in class with gray hair or grandkids. Cant wait to subscribe to your blog and follow the torture with you 🙂

  115. Kelly says:

    Thanks for sharing this Mark….definitely hit home for me too. I’m 55, been going at it for 3 years and am still getting my a** kicked every week! I love my Crossfit family and usually am old enough to have given birth to most of the people I work out with! (I reminded my coach of that fact the other day, and told him he should have more respect for someone old enough to be his mother! lol) I really like that Crossfit is something I can do (with modifications) to make me a stronger, healthier, and maybe just a little bit more badass middle aged woman!

  116. Ray says:

    Totally LMAO! My face and stomach hurt from smiling and laughing so much. Thanks for a great positive impact on my day. As a 46 year old that has been doing this for 3 yrs, I can empathize and love this at the same time.

  117. Christina Dwyer says:

    46 and yes to all of it! Our box is next to a bakery. Yes fresh croissants baking every day. Bastards.

  118. Kimber says:

    This had me in hysterics. I’m relatively new to CrossFit (7 months). I’m the old bird at 58 and wonder what the heck am I thinking! I relate to nearly every reason listed above…especially the encouragement. (I, too, come in dead last.) But while I haven’t lost any weight (for decades my body absolutely refuses to yield an ounce), I’ve lost several inches and actually have a few toned muscles. (Fortunately, our box doesn’t post WODs on FB until the day after; so it’s always a surprise. I like that.) Thank you for this post.

  119. Dennis Lytle says:

    I am a Crossfit newbie and I love your blog.

  120. Hey, I’m 27 and would be one of those young guys that pisses you off (I can do 30-40 unbroken burpees). I just wanted to say I actually feel the same on most of these points, so you aren’t alone!

  121. Desiree says:

    Omg! that was funny shit… I love love love crossfit, I’ve always been a runner, now I just do crossfit, run occasionaly.. Once you start you are hooked thats forsure..

  122. Bill Blair says:

    I am a 63 year old CrossFit newbie (4 months into the “Hell of my Life”.) You’ve nailed it for me! I hate it so much, I now feel guilty when I can’t make a session. Go figure! Don’t get me going about young people. Why wasn’t I like that at that age? Must have been the beer…

  123. Im a 50 yr. Old that feels the same way. Unfortunately I had to stop due to a knee injury. I honestly felt/looked much better while doing the freaking class. I guess I should have the surgery and get back on the cross fit hell ride.

  124. Dana says:

    I’m reading this as I sit here at work, laughing my A$$ off and dreading my next WOD. Only 1 hour to go and I may do a drive by…

  125. Susan says:

    Love this, Mark. I am 57 and CF is the best – I modify a lot so I can keep on getting there!

  126. Dave Kilgore says:

    48 and couldn’t agree more. This was funny as hell and completely accurate! Well done.

  127. sammyb76 says:

    Don’t stop mark.

  128. Angie says:

    Okay, tell me how to not dread the WOD and how to actually make myself go to the box. I need motivation….

  129. Nineth says:

    Hahah I love AMRAP too! and eventho am twenty something years old.. Id like to hear fourty something years old people type of music :))
    Such a great & fun read!!!

  130. Hi Mark,

    Excellent read, thank you for posting! Hope you don’t mind, I posted your article onto Reddit, I thought it was worth sharing with the world ;-0

  131. dave says:

    Here is how to get back at the coaches: After every WOD, no matter how you did, how you look, or how you feel, go up to you Coach and say “Is that all you got”? then walk away. They always tilt their heads like a confused puppy not sure if you’re serious or just being an ass. Either answer is correct.

  132. Jessica says:

    Hilarious. You are a great writer

  133. Andrea says:

    This was definitely a great read and super hysterical! Thanks for a good Friday laugh from someone who’s recently been contemplating CF.

  134. Amber says:

    LOL our wod today is 12 amrap, 250 row, 12 burpees, 12 thrusters and I am still sore from Murph on Tuesday. Love your article, which one is your wife in the picture?

  135. Sarah H. says:

    Oh my gosh, this is me spot on! This morning our coach told me he was going to start a Whine Jar so I could put my complaints in there because I was whining so much! It is definitely a love/hate relationship with me. Hate it before and during and love it after. I read my WOD at 8:30pm and go at 5:45am so sometimes I have a hard time sleeping b/c I dread the waking up. Thanks for the laugh and the perfect explanation for those of us who feel the same!

  136. Valerie says:

    Excellent article….I, too, laughed my ass off. I’m a 49 year old female crossfitter of one year. I relate to every thing you said. I lost a ton of weight and am still eating everything in sight. I’m absolutely terrified to stop crossfitting because I’m afraid I will blow back up! Also, the fact that I can put the fitted sheet on my bed without my daughter’s help is BIG. All of a sudden I’m this crazy strong woman! I LOVE/HATE it!

  137. Reyna says:

    OMG, I was laughing so hard and I can relate, not being a 20-30 something crossfitter!!!! My brain thinks I’m still 21 but my body says “not so fast”!!!!! and that’s why I don’t look at the WOD before hand, it’s always a surprise when I get there.

  138. Sheree says:

    I couldn’t stop laughing. I can relate to all 12 reasons. At times I think I have some kind of brain imbalances because I can’t bring myself to not go. Knowing at 40 something I will be aching everywhere after a WOD. Thank you for making my day.

  139. Nathalie says:

    So many truths here. And good laughs. The best is when the youths tell you how they wish they could do half of what you currently can’t do when they are your age!

  140. Diana says:

    Love It!!

  141. Oh my..I laughed till I cried! I am 51 and the oldest in the box.My husband is 2 years younger. We moan and groan to each other in the privacy of our home. Always sore,always dreading the WOD. I could relate to everything you said.And yes the fried eggroll smell and dumpster aroma make for a great sprint! Been crossfitting for 3 years, so really deep down, I must like it.Like the lost used tissue deep down in the bottom of my purse.

  142. Rick says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself! I’m 46 so I can totally relate!!

  143. Jill says:

    You just made my day!

  144. deb says:

    This 58 year old grandma definitely relates! I started cf nearly 6 months ago and the kids have accused me of drinking the kool aid. 🙂

  145. Teresa says:

    You r hilarious … Love your writing style! Thank u for the laughs (despite my body killing me from the WOD today) thank u 🙂

  146. Elaine says:

    I too am an aging CrossFitter but I have a few more years on you Mark. You see I am just 3 weeks shy of my 65th, been doing crossfit a little over seven months and look forward to each WOD. Especially love Friday’s when we do the Hero WOD’s. I am the oldest in our box (in fact the oldest in all of their four boxes) and each WOD I am told what an awesome job I am doing by those young 20 and 30 year olds. They say when they get tired they look over at me and say “dang if she is still going I guess I can do it too”. I love my box, my coaches, and my tribe at CrossFit Menawa.

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Elaine, you personify the reason that Crossfit has become a fitness phenomenon — it moves beyond physical health and touches mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being, too. I don’t think this was the original intention, but it’s undeniable. I bet those young punks in your box would take on a locomotive for you! Best of luck!!

  147. Amy L says:

    I started 6 months ago and love to hate it. We look forward to gonna and dread it too. I have vertigo so my trainer modifies EVERYTHING for me.. But I have found I can do more than I thought and recommend it to all I know. I also train bjj and it helps there too. Who knew I could gain muscle, lose fat, drop 3 sizes and love being sore. The article is so funny and made me want to hit the box in the morning

  148. angie says:

    Love it! Would love to follow the blog, too, but I never check email anymore. Can I find you on Facebook?

  149. smacky30 says:

    Loved this! It captures all the fun of being a 46 year old crossfitter. I do love it, but I hate it, but I love it… Except for burpees. Always hated them. Always will.

  150. Katherine says:

    Hilarious and oh so true!!! This 46yr old feels exactly the same way but I keep going back. Ugh.

  151. Ron says:

    I’m a 67 year old who started CrossFit on December 2nd, 2013 so I’m very much a newbie. I loved your article. I’ve read every response and what I see the most from the responses is 1) the sense of community at the boxes, 2) the determination to go back regardless of how well or poorly one did the previous WOD, 3) the distaste for a particular exercise (mine is the wall ball), and 4) the pride of being part of a unique exercise phenomenon. In seven short weeks I feel better about myself than I have in years. Why? Because, slowly but surely, I’m becoming a CrossFitter!

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Ron, I agree with everything you’re saying here. I’m actually working on a blog about the phenomenal response this particular blog has received, and I’m trying to deconstruct the reasons. I’m also planning to include some of my favorite comments in the blog, and I’d love to use this one. It’s spot-on. Thanks for writing and being one of my inspirations!

  152. Ron says:

    Mark – Feel free to use it!

  153. Barb says:

    This 57 year old is happy to know I am not the only one who pays for this love/hate relationship. AMPAPs are my favorites too! Is it normal that I am not sure if my counting skills during a WOD are spot on? My brain is busy remembering the order of the WOD, how many reps to do of each, to keep breathing, moving,
    and repeating to myself that this too will pass!

  154. Laina says:

    I laughed, nodded my head my head in agreement , but I’m a 37 yr old female who hates CrossFit, while my oh so competitive, very athletic, looks like he plays Defense in the NFL husband loves it. CrossFit is his idea of us BONDING as a couple. Loved this post and will look forward to reading more. Keep em coming!

  155. Dave Smith says:

    I can relate Mark as a 46 six yr old in my fourth month of cross-fit, but I love it. As the oldest guy in my box most days I get a special felling not being the last one done the wod in a room full of 20 somethings. I almost feel a little sorry for them, almost but not quite. Also can relate to the dislike for the constant encouragement, no matter how loud you are I am NOT going to bow into cheer pressure.

  156. Livia says:

    bahahahaa you are awesome.
    from a 25 year old crossfitter who likes hip hop,

  157. Carmine says:

    Great article. I am turning 66 next week and into year 7 at Crossfit. Love it. Don’t keep up with everyone but still never left a WOD and said I wish I did not go to class that day. I figure if can do 1/3 of what the twenty years are doing, then I am thrilled. I do keep the coaches laughing all the time. Whenever they ask me what set I am on, my reply is always “the last”. I will continue to go until my modifications go to zero. The joke with me is I do not do push ups, pull ups, muscle ups, etc. I only do downs. That gets everyone laughing. Thanks again for the great words of wisdom.

  158. Yvonne Hernandez says:

    Love love love it!! Hysterical!!

  159. erica says:

    I have been looking for my fellow Crossfit Masters!!!! I was going to say mature crossfitters but I am by far the goofiest, most obnoxious in any of the classes I have gone to. I just turned 40 but being chained to a desk in IT for 22 years has given me the honor of having the largest ass at my Box… I just consider myself lucky enough to be able to stand up at the wall and call each wallball an F’ing C-word…. I blame my language on that RaP music……

  160. Jan James says:

    Hilarious! I’m a 59-year-old woman who had NEVER worked out in my life! I started CF 10 months ago (while still 58) and I LOVE and HATE it! I love the change in my life! I’m doing things I never imagined doing. Great coach! I feel better than ever.

  161. JoshuaE says:

    Im 25 and I feel the same way about thrusters.LOL also burpees..i think satan came up with them.LOL

  162. I’ve never done Crossfit…would try it if it was available in my area but am happy enough with my current and very variable routine. But what I hate about Crossfit is having to listen to people talk about Crossfit all the time. Present company excluded, of course. So over reading about how many reps someone did on Facebook. Just shut up and work out like the rest of the world. Your article was a breath of fresh air.

  163. Mark says:

    I’m sitting here after looking at the WOD on the iPhone app and dreading every minute of what this is going to take to get through this. But then I look at my ass which was two months ago saggy and non existent. That’s why I go. I also 47 and I don’t want that dbl ass some guys get at 50 & 60. Great article, keep going.

  164. Lauren Dance says:

    I was reading this in a meeting at work and was laughing so hard that my shoulders started to bounce up and down and tears were coming down my face. So true! I’m 40 and about three months into this “adventure” and the oldest person in the gym. Always. When I read your blog, especially the part about the bag of dog food, I thought I might die if I couldn’t laugh out loud. Work meetings are such a pain when I’m trying to read things that aren’t work related! Thank you for making all of the “normal people” feel less ridiculous. And btw….why you read the WOD on FB every day is beyond me…..if I did that, I would never go! Ignorance is bliss, my friend!

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Trying to hold in laughter like that is like trying to stifle a big sneeze. It’s just not good for you. It might make your eyeballs pop out. But it’s fun sometimes to have your own little inside joke that nobody else in the room is privy to. Your comment made me crack up right before I walked into the box tonight, so thanks! And yes, checking the WOD on FB is a terrible, non-productive addiction. It’s just that I know it’s out there, waiting for me…

  165. Matthew says:

    As a 42 year old I echo all the others that loved this. Every word, so true…especially the dog food burpee. Was literally crying laughing reciting it to my wife. I would only add (if I didn’t miss it already somewhere in the comments) how utterly frustrating The Snatch is. I’ve been crossfitting for over a year now and I practice this movement pretty much daily and I still can barely get it consistently right even with an empty barbell. I’ve got a slightly weird anatomy with stupidly long arms and legs relative to my torso (I think I must be based off of some Tim Burton-esque stop-motion action figure or something) so even with my grip all the way out to the collars, getting the damn bar path correct without incurring massive pubic bone trauma has been incredibly difficult. So after about 4 months of that continual pubic bone smashing while working on my technique, which eventually even had me wearing a cup to avoid literally seeing red flashes if the bar so much as dragged a breeze across the area on the way to my hip crease, I can almost hit it about 75% of the time…again we’re talking empty bar here. Meanwhile Mr and Ms 20-something after a 4 day intro course are somehow throwing up damn near Rx weights. It boggles my mind. I swear I could sooner learn to do one-handed brain surgery on a unicycle than master this movement. Literally the hardest, most intricate, most prone to fractional errors, pattern of movement I have EVER tried to learn. And also potentially dangerous if you get it wrong, as was tragically seen recently with Ogar’s horrible accident – and he was a super-experienced elite Oly lifter. So I guess there’s always that terrifying fear to make things go smoother. Oh well, I guess that’s why it’s in the Olympics though. Anway you’ve got a new subscriber in me.

  166. Cory says:

    Great discriptives!

  167. Helen says:

    Not a mature CrossFitter in sight… but a pack of CrossFit Masters.. we just keep on keeping on and loving it. I too consider myself lucky/blessed to have discovered CF.

  168. Christian says:

    Excellent. Just Hilarious! Thanks for sharing.

  169. nik1217 says:

    Thanks for the laugh this morning. Excellent points. Love the Thrusters point! I started CrossFit just over a year ago before I turned 40 (I’m now in the CrossFit “Masters” category. That hurts! 🙂 ) I have regained some of my (wasted) youth! I feel like a rockstar post-WOD!! I’ll be following your blog.

  170. AnnieO says:

    Holy moly! You hit the nail on the head! Thrusters are evil!

  171. Michael says:

    Dear Mark,

    What a fantastic piece…I’m a 42 years old, married, and have 3 awesome little kids. I’m also out of shape/overweight. I started CrossFit for the first time six weeks ago. It’s been great. Thanks kindly for sharing your experience…very funny and inspiring.

  172. J.P. says:

    To this guy who’s only 36, but who hasn’t been caring for his body the way he should and has recently gotten back into CrossFit, your post rang tremendously true. Your explanation of the nature of encouragement was particularly…encouraging?
    Also, I just had to say that your response to Ben above was a spectacular example of the kind of patience and wisdom that is all but absent from internet comment sections.
    You are an inspiration. I hope that in 11 years I have that kind of spirit and still hate CrossFit every bit as much as you do. 🙂

    • Mark Johnson says:

      J.P., my wife read your comment to me today as we were driving, and you made her cry! Thank you so much for your kind words. I certainly don’t feel like or see myself as an inspiration, but I’m humbled and honored that you would say so. As for the Ben post, I’m determined that my blog won’t devolve into a negative place where my kids can’t go and read comments. I’m glad that Ben reacted the way he did to my response. 🙂

  173. Mark, I love your blog post!, because it expresses with brilliant humor the trials and frustrations of people doing Crossfit who sadly are older and not former power lifters, marathoners, or iron man triathletes. It is also oddly comforting to know that I am not the only one struggling to complete an RFT WOD, doggedly doing every rep, the gym deserted and the last remaining trainer with hat and coat waiting by the door. I am 59 and approaching six months doing Crossfit. I would disagree with you about the posting of the WOD, though. As a newbie, I found it very helpful to be able to look up what a “hollow rock” or a “power clean” was before, so I wouldn’t be so completely clueless in class. I would add a few things: When asked to get a partner, I find myself suddenly reliving the humiliation of choosing up sides in fourth grade, certain that no one wants this out-of-shape “old dude” as a partner. At 6’ 5”, you have no idea what we vertically challenged suffer. For every lunge the long-legged guy next to me does, I, with my stumpy legs, must do three. And how much more difficult it is to attach a band to the rack or to step into a band to do band-assisted pullups. (It took me a month to figure out a way that worked for me.) Thank you so much, Mark, for this blog post, for in a twisted way, it encourages me to struggle on with Crossfit.

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Steven, thanks for your thoughtful comment. I totally get the partner WOD thing. I hate feeling like I’m letting my partner down, though nobody has ever given me a reason to think that. It’s all in my head. And yes, I have no idea about being vertically challenged, although in Crossfit, I’d argue that being my height is generally a DIS-advantage, especially in ground-to-overhead lifts. There’s a lot of geometry going on with snatches! All that said, we are the way God made us, so we must do our best with what we’ve got, I guess. (That’s what I keep telling myself!) Thanks again for taking the time to write, Steven!

  174. Elsa lim says:

    Couldn’t stop laughing. I may not be on my forties (30’s) and l love crossfit but l still totally agree with what you wrote. Can’t wait to read more of your article/blog.

  175. Anne says:

    Love it ! Totally get all 12 !!
    Here’s no 13. Why double unders? What’s wrong with single unders? Good. To know I am not alone!!

    • Janice says:

      Toooo funny and so true! ! #5 ….. I hate those, I had to do them the other night…… felt like 500 lbs!
      If we listened to the music you listed… we’d be taking naps!! Gotta rock it out with the youngsters!!!
      Keep up the good work and your sense of humor! ! :*))))))))

  176. Carla "Vanilla" Vice says:

    Mark I just tturned 49 and I am one of the elite oldies and have never heard of all the same exact thoughts of anyone else. They are all too young and I’m old and broken…well an old athlete that’s gotten too many bodily issues, but CF is ADDICTIVE and YES, you look good and feel good AFTER THE WOD!

  177. I read this months ago but keep coming back to it. I am a CrossFit coach and your article has saved many “would be quitters” from quitting. Thank you for sharing your experience and helping so many others see themselves in a more positive light.

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Ashley, thank you so much for this comment. The idea that this article might inspire someone is humbling and mind-blowing for me. If we’re all being honest, Crossfit is very, very hard and I can’t blame anyone for quitting. It takes a lot of guts to show up day after day, especially for people who are not natural athletes. I think that’s easy to overlook sometimes. Thanks again!

  178. i had one of “those” nights tonight. everything is tight & sore … and damn, you just can’t do the snatch with much weight. this made me laugh and think “maybe, just maybe i’ll go back on thursday.” mucho needed … thank you!

  179. Joel C says:

    One of the funniest pieces I have read in a LONG time!!! Just shared with the members at our box…Great stuff!!!!!

  180. Mark Johnson! I loved it very much! Read it to Joey and to Amber and we laughed butts off. My favorite part of Cross-fit was walking up the next morning and being able to raise my hands above my head to wash my hair! Agony! I di have to be honest and say that the row machine was awesome and I was on that very often!

  181. Clever article, well written, and enjoyable to read! Well done sir! 🙂

  182. Kristina says:

    OMG! I just cried from laughing so hard! at 42 almost 43! I curse the young bloods daily..If I am asked what was your time or weight my answer “I have no clue I’m just happy to be alive”! HA!!!!

    • Mark Johnson says:

      TOTALLY agree, Kristina. I usually don’t even keep my time or worry about any of that stuff, although I understand the value of it. Honestly, I’m just thrilled to have a great workout.

  183. John Logan says:

    Mark, this is classic! Thank you so much for making my day. From a 45 year old who’s been CrossFitting for a year and loves it (6 days a week and hate when I miss). As I suspect that you deep down really truly love it to. It being hard is what makes it awesome. Thanks again.

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Hey, John! Thanks for the comment. I think you’re probably right that deep down, I do love it. I’m very proud to be the oldest person in the box and I love the fact that I can finish a WOD without perishing, which give me the right to say, “I Crossfit.” However, I don’t love the “during” part of Crossfit nearly as much as some other people, like my wife. I tolerate it because I know how much benefit it’s giving me. Anyway, I’m honored I could help make your day!!

  184. armsdealer3000 says:

    Cross fit is a fad. Looks like its a mostly white people fad as well.

    • Jen says:

      I think other things are out there that are similar to Crossfit — oh wait, gymnastics, weight lifting, running, etc. Those have been around for many years. Fad, who knows….at least it is getting people off of the couch! A white people fad? Damn. That is funny because I know of a some blacks, asian, and hispanic in origin that do them. Why is this a thing done in other countries, like Africa. Shame on you for your ‘ill-will’ towards Crossfit. Go try it, at least once.

    • hw says:

      Tattoos, skinny jeans, fancy cupcakes, etc., are fads, so…is that supposed to be a criticism? Unsolicited advice: notice when you are being overly critical and negative and trying to put others down — especially when those people are trying their best to be happy, healthy, strong and proud. What does that say about you?

    • Rita Long says:

      First of all, CrossFit is not a fad. Fads come and go. CrossFit is here to stay. There are black members at my crossfit box, if more black athletes are not crossfitting, it is because they have chosen not to.

  185. Michael says:

    It is a fad, only whites allowed! The whiter and nerdier, the better!

  186. Michael says:

    My reply was supposed to be a joke badk at armsdealer3000 …. failed again.

  187. Michael says:

    I’m an older ‘white guy’ who does Cross Fit and SEAL Fit, they both suck! But I keep trying.

  188. Michael says:

    I’m an older
    I’m an older ‘white guy who does Cross fit and SEAL Fit. They both suck! I love them.

  189. Dan says:

    There have been lots of “fad” exercise programs over the years. CrossFit did something different by promoting the “sport” of fitness. As this “sport” continues to grow, so will CrossFit. I don’t see it going away anytime soon. Now…..if we could get all these white people to quit working out to “hardcore rap” it might actually be enjoyable!

  190. Paul B says:

    Great article; I sat here nodding to everything. Every WOD for time I do the young bucks end up crowding me with their ‘encouragement’ while I complete it. Only earlier this week my trainer said to me: ‘I love watching you train, you are like the little engine that could, you just keep pushing’. I wasn’t sure how to take it at the time as I was languishing in a quagmire of burpees while masses of sweat pooled underneath me. Yet, like you, I love the way CrossFit makes me feel and the people I train with so I keep returning. And I hope to continue doing so for a long time yet. Thanks for the enjoyable, i.e. relatable, read.

  191. pytallman says:

    I hear ya, but I cannot stop! I actually gave myself the Open for my 40th birthday. 14.5 was the “icing” on the cake – the cake of death.

  192. Dana says:

    I have just done Elements and three WODs since then, but your comment about the music was spot-on and made me laugh! It’s bad enough that the music itself is terrible; couldn’t they at least bleep out the curse words? But if they did that, I guess it would be purely instrumental . . . 🙂

  193. Jebus says:

    If your health program is causing you dread well that isn’t healthy. Try something else.

    • Rita Long says:

      I don’t agree…First of all, crossfit is the pinnacle of fitness programs..once you’ve done crossfit, all other exercise programs are boring which creates it’s own form of dread. Anything that challenges you and pushes you way out of your comfort zone is going to involve an element of dread, particularly in us more mature crossfitters. However, the sense of pride and accomplishment when you “nut up” and complete that WOD, as best as you can, far outweighs the initial dread. It’s what keeps me going back, dread and all.

      • sneakapeak says:

        Crossfit is the pinnacle of fitness programs. According to who? The best crossfitters use other methods to get ahead of the pack. Every year you all get dusted by people who don’t think Crossfit is the pinnacle of fitness and use different methods to prepare for the games. I get that you love crossfit but c’mon. Wake up already.

  194. Christina says:

    You summed it up nicely for this 35 yr old. Lived it!

  195. Timo says:

    Hilarious text. Thank You for making my (yet another) training day.

  196. Dan (OFG) Keefe says:

    Hilarity Mark. Just found this. As a 51 year old all rings true. I have to admit I check the WOD each morning and dread it, then I check the results on WODIFY each night where I find my self close to the bottom. Then I sort by age group and I’m number 1!

  197. Matt says:

    I loved the article! I am 41 and a month into CrossFit. I can relate to everything you said, except the pasty about getting in better shape. I’m not there yet. I just keep getting beat and have lost every shrewd of pride I had. I’m giving it three months before I make my mind up. Provided I don’t die during one of the workouts.


    • Mark Johnson says:

      Thanks for the comment, Matt! Hang in there. I’m living proof that people don’t generally die during WODs.

    • Jules says:

      Matt! Man! Gonna HAVE to b more than 3 mo’s!
      I’ve been doing for 3yrs! My Pride has DEF taken a beating! But I still go 4-6 times a week and give it all I got! I don’t have pullups, hspu, dbl unders come and go etc! But I DO look Great for my age and I’m not going down without a fight! So DONT U either! ♡ from a 50 yr old

  198. Daniel says:

    You have made my day. I’m no alone. I have had all of these thoughts. I’m in my 50’s in a box full of 20 and 30 year olds. Most of my coaches could be my grown children. I am sore after every workout. I dread the upcoming WODs. I after finish last. And I always question the sincerity of their words of encouragement. But I can’t stop going. I’m addicted to the rush that comes from completing the WOD. That brief time before I start dreading the next WOD/

  199. Mark Johnson says:

    Thanks for the awesome comment, Daniel! Glad I could show you that you’re NOT alone!

  200. Jennifer Sibley says:

    I have read this article over and over and laughed each time!! I work out in a gym full of 20 and 30 somethings but there are a few of us masters who represent (or something like that). Nice to know others may have my motto,”My goal is not to finish first, my goal is just to finish!!”

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Jennifer, I’m honored that you would read this multiple times! You may also enjoy my follow-up to this: “Crossfit and aging: The value is in the trying.” Thanks for the awesome comment and keep up the good work!

  201. Ann rapice says:

    Hilarious ! And sadly so true

  202. Frank Zedar says:

    This is funny as hell… I can relate, because at 69, I think young 47 year olds like you suck!!!

  203. Frank Zedar says:

    Mark – P.S. At 69, I’m also a CF L1 coach at our box… Kettlebell and Powerlifting certified… I’m known as The Punisher… Hahahahahaaaa… Triple bypass surgery and hip replacement and many more “challenges.” You gotta love/hate CrossFit!

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Frank, trust me: You might think I suck because of my devastating good looks and brilliance, but certainly not because of my Crossfit ability, even at 47! I, however, think YOU suck because you’re 69 and freakin’ awesome. You’re my new favorite person to hate — in a good way!

      • Frank Zedar says:

        “Mutual Admiration Society,” Mark. Your blog is great and CrossFit is nothing, if it isn’t funny. And the list of things I cannot perform well in WODs is lengthy, so thus my awesomeness is tarnished! (P.S. The above referenced “MAS” was a real song, when I was 12 and you were 11 years shy of your birth (1956). Teresa Brewer sang it. You could look it up 🙂

        • Mark Johnson says:

          I was 10 years shy of my birth. I wrote this blog last year, so you and I are both ONE YEAR awesomer than previously suspected! I’ll YouTube the song and get my groove on.

    • Mark Johnson says:

      And, by the way, eternal thanks for your military service!

  204. Ms. V says:

    Bless your heart. I just read that tomorrow’s WOD starts with a 25 burpee buy in and I am feeling all of my 49 years and 335 days. I thought feeling like this was just me being an old faht and was kinda miserable about it.

  205. Georgia says:

    Love your writing! Will subscribe. As much as I would love to experience all the positives cross-fit seems to offer people, I have found that I can’t even work out with a trainer at the gym. As much as I try to explain the concept to them, this 20-something year old college student doesn’t seem to get the fact that at 47 I can’t do one squat without being sore … and I have bills, responsibilities, and a life … I need to be able to walk for the next three days! (Okay, that might be an exaggeration, I can probably do one squat … but they never stop at one)

  206. Mark Johnson says:

    Georgia, I understand! Hard to carve out the time…

  207. Kim P says:

    I’m 43 doing CrossFit and this cracked me up! I loved it. I’m sore and tired everyday but I’ll keep doing CrossFit. Ha!

  208. Shannon says:

    I laughed so hard at your post that my sons looked at me funny. Perhaps I laughed a little too much because my insecurities and fears were bubbling up as I contemplated my own upcoming journey into the world of CrossFit!

  209. Michele says:

    LMAO! As a 46 yo new comer to CrossFit I laughed so hard (that my kids came to see what I was laughing/crying about) at your article because so many truths rang true! I often dread the WOD as I read it the night before and I am always the last kid in class to finish as I am the newbie. It’s nice to know I am not alone!

  210. Rick Burrell says:

    I think you are a talented writer, but this piece was nothing but filler for me, bandwagonish – type verbal diarrhea that can be found and heard in any form of media most any day of the week. I’m waiting for something with originality, a piece that will cut the proverbial writers trail. I did read a couple of your other pieces, but not feeling it yet. Again, I think you can capture thoughts well and create a canvas the public wants, but why not cut away from the heard? Good luck…for one more piece.
    RB @ PETN1.66 Crossfit

    • Rick Burrell says:

      For the record, I’m rapidly approaching 52 and have been Crossfitting since 2001, and I’m sore everyday of the week. I own PETN1.66 CF and have worked out in hundreds of gyms around the world and the majority suck. The disparity btw a good Crossfit gym and a bad is becoming greater as big money rolls into the game.

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Hi, Rick:

      Hmmm. I think you’re taking this post, me, and possibly yourself WAY too seriously. I’m just a middle-aged dad who writes a blog for fun and to make his wife laugh. That’s it. I have no affiliation with Crossfit whatsoever, I don’t write my blog for money, and I don’t claim to be a Crossfit expert. If you think this post is bandwagonish and verbal diarrhea, I’m surprised that you would waste your time and energy reading it and commenting.

      The funny thing is, the only reason you found this story is because, for some reason, it went viral within the Crossfit community and has been read and shared a quarter-million times. Maybe that makes it part of the mainstream media and fair game for your critique, I don’t know. What I do know is that it has inspired at least a few people to either start exercising or KEEP exercising, especially older folks. So maybe it’s POSITIVE verbal diarrhea?

      Anyway, I wish you luck in your quest for a piece that will “cut the proverbial writer’s trail” and “cut away from the heard.” (I think you meant “herd.”) I appreciate your approval for me to write “one more piece.” (And if I want to write something after that, I suppose I’ll have to fight through your BAD luck wishes or something?)

      Also, good luck in operating your Crossfit gym in the face of what seems to be the collapse and corruption of the industry due to big money, according to your other reply. That sounds like a real bummer.


  211. lorelia says:

    None of your comments have any teeth to it. You are extremely dramatic.
    Your comments don’t reflect much self-awareness. Don’t you realize your reasoning is very irrational and it is your issues that are keeping you away from doing CF? For instance, some use those 11 hours to strategize for the work out, some don’t care to stress about it and some decide not to go because it is too much on their body. But, no one dread a workout. And if they do, they suck it up. They don’t use it as a reason to hate crossfit.

  212. Wish I would have read this BEFORE i started crossfit 3 weeks ago at 44 and WAAY overweight lol TOO LATE NOW 🙂

  213. You can make me cry, for laughling, you are right in all of the 12 reasons. I ‘m 49 yo, and have only 3 mo ( this year) in Crossfit. I make the CFG Open 2015, I enjoy it. If you can’t fight against it, its better to join in, and try go get better. Greetings

  214. Zack says:

    So much win! Just had to let you know I found this post after Googling “I hate partner WODs”. I can definitely relate – and I’m only 38! So much to look forward to!

  215. Jackie Bosco says:

    What does it mean that I’m 25 and completely agree with you? FML 🙂

  216. gypsiedragon says:

    I know the stuggle. I’m only 23 and I hate always being last and shamefully I compare myself to some of the newer members. Thanks for the laugh 🙂

  217. Lisa says:

    I am ready to leave my box because all I ever hear is Mother F——-. My husband and I, ages 44 and 43 have had to alter our schedules because we can not take our kids because of the offensive music. I am not a prude and do not care what kind of music they play as long. I just don’t want the only lyrics to be mother f—— for the whole song. My husband wants to talk to the owners but I don’t think they’ll really care. They are obviously alienating people (not a huge member roster) but they don’t seem to care if they lose money.

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Yeah, that sucks. Sorry you’re having those problems, Lisa. Some people just don’t understand how much of a negative influence that kind of music can have, and it’s a shame.

  218. Dria says:

    Everything you said is sooooo true even about the smells. I’m 39 going on fourty and googled people over 50 doing crossfit to see what to expect and if it’s even worth starting so late in years, especially being around so many young people at crossfit. But you’ve motivated me to keep going. Now I’m super excited and will go again today!

  219. PDX_Enigma says:

    I’m 47 and Googled “47 yr. old Crossfitter” not really expecting to find anything and landed on this. What’s perfect is that you nailed exactly why I searched this in the first place. Scaling and coming in towards the back today….ugh. I look young, so I really want to wear a shirt that has my age so that I don’t get the embarrassing encouragement at the end. Like “Eh, he’s doing alright for an old guy”. No pity. And yes, I’m dumb enough to check the WOD early enough to have butterflies and stress all day. Sadly, I can’t wait to get back and do it again. Cheers

  220. I Hate Crossfit But Will See You At The Box Tomorrow says:

    I am only 34 and can relate to everything you wrote. This is one of the best blogs I’ve seen on crossfit yet.

  221. Olivia says:

    Im 27 and I love this post! lmao i actually like thrusters though, Im also crazy about the history of Nazi Germany, so the connection seems pretty accurate lmao. anyways great post! I always push and motivate the older crowd when they’re slowing down, they’re probably like “fuck off” in their heads hahaha!

  222. Krista says:

    Wow, you made me feel so much better! I’m 40 and just started CF 2 months ago. It took me 40 min to complete a WOD that the super human 20 something girls did in 15 min without breaking a sweat!
    Really they can row 1000m, 25 Burpees, 50 DU, 800m run, 25 Burpees and 50 DU in 15 min…I can’t even do 1 DU so I had to do 150 singles…But I did finish it and I didn’t puke!

  223. Ben Bock says:

    This pretty much nails it. I’m 45 and MY do gooder wife guilted me into it. I go MWF and every Sun Tues Thurs night I’m cussing as I climb in bed, dreading that 530 am alarm. I’m definitely stronger & more muscular again but the REAL pay off is that Mon Thurs nights I am thrilled to get to sleep in until the kids wake up for school, long after St Sweetheart, Our Lady of Perpetual Motion, gets her toned ass up and out the door.

    And when Ms Carpe Diem gets home, she gushes about how great it all is as she clips on her FitBit and hits the day, aiming for 10K steps before the day ends. The brainwashing effect is more insidious than the Khmer Rouge, and makes me sick.

  224. Donna says:

    I am dying right now! This sums me up!! I want to print this out and in 20 years go back to my box and put it up for all the folks in their 20’s that don’t get it! Thank you for the accurate and funny description!

  225. Bill says:

    This is bullshit. And you are a bitch of an old man. Let people try what they want to. You are discouraging because you’re not good at it, but you don’t need to post about it online. I know many people that excel. You are especially wrong saying that the coaches are the worst part. I have many mentors that are also coaches. And all I get from them is positive reinforcement. Quit wasting your time writing about this shit.

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Bill, one common thread that I’ve noticed about internet trolls is that they often don’t really understand what they are spouting off about. In this case, it would make sense for you to be mad at me if you DID NOT like Crossfit. Because, you see, this article is a satire. What does that mean? It means that I’m saying that I HATE Crossfit when I actually LOVE Crossfit. This quickly becomes apparent — to most people — as you read the post, and by the time you get to the end of it, it’s kind of impossible to miss. Of all the hundreds of comments I’ve gotten on this post, only YOU and one other guy missed it. That’s OK. I get stuff wrong all the time. The difference is, I usually figure it out before I go onto somebody’s webpage and start calling them names. You did get one thing right, though; I’m terrible at physical part of Crossfit. I’m good, however, at the friendly, supportive part of it. By the tone of your comment, I suspect that’s the part you have a problem with.

      • Rita Long says:

        Awesome response Mark. I was waiting for that. It was worth the wait.

        • Mark Johnson says:

          Thanks, Rita. Sigh… I’ve about reached the conclusion that regardless of what you say or do on the internet, someone will view it as a reason to attack. It’s a sad comment on our society today and I’m afraid it will only get worse. If I could get Superman to reverse the Earth’s orbit and take us back to 1990-whatever, I’d try to talk Al Gore out of inventing the internet. Seriously.

    • Wayne says:

      Wow, yet another unhappy, judgemental guy who should google the meaning of “witty”, then re-read this journalistic gem of a post…

  226. Travis says:

    Very well put. This 42-year old can’t seem to escape the insanity either.

  227. Dave W says:

    OMG I just found this post and it’s brilliant! I’m 47 and joined a local box 8-9 months ago. This cracked me up!

  228. Kendall Niles says:

    True AND entertaining!! I’m a 51 yr old woman, been in CF for 2yrs with my now 17 yr old son. Whom I can NO WAY keep up with! Of course, I’ve never felt more alive. Doing things I never imagined I’d be able to do at any age….and…I love the music😖
    Love/hate is perfect!! I really think we need a senior version because I’m pretty sure I will never RX!! It could be called SRX😂😂

  229. chris martin says:

    Great write-up, I’m 58 and am thinking of doing CF but have limitations, like a bad back along with 4 shoulder surgeries (2 on each shoulder) don’t think I’ll be doing any Thrusters. Played a lot of sports when I was a kid and being a Truck driver for 37 years has helped to keep my body in ever increasing broken-down form. I go for CF if there was a senior version, not to wimpy but not where I’m going to put my body in some much stress it may do more harm than good.

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Thanks for the comment, Chris. Find yourself a good, seasoned CF coach and you’ll be OK. Listen to your body and err on the side of caution. Good luck and let me know what you end up doing!

  230. Brenda says:

    I laughed until I cried! Hilarious and very relatable article for this 51 year old. My husband is just like YOUR wife. I routinely tell him during the WOD that I’m divorcing him. 😉 But after 30 years together and presumably early dementia, I forgive him until the NEXT workout. Keep writing…I really enjoyed this. Haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. Perhaps on your future prose, you should suggest having some Depends on hand before reading for us older folks.

  231. Wayne says:

    Awesome post Mark!!! Everything you mention resonates with me. Being 60, I’m the oldest in my local box by 25 years. Oddly I’m finding it’s actually quite ego boosting to workout alongside younger people. Only 3 months in, but already addicted. Really enjoying most wods that don’t include running, sprint rows or rope climbs. For me, doing CF isn’t getting any easier, but am getting fitter & stronger for sure.

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Thanks so much for your comment, Wayne! Glad you enjoyed the post. You are certainly an inspiration. It’s been a little over three years since I wrote this entry and I’m heading toward 51. A shoulder injury has sidelined me, but I’m hoping to get back in the game soon. And thanks for defending me against the “unhappy” guy. I think he was having a bad day…

  232. Tom says:

    Very entertaining post Mark; I chuckled loudly enough that my wife had to check to make sure I wasn’t watching porn. I am 54 and started CF 6 months ago and I am also loving it. I presently go 3 times a week and hate when I have to miss a class; one WOD included 150 burpees which killed my shoulders. Please continue the satire.
    “Welcome to Hell. Here’s your accordion.”

  233. Marti says:

    I am seriously ROFLOL. I am afraid I am going to be your female counterpart in this same saga. My 51yo husband just joined Crossfit and comes home gushing about it and insists that I join him. Now I am used to working out–I run and attend strength training classes at the Y–but this Crossfit thing is a totally different animal. I’m afraid I might literally die. Do they yell at you if you refuse to do a box jump for fear of skinned shins?

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Marti, I’m so, so sorry for you. It sounds like you may be trapped by your brainwashed husband. You probably won’t actually die, but you’ll be convinced that you will. Just keep reminding yourself that at some point, the WOD will end and you can go back to being a normal sane human being, skinned shins notwithstanding.

  234. A Anderson says:

    that article was f’ng awesome! I was in tears with laughter after having just been in tears of sorrow because I literally just pulled my back during a WOD. I was feeling discouraged, thinking that I must be too old (I’m 45yo) for this type of workout but after reading your article and laughing hysterically, I am going to take care of my injury and then get back to cross fit. Thank You for this, you really made my evening!

  235. Jesus M Schmidt says:

    LMAO I love it I’m 49, will be 50 Feb 3rd, I’ve been doing crossfit for over 3yrs now and everything you said here I can relate..Great job

  236. Ian Newham says:

    I understand that this is tongue in cheek and designed to be motivational, but at 55yo, obese and with osteoarthritis in both knees and shoulders due to a motorcycle accident years ago, I feel as though it’s all too late for someone like me. I have tried to join gyms in the past, but have been declined membership as I’m too big an insurance risk. Here in Australia, NSW particularly, the medical belief is that obesity is best prevented not cured. I’m just too old and broken.

    • Mark Johnson says:

      Ian, sad to hear your comment. Honestly, this post was meant to be funny more than anything else, but people have definitely been motivated by it. As far as your comment about joining gyms, obesity, etc., please understand that I am NO EXPERT in either health or medicine, but I did lose 50 pounds when I began all this about seven years ago, mostly on the living room floor of my home. I found that the most important factor was diet, not exercise. Simply cutting out most sugar, sweets, breads, and stuff like that can have a dramatic effect on most people. (Not saying it will on you, for sure.) I’ve also seen much older people than you and I who have battled similar challenges to yours and have made amazing improvements. Dude, 55 is way too freakin’ young to give up on yourself. Find low-impact things like swimming and recumbent biking. Just move, brother. Treat yourself to good, healthy food. Surround yourself with good people. You’ve got a lot of life left in front of you. God bless!

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