At 70 Years Old, Lois Aldrich Credits Her Health to CrossFit

October 5, 2023 by
Photo Credit: Hillary Ehlen Photo
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Five years ago, Lois Aldrich walked into her first CrossFit class at Sheyenne River CrossFit in West Fargo, ND.

It was an (almost) dare from her son Ryan Aldrich–now owner of that same gym–that drove her to attend the class. 

  • “He was out to visit me and told me I should join CrossFit,” Lois Aldrich said. “From what I had heard of it, I didn’t think it was something I could do.”
  • “But when he left that day, I said, ‘I’ll see you at CrossFit tomorrow,’” she recalled. “He said, ‘Yeah right,’ and I took that as a dare. I went over and signed up without even trying or viewing a class.” 

Now at 70 years old, cancer survivor, mother, and farm girl Lois Aldrich is a regular at her gym and sees the benefits of her membership every day.

Lois’s story: “At the time [Lois joined CrossFit], I had been doing CrossFit for four years, and I thought it would be a good fit for her. She was a postal carrier for a number of years, a job that was strenuous hard work… I thought [CrossFit] could replace that,” said Ryan Aldrich. 

Going into her first CrossFit class, her perception of CrossFit was simply “people lifting huge amounts of weights with barbells.” Quickly, she learned it was much more than that:

  • “I found that they work with you so well. They scale the movements to your abilities so well and make it easy for you – or easier – so you build confidence,” Lois Aldrich said.
  • “And the community, the people are very welcoming and accepting. They offer a lot of support.” 

Since starting CrossFit, Lois Aldrich said she feels more flexible, has dropped some weight, and overall has more energy. Ryan Aldrich said he’s seen his mother become more comfortable with movements like burpees and handling heavier weights.

  • “I’m more flexible and stronger to do the everyday things that you have to do. People my age, if you fall, it’s nice if you have the flexibility to get your reflexes going and you can catch yourself,” Lois Aldrich said.
  • “From a real-life standpoint,” Ryan Aldrich added, “She has been the primary caretaker for my dad for some time. There are scenarios where… if she wouldn’t be doing CrossFit, she wouldn’t be able to help him.”
  • “Even now, when I go to take him out somewhere, I need to load the wheelchair. When I’m doing that, I think wow – a lot of people my age wouldn’t be able to do that,” Lois Aldrich said. 

In addition, Ryan Aldrich noted that Lois Aldrich’s diagnosis of osteopenia, a precursor to osteoporosis, has been reversed thanks to her CrossFit strength training.

Bringing her generation to CrossFit: Though she’s seen drastic improvements through CrossFit, Lois Aldrich is one of few people her age at her gym. That’s something she hopes will change. 

  • “We were just talking about how [Lois] wishes some of her friends would come do CrossFit. She was saying that… it is not only something that you want to do but that you need to do as you get older. She just wished that other people understood it,” Ryan Aldrich said.
  • “We have a few other members who are close to her same age, and they all say the same thing, how much it has done for their life and longevity once they get in [the gym],” he continued.
  • Lois Aldrich added: “When I get my checkup at the doctor, they ask me where my other sheet of medications is. I only have one to take – and they’re surprised to see that at my age I’m only on one medication. I credit that to CrossFit and a healthy lifestyle.”

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