Lee Monk doing Charlotte Crossfit at Kaiser

Competing in CrossFit at 62: What’s Your Excuse?

Five days a week, you can find Lee Monk at Kaiser CrossFit.  But that’s not the amazing part of this story. Lee Monk will be 62 years old in August and is heading to Wisconsin as a final qualifier for the 2018 Reebok CrossFit Games. And it’s not her first time! In 2012 and 2017 she was also a participant.

When we met with Lee, she was humble about her accomplishments and abilities. Her warm smile and toned body did not reveal her true age. She sat and talked with us about her journey into CrossFit and her unwavering dedication to her workouts over the last decade. “I need this,” she said.

She found her home gym at Kaiser CrossFit led by Chris and Sami Singer and said “the community they have created feels like a family.” She commutes from South Charlotte to University area everyday to make sure she’s getting the training she needs. Chris curates and tailors all of her programming in preparation for the Games in August.

“It (CrossFit) lifts me up,” Monk explains, as she has her share of personal heartache that she lives through. Being the best you can be is the ultimate goal and she told us what she tells herself, “I can do this!”

What’s unique about the CrossFit community in my age group is that “we all want the best for all of the athletes.” She said this community is a powerful motivation for her and continues to challenge her perceived limitations. At 5’5″ and 132 lbs, she was ranked 15th worldwide in her age group at the 2012 Games. In 2017 she finished 10th in her age group worldwide. This year she is heading into the 2018 Games at 126 lbs, 9.4% body fat and proudly still standing at 5’5. With one more month of training left to go, Lee is ready for another CrossFit Games.

The CrossFit training method is a relatively new form of physical training, but the definition of the technique goes much deeper than that. CrossFit proponents see their training as a way to build whole-body functional fitness  The method employs various calisthenics, free weights, gymnastic rings, kettle bells, and pull-up bars. The goal of CrossFit training is to create the “Quintessential Athlete.”

She humored us with a story about learning to swim at 61 years old. Since the games are on the shores of 3 lakes in Wisconsin, there is a possibility of a swimming component in the 3-day event. Not being a swimmer wasn’t going to stop her, so she added distance swimming to her repertoire of new accomplishments. The Reebok CrossFit Games Finals are August 1-5 in Madison Wisconsin.

Lee Monk is an extraordinary woman, an elite athlete and someone who continues to inspire those who meet her in and out of the gym.