Deb Kavalier isn’t letting inexperience or age stand in her way. At 58, she’s working out for the first time – and this isn’t just any old workout program. It’s Crossfit, arguably one of the toughest programs around.
“Give me 15,” yells Mandy Parton, as her class stretches with a PVC pipe.
This is just the warm-up.
“I told them when I first started here, I’m not as young as you kids are. I don’t bounce back like you do,” says Deb as she rolls the pipe down her back.
Deb’s kids are the reason she’s here. Her son and daughter-in-law dragged her into Priority Crossfit in Altoona, Iowa on December 26, 2012.
“The hardest thing for everyone, I feel, is getting to the gym… walking through the door,” says Mandy.
Deb doesn’t disagree.
“I came in and she said do a sit-up. So, I laid down on the ground and I just did a little crunch. That’s all I could do.”
Mandy says about three months later, “She completed her very first sit-up and I was fortunate enough to be a part of that.”
In July, Deb took another challenge. The Workout Of The Day, or WOD, instructed class participants to complete as many sit-ups as possible in 33 minutes. Her goal: 200. Deb completed 550.
“The smile on her face and the tears that came to her eye, no amount of money can replace that,” says Mandy.
These days, Deb is doing a lot more than sit-ups. She powering through pull-ups and push-ups. She says she’s “firmed up everywhere” and has lost at least one pant’s size. But that’s not the true measure of her success.
“It’s hard work, it is. But it’s good. I feel like I’m a better person inside, a better mom, a better grandmother.”
Deb’s goals continue to grow and you get the sense this is only a warm-up for her.
“My glass is always half full, but now it’s almost all the way… I feel good about me!”