How Crossfit Made This 78-Year-Old Stronger Than Ever

It’s not every day you see a 78-year-old deadlifting 102 pounds. That is, unless you were to show up to a CrossFit 616 class on a day when Carol Leigh was there.

What Keeps Her Coming Back

The results, she said, have been the most rewarding part of the process. She’s found that she’s more agile and able to do physical activity more easily than before. 

“You discover things,” Leigh shares. “When I go to ride my bike, it’s easier to throw my legs over the saddle. Going up and down stairs without hanging onto the rail, putting my pants on without holding onto something, getting up from the chair without using my hands — I’ll do it and discover, ‘oh, this is easy.’” 

Before crossfit, she was a fan of yoga and racing for exercise, but says that this workout is a favorite because it’s improved her balance and how she navigates everyday life. Even she’s amazed by her own progress. 

“I was at a group workout and we were doing box jumps,” she says. “I couldn’t jump six inches when I started, and now I can. So it’s a lot of these little things. Now I can do a 12-inch step-up without holding onto anything. I didn’t even think about it. It kind of surprised me.”


Her Advice

Even though trying a new sport or exercise can be tricky at first, Leigh wants everyone to know that there are ways to stay active, no matter their age.

“Look for something you enjoy doing, because it’s a lot easier to stick to it,” she advises. “And don’t be afraid that your age is going to be a deterrent. Most of the people you’ll run into will admire that you’re doing it. They’ll cheer you on.”


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At Brookdale, we encourage our residents to stay active and live their best lives, regardless of age. If you’re interested in our senior living communities, we’d love to chat! Contact us any time.

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