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Old 08-25-2005, 01:13 PM   #1
Corinne Thieleman
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"You are really too old to start lifting weights"

!!!!!!!!!!!

I've just been doing CrossFit a week and a half by now, and had gone to my VA dr. for a routine physical. I told him I was working out and taking vitamins and that was his reply! I had heard about other doctors saying crazy things, on this board, but I didn't really believe it until I heard it with my own ears.

I also told him about my knee pain, but rather than having it looked at in any manner, his advice was "take an aleve with every meal for a week and see if it helps."

Since I am not currently working steadily I cannot afford to go to a 'real' doctor. I deeply wish I could! But I am going to just keep doing what I've been doing, my knee is feeling better since I started working it, and I am sure as hell going to lift all the weight I can. I can't wait until next year when I can go back and tell him I am doing the WOD! (I hope I can do them as rx'd by then. :-) )
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Old 08-25-2005, 02:01 PM   #2
Ben Krey
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Some people are dumb no matter what letters come after their name.

Sounds like you are on the right track Corinne. Just take the workouts one day at a time and listen to your body.

All the best.

-Ben
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Old 08-25-2005, 02:20 PM   #3
Robyn Joy
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Corinne,

Horrifying yet . . . typical. I know a fit woman in her 50s whose doctor wouldn’t recommend physical therapy when she tore her meniscus because, he said, “You’re old. Physical therapy is for young athletes.” When she said: “But I want to play tennis and ski and hike again” he replied: “Maybe you should find something else to do.” To which SHE replied: “Maybe what I should find is a new doctor.”

You should also inform your doctor that there is lots and lots of evidence that lifting weight is actually very important for women as they age, helping to maintain bone density and prevent osteoporosis. If you want references of scientific studies, just let me know -- I can provide the ammo!

I’m new to Crossfit, too, but my own experience with funky knees has shown that there’s a lot that can be done. I was pretty hard on my body in college and have missing articular cartilage and had to have double arthroscopies to drill holes to create scar tissue many years ago. For awhile after that, I tried to be a good girl and avoided exercises said to over-stress the knees . . . and they hurt like crazy. But when I started doing squats, wall sits, kettlebell swings, step-ups and even pistols – with tons of focus on form, form, FORM – plus lots of yoga standing poses, my knees felt way better. Of course, your mileage may vary. But it's good to trust your own experience.

You can always try adding exercises that develop the musculature around the knee and simply back off if you feel like you’re getting inflamed. You might be pretty surprised!

Best,
Robyn
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Old 08-25-2005, 09:52 PM   #4
Veronica Carpenter
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Time to get a new DOC!
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Old 08-25-2005, 10:35 PM   #5
Beth Moscov
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Oh my! That is actually worse than my doc who was convinced I was taking steroids cause of the results I was getting with crossfit. Like a 43 year old mama of two really needs steroids!

Ignore it. If the doc is good for other things, hang on and ignore. If not, I agree with Veronica!

You might ask your doc if Jack LaLanne is too old to lift weights!
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Old 08-25-2005, 11:29 PM   #6
David Birozy
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I'd just ask if he thought you were too old to kick him in the huevos, and then prove you are not by doing so. Then you can point out that age isn't a barrier to being in shape any more than it is to be able to kick somebody in the B@[[$. Ask if he needs any more examples.

Seriously though, that's rediculous. Ben's right on. You can still be an idiot AND be an MD. That is such old school thinking.
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Old 08-26-2005, 07:27 AM   #7
Donn Venema
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Contrast Corinne's experience with mine. Five years ago, at age 50, having just relocated, feeling that I was long overdue for a complete physical, and having not been to a doc for years, I needed to find one. I started by walking into a sports medicine clinic and just asking for a list of a few docs that they felt would work well for someone like me. I made an appointment with one of them and told him right away that I exercise daily and planned on climbing till my knees quit bending. He was 70 years old, very fit himself, and a daily runner. After the physical, and after a lot of discussion, he said that my exercise regimen looked pretty good, but that he'd LIKE TO SEE ME LIFT WEIGHTS MORE!

I'm 100% with Veronica on this one. Time to find a new doc, and I would recommend treating the search as a serious one. As has been said by others many times, most folks are more discriminating in finding a contractor to remodel their house than they are in finding a doctor to care for them medically. I think most people tend to pick a GP for reasons of convenience, location, or a friend uses them. etc., instead of treating the search as an interview process that the doc can either pass or fail. For any athlete, and especially for those of us beyond the "typical" athletic years (over 35-40?), I think it's important that you find a doc who understands and appreciates that serious fitness is not just for the young. It is equally important that your new doc know right up front how seriously you personally take your fitness pursuits (including dietary regimen, supplements, and anything else applicable to you). While there is no defense for a doc telling anyone they are too old to lift weights, docs do need to know who they are working with and what your expectations are. Remember that most of their patients have no interest in following any serious exercise or tough dietary advice and don't want to hear it recommended to them. With people like that, docs are going out on a limb suggesting something as simple as a daily long walk and cutting back on fast food. They need to know that you're at the other end of the spectrum.
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Old 08-26-2005, 08:18 AM   #8
Thomas Kryston
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Corinne, your post is a reminder that we, ourselves personally, are responsible for our own health. Not some doctor.

I applaud you for questioning his diagnosis. You know your body better than he.
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Old 08-26-2005, 11:31 AM   #9
John Walsh
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Get a new doctor as soon as you can and don't be afraid to shop around. I had a doc a few years ago that told me I was obese at 5'9" 240. I had plenty of fat at the time but was PLing. I told her I lifted a lot and she looked up from her clip board and said, "yes, I see you're well muscled. I recommend that you stop lifting weights, jog and eat less protein." I walked out.

The doc I have now is the best. He loves hearing about the crossfit protocol and thinks it's first rate. He get's it. Doctors are no different than any other profession. Very few are great, some are good, some stink, a few are criminal and the vast majority are average. Average docs treat symptoms and don't think out of the box. I won't settle for average.
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Old 08-26-2005, 11:34 AM   #10
John Walsh
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Corinne,

Have you noticed that no one here inquired about your age? It's a given here that one is never too old...for virtually anything.
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