About two days a week, three if I’m feeling ambitious, I go to CrossFit. I know, I know. I had always engaged the lighter side of fitness by doing yoga and Pilates until after I had my children and decided that I wanted to challenge myself mentally and physically. I was nervous and very intimidated in the beginning. One of the first people I met was a woman named May. Everyone in class knew and respected her. She was a regular who showed up mentally and physically whenever she attended and suffered no excuses. She’s a total badass.

She’s also in her seventies.

When May is around, it’s hard to complain about a workout being too difficult because all you have to do is look over at her pounding away.  It’s impossible not to suck it up.

After class today, we were talking about the decline and ultimate passing of our coach’s grandfather. He died one year after he had his driver’s license revoked at 86. May pointed out that if you stop in life, you will quickly deteriorate. That didn’t surprise me as you hear that all of the time. What came next is what stopped me in my tracks and encouraged me: May said that on the flip side, if you get going again, you could quickly improve and regain strength. She teaches a seniors yoga class at our gym (in addition to a seniors CrossFit class), and she spoke of one of her students who hadn’t worked out a lick until joining her class at 80 years old. When she first started, she needed Billy, our coach, to pick her up off of the ground.  Now, only a few weeks later, she is getting herself up, and the quality of her entire life has improved. From attending a seniors yoga class once a week!

May and her students are a good lesson to us all: use it or lose it. But the flip side is also true: get going at whatever pace you can and you will quickly get it back. What do you want to get back? Do something about it today. As the old expression goes, it’s better to wear out than to rust.