Spotlight Saturday – Stronger cycling, faster recovery and smaller belts?!

I thought it’d be interesting to hear more from our diverse range of members, there are so many great characters but also there are many different reasons for training at CrossFit Ballymena.  The very first person to step in the gym was Terry, he was so early we hadn’t even finished making the gym serviceable, I’m pretty sure I was covered in paint/dust and had about 4 hours sleep in the previous 4/5 days. He had called in on his way to Portrush (by bicycle and in full lycra) to say he wanted to join and that I’d be hearing from him very soon! Here is his story;

“I am Terry MacAllister, 58 years old living in Ballymena and I am a Solicitor in Larne.

Over the last 30 years my sport has primarily been Triathlons which for the uninitiated is an event consisting of a swim, followed by a bike, followed by a run.

The distances vary from reasonably short ones up to Full Iron Man which consists of a 2.4mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and then a marathon and yes you do them all one after the other and you have 16 hours to do it and yes I have done them and yes I do have the tattoo and the t-shirt. These days my triathlons are mainly restricted to the shorter distances but I make a point every year of doing at least one Half Iron Man, 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run, the last one was in May in Majorca this year.

Prior to entering into the madness that is Triathlon I mainly ran and I suppose like all young men I occasionally made a foray into the gym, lifting weights rather badly on reflection now that I am being taught how to actually do it properly.

Due to years creeping up I was advised and this was later confirmed to be very good advice by a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, that I should start lifting weights to maintain bone density, posture etc.

My son, Kevin, is a keen CrossFitter in CrossFit Belfast and when I asked him if he thought I could manage CrossFit had no hesitation in saying yes and also had no hesitation in sending me to CrossFit Ballymena which was just on the cusp of opening as he knew JP.

Since joining I must admit I have had an absolute blast and greatly enjoy the many different skills and not so much enjoy the various aches and pains that follow but that is just life.

Prior to joining CrossFit, preparation for my Triathlon races was mainly, as you would expect, lots of swimming, cycling and running and I had an idea that CrossFit would compliment these but I had no idea how much.

I can definitely say that all the leg work in the box has benefited my cycling greatly and my endurance levels in all three disciplines have definitely increased, recovery time afterwards seems to be quicker too.

I am obviously not alone in my endeavours in the Triathlon as I am a fairly active member of High Elbow Triathlon Club based in Antrim and as the years trundle by myself and a few friends, of a similar age group, are hoping to ‘up the anti’ one more time and go and race a Full Iron Man for our 60th.

The oldest Triathlon athlete in the Club is 73 and he competes every year at those distances.

I have to say that the craic is mighty in the box indeed and if you are thinned skinned then I suppose we could make allowances for you!    

One thing I do want to try is one of the competitions but everything in good time.

One of the major changes I have noticed is my body shape.    My weight has hovered fairly constant but the clothes now fit and I am down to the last notch on one of my belts. My Posture has altered as well and my Sciatica has gone! Mobility is a work in progress!

I would urge anyone, regardless of age or fitness levels to come and have a go at CrossFit, it quite simply caters for everyone and as I have discovered is actually quite addictive.

The coaches are all ‘user friendly’ and very knowledgeable and it is a pleasure to walk in and leave the pressures of the day at the door.”

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Thanks for sharing your story Terry, I hope this segment will become a regular part of the blog and we can see how much CrossFit can benefit people no matter their background or sport or lack thereof.

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