Up the Mountain

January 19, 2015

Everest to the Gangetic Plain, Bill Thompson, 1983


(Read how I started training and competing.)

The 2015 CrossFit Open begins in two weeks and I am 59 years old now. I turn 60 this year, on a date too late to qualify to compete in that age class. But I am hoping to make a good showing in spite of the fact that I’ll be among the oldest in the group. Plus, I am going in this year knowing that I still don’t have some skills that will be critical for qualification in the CrossFit Games. Handstand walking, muscle ups, linked pull-ups in high volume: I don’t have them, but I will continue to work hard until I do.

I don’t know what the future will bring. Friends who have known me for many years are very supportive when they say, “Look, you have climbed Mt. Everest, you can surely win this.” But climbing is not a competition and no one is keeping score like they do in CrossFit.




My goal is to make it into the stadium in 2016 as one of the 20 qualifiers aged 60+ to compete for the title of the Fittest on Earth. Success in CrossFit competition has practically nothing to do with climbing a mountain. But when I think of what lies ahead of me, I am reminded of the moment in 1996 when my expedition leader Scott Fischer called our first team meeting. He told us, “From this point on, everything you do or don’t do, what you eat, what you think, what you feel must be oriented toward the goal of making it to the top of the mountain, if you expect to have a chance at success.”

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