If you’re new to the CrossFit Merced Holiday Throwdown, you probably don’t know that the HTD added a 40′s Division BEFORE CrossFit added one to the Open/Games. We did so because, like many of you, our affiliate has lots of 40s and Masters athletes and we wanted to create an event where they could not only come compete but compete against their peers. While we’re pleased to offer competition in our Open, 40s and Masters Divisions, it’s the Masters Division at the HTD that is represented by the athletes who’ve reached the highest heights in the sport of CrossFit, with Masters Athletes Terry Dickman and Cindy Kelley having four CrossFit Games appearances between them (Terry 3 and Cindy 1) – oh, and they both won their respective Masters Divisions at last year’s HTD as well.
We’re huge fans of both Terry and Cindy and thought we’d do a “Getting to know Terry and Cindy” so you too can get to know a little bit more about these amazing and inspirational athletes.
Here we go…
TD: I am a purchasing manager for a local Solar company, I am also a co-owner of CrossFit Excel in Manteca. I have 4 children and have been happily married for 26 years. I have been CrossFitting since Dec 2008. I was pretty active in various sports in my 20’s and 30’s, but as my family and children grew, I made less time for myself, gained weight and became unfit and somewhat unhappy (about my health). I had been a member of various globo gyms over the years but never really felt motivated to work out. In my quest to become healthier and lose some weight I found CrossFit. I signed up at Excel eventually got hooked, became a trainer then a co-owner.
CK: I am a athlete and trainer at Crossfit Turlock. I have been doing Crossfit for about 5 years, more seriously in the last 2 years. I have always been active and was primarily a runner for most of my life. I ran the 400 meter hurdles at UC Davis when I was in college. After college, I was working and my fitness routine consisted mainly of running. When I got married to my husband Kevin, we moved to the central valley where he grew up. I was introduced to Crossfit by my trainer Shannon Mardakas , who is the owner of Crossfit Turlock. I actually went to her for personal training after I suffered a back injury playing polo (on horses). I remember telling her that I did not think I would ever be able to run again. That was probably 5 years ago and, after consistently doing Crossfit, my back is stronger than ever and I am able to run on a regular basis.
TD: In 2010, at my first Games, I had no idea what to expect, I was nervous, and in the end wanted more than just 3 workouts, but I was happy to tie for 4th place. In 2011 I competed injured (a torn rotator cuff) but I showed up because I felt, even injured, I had earned my spot and I surprised myself and finished 11th. I didn’t participate in the Open in 2012 since I was recovering from my injury. In 2013 I was on a mission and worked extremely hard all year and my experience at the previous two Games meant I was more relaxed when competing. I focused on having a great time competing with friends I had made from the previous Games. The thing that has stood out most to me from the Gams has been the amazing growth of CrossFit as a sport, and the improvements across the board. Also, I really do think that there’s something special about the camaraderie of the athletes in our age group and the depth of friendships we make.
CK: This year, I qualified for the Crossfit Games which was a huge accomplishment for me. I qualified by finishing the Open in 18th position (editors note: IN THE WORLD!) and went on to finish the Games in 8th place in my age group. The Games experience was phenomenal. The athletes that I competed against were all top notch and amazing athletes. The event was extremely well organized and the workouts were hard but a great test of our fitness. I was honored to be able to compete with the best of the best.
TD: Nothing really, I still feel like a 20 year old in a 56 year old body. Trying to get my body to cooperate with my mind seems to be my major issue.
CK: Being a masters athlete is awesome. I find that, with my Crossfit training, I am able to do things that I could never have done earlier in my life. I love that I feel stronger and fitter at age 50 than I did in my 20’s or 30’s. I love working out with younger athletes and challenging myself to keep up with them. Granted, I cant always do that but it is sure fun to try!
TD: I think the biggest difference is recovery and warm up. You really need to warm up, work on mobility. For recovery, listen to your body, more is not necessarily better.
CK: As I have gotten older, I find that pacing myself is far more important than finishing first in every workout.
TD: Strength and mobility trump everything else. Train hard but enjoy yourself and have fun. Don’t stress out about your times or the amount of weight that you lift. Just do the best you can for that day and be glad you can be active – and it’s OK to drink beer.
CK: I’ve realized that I have to pay attention to my body more. Mobility and flexibility are two things that are very challenging for me as a master’s athlete so I spend a fair bit of time working to improve in those areas. Also, I can no longer say that it is just “mind over body” because that approach doesn’t always work out for the best.
TD: Back Squat, nothing clears your mind more than having heavy weight on your back and the only escape route is up.
CK: Body weight and skill movements like double unders, push ups, dips and pull ups are things that I love to do (although pistols are definitely something that I have had to work on a great deal to perform. And some days are still better than others!)
TD: Pistols – they are not meant for old people.
CK: As a runner, I never really did any serious strength training or lifting before CrossFit. Now, I deadlift, squat and Olympic lift on a regular basis. I think that developing my strength has been the most challenging aspect of Crossfit. I definitely struggle with the Olympic lifts and proper form but that is one of great things about Crossfit – you will always have the chance to improve, no matter what your age is!
TD: CrossFit may not be for you but you won’t know until you try it. Don’t expect a magic bullet, just like anything else you need to be consistent and work hard to see results.
CK: I would definitely recommend Crossfit to any person who wants to get into shape and have fun working out. At our gym, we always encourage people to come down and give it a try while emphasizing that all the workouts can be easily modified to accommodate athletes of all levels and ages. One of the best things about Crossfit is the community. I think that most people who belong to a box will say that part of the allure of Crossfit is the sense of community and support that exists not only within each individual box but throughout the larger global community of Crossfit. While I have not done a lot of competitions, I have met and made some wonderful friends through the ones that I have done. The HTD is a perfect example of that sense of community.
TD: Good people, it’s fun and gives me something to train for.
CK: I competed in this competition for the first time last year and was so impressed with the organization and the planning that went into putting on an amazing event. Everyone who competed was friendly and encouraging and the venue was spectacular. The workouts were well planned out, safe and a great test of fitness. I know that the HTD team will outdo themselves this year as the event gets even bigger and even better!
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