Tuesday's Coach's Tip has a special guest appearance today courtesy of member CR "Tay" Taylor-Burns...
"I started CrossFit in the summer of 2015; July 27th to be exact. I am sure of the date because I log everything. I have always been one to keep track of things. I consider myself very organized; some may say “anal.” CrossFit played into this desire to meticulously record, compile, and chart everything. So I know I started on July 27th of 2015. I know that on August 19, “My quads hurt so badly from Monday’s WOD.” I also know that after coming religiously to CrossFit 3 days a week for a few months, my overall body stiffness was frustrating. This body stiffness was one of the reasons I wanted to try out CrossFit in the first place. I wanted variety in my workouts; I wanted to supplement my cycling. (Of course, to no one’s surprise, cycling is now supplementing CrossFit.) I figured with all of the different body movements, nothing would be subjected to becoming stiff. Well, no such luck. I have been active all my life and still consider myself to be an athlete (even more so now after doing CrossFit), but I must admit that as I have gotten older it has been more difficult to stay limber. I will turn 45 next week, and have learned at this ripe, dare I say “old,” age that recovery is everything. I am in a perpetual state of recovery. And this is a good thing.
I approached Chad about the way I was feeling and he, after much bemoaning internally I’m sure about another one of his athletes who just hadn’t gotten it yet, explained the importance of recovery; “Especially at your age.” Ugh. Words no one (especially my age) wants to hear. But they are true words of wisdom. Chad explained the importance of the “cool down.” Those words you see, but may not pay attention to at the bottom of the whiteboard after a grueling and sweat-inducing WOD. Yes, that is written not because the coaches ran out of exercises to choose for the WOD, but because it’s just as important as the WOD itself.
I started to adhere religiously to the cool down after every WOD; at least 15 minutes of alternating airbike and rower, some foam rolling after that. I felt good. I felt less stiff directly afterwards and I felt less stiff the next day. So I knew it was working. But it wasn’t until my schedule changed and I could no longer do the cool down due to time constraints that I felt a huge difference. Now I am rolling out of bed at 5:00 in the morning (no, seriously; I am literally rolling out of bed and onto my foam roller) and doing about 15 minutes of mobility before driving in the dark to the box. I have to leave the box by 6:45 to get to work on time. I felt the change almost immediately. Getting out of bed in the morning, standing up after sitting for just a short period of time, getting in and out of the car… all of these were accompanied by stiffness in my knees, and hips especially.
I don’t mean to sound morbid, but age does take its toll. It doesn’t mean we can’t do what the youth are doing. We certainly can. But our recovery time must increase. I don’t mind it. Bring it on. I’ll say it proudly, “I’m in recovery.” I can’t properly cool down Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday, but by golly you’ll see me in recovery mode on Friday after the WOD and on Saturday mornings enjoying a MAP 10. My schedule isn’t conducive to the cool down right now, but this schedule won’t last forever. When it changes, I will be able to once again look at those words “cool down” so loving written by our coaches on the whiteboard, and be grateful that I have the time to recover."
AWESOME perspective, Tay!