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Be Able To Run In The First Place
With record levels of obesity swamping the country and with both a moral and economic reason to help those overweight get into a health and fitness lifestyle, the fact is that not everyone can just buy a pair of shoes and start a running program. If you weigh too much you may not be able to run at all, or if you can the stress on the joints is so much that the first thing that might happen is you get hurt. CrossFit is set-up to help bridge the gap–by using a proper diet and scaling workouts and exercises into what an overweight person can do for exercise, a client can be set on a path to get to a place where he or she can become a runner. I was witness to this process with Irene Mejia, who started CrossFit at the weight of 415 pounds. Working with coaches Paul Estrada and Dr. Leon Chang, fellow members of the gym watched as Irene transformed from barely being able to walk a few blocks to being able to run the intervals that appear in the daily workouts. She’s now under 300 pounds and can be accurately described as an athlete. I was reminded of a Colorado running shoe store that started to offer CrossFit-style classes because they saw an opportunity to develop their business by guiding non-runners into being runners. As far as CrossFit’s overall contribution to the world of running and road racing, this may be the most valuable part.
T.J. Murphy is a contributing editor for Competitor magazine and author of “Inside the Box: “How CrossFit Shredded the Rules, Stripped Down the Gym and Rebuilt My Body.”