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Age Is Not Just A Number – Member Success Story of Gijsbert (69)

A Humbling and Inspiring Success Story of one or our Members


Gijsbert Tweehuysen (69): “Age is not just a number…

Since I’ve started CrossFit in April, I stepped on a roller-coaster of different emotions and experiences.

Every week in the box was a confrontation with my physical condition and it did more to my psychological state of mind than I could ever imagined beforehand.

In my head I was this 30-year old man, with certain capabilities, which had diminished because my age was 69. That was about it… and it didn’t fit somehow. I underperformed and I tried to do things that I could not possibly achieve. So I didn’t try it anymore.

I did not look good, I was too heavy, I had too much fat around my belly, my hair was thin, my muscles were weak, I had my third set of teeth and I had diabetes.

Then I became grandfather. An amazing little girl entered our lives and I relived the days I became a daddy myself and I realized who I wanted to be for this new member of the family. And then I realized that I could never be the father… I was the grandfather.

I had to be the happy old man, strong enough to keep her physically safe, with enough stamina to deal with her energy and capable of telling her about the lessons I learned in my life. So I had a challenge ahead of me.

I quit smoking, I went really serious with my diet, resulting in almost 10 kg weight loss and lowering my blood sugar to the level that I could stop diabetes medication.

In the CrossFit Box, where I always admired those wonderful “young athletic bodies”, I started to become proud of my own achievements. Every time a little bit more weight on the bar, just swing the next heavier kettlebell around, do some more ring-rows and it makes me feel good and capable.

Finally I came to the notion that I am 69 years old in years but that I now really “feel” like that 69 years old. I am that grey guy with a round bent spine (like my dad) and scores way lower than the rest of my fellow athletes during the work-out.

Yet I want to be the fittest 69 year-old I can possibly be and the happiest 69 year old that I can possibly be for my loved ones and my grandchild in particular.

I found out that age is not just a number, but it is a physical reality and it really is a challenge to match your “self” with that reality.

Thanks to CrossFit Heerlen and my grandchild, I started to learn that.”