Photo Credit: Cinnamon Prior
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Four years ago, Nikki Holmes noticed her 89-year-old mother Annie Holmes had stopped walking like she used to.
“She had an aging Corgi, and when he stopped walking she kind of did, too. And she had always been a walker, but she was struggling to walk 100 yards,” said Nikki, now 62. At the same time, Nikki and Annie were planning a trip to Italy, Greece and Turkey, which was going to require some serious walking.
When Nikki expressed her concerns to her mother, Annie said, ‘Well, maybe I could join that class that you go to.”
Annie was referring to her daughter’s CrossFit class at Auburn CrossFit in Auburn, CA.
Where Annie is Today
Four years later, at the age of 93, Annie is a devoted member of Auburn CrossFit and walking is no longer a problem.
“She’s always up for walks. She’ll walk with me and my three 50-pound dogs. She’s never not up for a walk, even if she has already done CrossFit that day,” Nikki said.
Not only is walking enjoyable again, but Annie also rows and bikes and deadlifts, and can do modified burpees and lunges and is even doing this year’s Open workouts (although she isn’t registered).
But what she’s most proud of is her plank time. Annie can hold a plank for three minutes and 10 seconds.
“There’s a little 6-year-old girl at the gym, who is the daughter of one of the coaches, and she holds the same record as me,” said the 4-foot-9 Annie.
Further, Nikki said she has noticed her mother’s strength and balance are leaps and bounds ahead of where they were prior to CrossFit.
Sometimes, though, Nikki said her mother’s newfound confidence can get the best of her.
Shortly after starting CrossFit, Annie wanted to remove an 8-foot umbrella from her aluminum table in her backyard, so she climbed on top of the patio table and pulled the umbrella out. But before she could get down again, the table flipped and took her down with it, leaving Annie with a broken wrist and shoulder.
Her doctor told her there was a good chance she would never be able to raise her hands again, but Annie, with CrossFit as her secret weapon, proved him wrong and managed to recover from the injury in her 90s.
But as much as CrossFit has helped her physically, it has been an equal emotional and mental help.
“It’s the emotional bonds we have. People will tell me that I inspire them, but every single person there inspires me. And we really are bonded. We have parties outside the workouts and we are there for each other in every way,” Annie said.
Annie’s Message to Other Seniors
To Annie, aging is like a disease that can be reversed, she explained.
“You can recover from it. It doesn’t need to take you down,” Annie said. “And I encourage everybody to do CrossFit. If I can get more people to join and discover how much power they still have, I would be really happy.”
So far, so good. Recently, CrossFit LLC released a video of Annie, and since then three other seniors—two 80-year-olds and one 81-year-old—have joined Auburn CrossFit because the video inspired them.
Annie couldn’t be more pleased, and is ultimately proof that CrossFit really is for anyone of any age.
“I’m just glad I’m here. And I will never give it up,” she said.