This evening I joined a bunch of folks from my church at Bayview Retirement Community in Queen Anne to sing Christmas carols to the residents. Bayview is a collection of oldies but goodies who range from able bodied seniors, to folks in need of full time nursing care. We spent our time with the folks who were no longer capable of independent living. We saw about fifty people, none of whom were capable of ambulating without assistance. Many of them were unable to even feed themselves. This didn’t mean there still wasn’t energy in the place because in spite of the vocal assault that I unleashed on them many were still joyous over the experience. As I am sure you expected I thought about how deadlifts and paleo might have had an effect on the lives of the inmates. My belief is that what we do in the gym everyday, and what I encourage you to do outside of the gym, is not for today but for every day after today. I like to think of every pound you add to your back squat as just a few more dollars in the “bank of wellness” that will start paying dividends when you are 65, 75, or 85 years old. I didn’t see a single neutral spine, fully open hip, or confident gait for 2 hours and it made me think about the things that may have been neglected over the course of their lives. I am not saying there are not genetic limitations or that unpreventable circumstances could have led them there but I do believe the majority have simply lost the battle to the ever creeping tide of decrepitude. I believe that things could have been different for many of them. I believe they could still be different. How awesome would that place be if they started teaching folks to squat again? Don’t even get me started on the high carb, low protein, starchy, processed, HCF laden food they were eating when we got there. If they had eaten a little differently and moved a little differently would they be living in the extra bedroom at their son’s house instead of sharing a room with a stranger and a dialysis machine? Decrepitude is always creeping up on us. You can feel it in small ways when you stop doing CrossFit for two weeks. You didn’t realize how awesome you WERE until you get to feel how awesome you’re NOT after being away from the game for a while. The backsliding that you do from a simple vacation is nothing less then decrepitude slowly taking its hold on you. For some reason our bodies are genetically coded to get by with as little as possible. This means your body will scrap, bone and muscle that it doesn’t deem necessary. This means that by sitting on the couch all day you are actually getting weaker, slower, and more fragile. When you come into the gym and take your regular beatings your body is forced to respond by toughening up. This works if you are 16 or 66. As we were going from room to room I couldn’t help but think about you guys 50 years from now. Will you keep running, jumping, lifting, pulling, pushing, and throwing, fast and heavy so you will not be hunched and hobbling in your later years? I want Stone to play pick up rugby games at 70. I want Goodin to be making her fourteenth trip up Everest at 81. I want Jan to still be alive on January 5th, 2011. I want Eacker to do a strict pull up at any point before I die and I want Jesse to back, front, and overhead squat 145k. The gym does not always feel like a pleasant place when you are 5 minutes in to an awful 30 minute met con but if FGB can keep you out of places like that than it is worth it.