Older couple redefines idea of CrossFit athletes

Published: Jun. 7, 2019 at 6:43 PM EDT
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A Niles, Michigan couple is redefining the idea of fitness as you age.

Richard and Kate Sheehan do CrossFit, and they're not just focused on building strength.

“As you get older, you notice the list of things you can do easily just gets smaller,” Richard said.

Tasks like raking the leaves, changing the smoke detector or picking up a grandchild can become difficult as we age.

“Seeing that circle of things that you're comfortable doing closing in, I didn't like that,” Richard said.

He decided to search for something to keep him active and help him maintain his active lifestyle. Richard joined CrossFit 061 five years ago and has been hooked ever since.

“I’m closing in on 70, and at 75 or 80, I still want to be able to do the things I enjoy doing,” Robert said.

His wife, Kate, soon joined too.

“Every workout is different every day, and I enjoy that,” Kate said. “I’m basically modifying and scaling all the movements.”

Richard and Kate might be some of the older competitors at the gym, but it doesn't slow them down one bit.

“I’d say half of the 9 o'clock class are our kids' ages or younger, so it's kind of like working out with our 30-year-olds,” Kate said with a laugh.

The fit couple said it's not just about building strength but proving age doesn't define your abilities.

“It’s easy to say, ‘OK, I’ll start tomorrow,’ but you need to make a commitment to yourself,” Richard said. “Once you do that, it should be a habit. Not just going out for a walk.

“For people, as they get older, range of motion is important. For women, osteoporosis is a major problem. If you come in here, that would not be a problem.”

Richard and Kate hope people will think differently about fitness as they get older and don't underestimate their abilities.

To learn more about CrossFit 061 or the classes offered,