Many people are hesitant to try CrossFit for a variety of reasons. It’s either they’re too busy or they feel they’re a bit too old to try the sport and risk getting injured. Don’t tell that to Chris Glaspell. This athlete from CrossFit Anywhere started when he’s about to turn 40. 2 plus years after, he’s still very much engaged with the sport and his community. Life starts at 40, after all. Check out what he has to say.
How long have you been involved in CrossFit?
I’ve been CrossFitting for about 2 1/2 years. I had heard about CrossFit several years before that and used to visit the main site a lot. I would watch the instructional videos on the site, but I’d never done any kind of lifting at that time so I would only try the bodyweight movements. I wasn’t comfortable trying anything else out without a coach. I eventually joined CrossFit Anywhere in Folsom, CA at the beginning of 2012.
What’s your favorite CrossFit movement?
My favorite lift is the Clean. I love doing them and I think I’ve had the most success with that lift. I still have work to do but I think my technique is pretty good, and it’s one of my strongest lifts. I look forward to wods that include the movement. I also really like learning the gymnastics movements, especially handstands. It’s awesome to see how far I’ve progressed. When I first started I had difficulty doing a handstand against the wall, and now I’m doing handstand pushups and walking on my hands.
What aspect do you feel you need to improve on the most (e.g. metcon, mobility, strength, etc)?
Honestly, I need to improve in every category. They are all so important to be a good athlete, so I’m working to improve in everything. If I had to pick one right now, I would say mobility. Mobility is so important in everything we do and I’m not the most flexible person. I try to work on mobility regularly and I’ve improved a lot, but I still have a long way to go. Crossfit Anywhere has regular mobility classes, so I try to go as much as I can.
How has CrossFit changed your lifestyle?
It’s become such a big part of my life. I love going to the gym, so it consumes a lot of my free time. I love the community so it’s added a lot of new friends and activities outside the gym to my life. I’ve also learned more about nutrition since I started CrossFit than I did the previous 40 years. I am not strict Paleo but I do lean that way and I’m more aware of what I’m eating now.
How do you physically and mentally prepare for a WOD?
I prepare physically by mobilizing before the warm-up when I can. I usually work on my hips and shoulders. I like using lacrosse balls, bands and the hip circle. Mentally I try to strategize a lot to figure out how I can get through the workout efficiently without blowing up.
How do you keep up with the younger CrossFitters?
I usually don’t keep up with the younger CrossFitters. LOL. I just keep trying to improve and work hard. I try to maintain good form, come into the workout with a good strategy and be efficient. I’m really trying to focus on taking shorter breaks too because I tend to take too many.
You recently started selling personalized socks. Tell us more about this venture and how do you plan to impact the CrossFit community with it.
Yeah, I’m selling custom socks and the sky’s the limit on the customization. The cool part about the business is the ability to do large orders or small orders. Custom socks have been big with basketball players for a while now, so I wanted to bring it to CrossFit. A lot of us like to wear knee high socks, so I thought it would be great to offer customization for knee highs. I’m in the beginning stages of this venture, so I’ve mainly focused on doing socks for CrossFit Anywhere up to this point. Tie Dye is the signature of our gym so I’ve done a few tie dye patterns to sell to our members. I plan to branch out with some original designs and hope to have a website up soon for online orders. I hope to impact the CrossFit community by offering new way for people to customize their workout gear. The plan is to offer our own line of original designs as well as custom orders for individuals and gyms.
How’s the CrossFit Anywhere community like? I heard you guys were in full support in the NorCal Regionals.
The CrossFit Anywhere community is awesome. Blair Morrison, our gym owner and head coach, has made the community a place where we work hard but don’t take ourselves too seriously. Like I mentioned earlier, tie dye is the signature of our gym and it’s becoming pretty well known where we are from if you see us at a competition. Sometimes we do things like costume wods at the gym or 5 minutes freestyle dance as a warmup, so things are definitely varied and fun. Blair is also known for getting outside the gym for workouts and incorporates that into a lot of our wods. Our Folsom gym is located a mile from Folsom Lake so there are weekly swim wods during the summer. It’s a great gym and great community.
Yeah the NorCal Regional was a blast. Blair was there competing and our gym qualified a team. We were there with the tie dye, Anywhere man signs and costumes being as rowdy as possible. The highlight was watching Blair win the sprint/rope climb workout.
I heard that you just recently competed in a local throwdown. How was the experience?
Crossfit Anywhere put on a competition recently called Bringing Color Back. I competed in the Masters/Scaled category and had a blast. There were 3 wods and a floater, and there wasn’t anything I couldn’t complete so it was a lot of fun. In true Anywhere style, the day ended with a run to the lake, overhead carry and a swim. Turns out most of the people in the field are faster runners and swimmers than I am, so I didn’t finish where I wanted but it was a great day. I’ll definitely do it again next year.
What are your personal goals as a CrossFitter? Would we be seeing you in the 50+ Masters division several years from now?
I just want to keep progressing and get fitter and stronger. I love doing CrossFit and want to stay healthy and keep going. I’ve started doing things like handstand walks and muscle ups, but I don’t feel very proficient at them. Getting better at those elements would be two immediate goals. I’d also like to get my level 1 cert eventually, but that’s down the road.
What’s your message for your fellow CrossFitters who feel they’re either too old or too busy to try the sport?
I’ll take a line from Crossfit Anywhere’s philosophy. “In life, the ability or inability to meet physical challenges shapes and individuals personality and lifestyle”. Poor health effects everything in your life, so fitness and health must be a priority. Besides, CrossFit workouts are short so everyone can fit it in. There’s always time to do some burpees. I also don’t believe anyone is too old. I’m 42 and i’m in the best shape of my life. People of all ages are doing CrossFit and progressing. Everything can be scaled to your abilities. A great example of this is Blair’s grandparents. They are CrossFitters and are an inspiration to our community. It’s great.