'I joined CrossFit a little over a year ago after coming to the realization that if I didn’t make some changes, I was going to succumb to old age sooner rather than later. I was at that “used it or lose it” stage in my life. I was 60 pounds’ overweight, and I had extremely high blood pressure, something like 210 over 180. Also, my mobility was becoming more and more restricted. Ordinary things were difficult for me, like turning back to look over my shoulder, climbing stairs, and hopping up on or down off the tractor. Whenever I had to do any movement with my arms overhead, the joints in my shoulders would pop. I also found that the slightest exertion made me out of breath. This was the greatest concern to me of all, as I am an avid hunter and dreaded the thought that I would have to give it up.
At the urging of my son and doctor I signed up for CrossFit. When I started my work outs, my first thought was that I wouldn’t be able to do many of the exercises, not only because of my age and mobility issues, but also because I had some old back and shoulder injuries which had plagued me from my youth. I was afraid I was going to be pulling muscles, throwing my back out and generally injuring myself altogether. Watching men do ‘box jumps’, ‘overhead squats’ or ‘full squats’ overwhelmed me. However, the coaches encouraged me to just ‘do what you can’ and not worry about the results. They introduced the word ‘scaling’ to me and with that concept in mind, I gradually worked my way up to doing more than I ever imagined I could.
I still had one problem however, and that was when I progressed to the point that I could do these exercises, I would have a lot of joint pain in my shoulders and could barely get out of bed the next day. Whenever I would discuss these concerns with Doc, he would always end the conversation with, just keep coming back. I must admit that following this advice has completely changed my life. Doc Carroll told me that it takes about 6 months for soft tissue and ligaments to rejuvenate. And sure enough, after about six months, I found that my shoulders were greatly improved.
I can now throw a football, whereas before I could only throw an underhand lateral. I can now sleep whole nights through without waking, whereas before, I found myself tossing and turning all night because I couldn’t sleep on my shoulders for more than 15 minutes without them going numb. Best of all, when I went on my elk hunt this year, I found that my strength and endurance were greatly improved to the point that I could pack out 1/2 an elk at a time without much difficulty, AND keep up with my madman hunting partner, who thinks the elk are only on the most remote and highest mountain peaks that we could find!
One last thing I should mention is that I had started CrossFit in August 2015, but it wasn’t until that November that I finally committed myself to the Paleo diet which was recommended. I immediately noticed that my joint pain and my inflammation almost completely went away.
So now, after a little over a year between doing CrossFit and the paleo diet, I have cut my blood pressure medicine in half, I shed that unwanted 60 pounds and I feel better now than I did 25 years ago.'