Meet Nancy Hoshaw, 73-Year-Old CrossFitter

Nancy Hoshaw was living a basically sedentary lifestyle when she had a heart attack at age 48. At 60, it was breast cancer. She went to Israel with a group of friends and saw how many women in the group had to lean on canes or other people to get around. Some couldn’t physically get to some of the tourist sites. Hoshaw saw these other older women and decided she wanted more out of life.

“That made a big difference to me, and made me get to the gym.”

She was skeptical, at first, about CrossFit. But a trainer, Jordan Cook, emphasized how so much of CrossFit is centered on functional exercise.”If you fell down, what would you have to do to get back up? A burpee. If you are doing laundry and you pick something up, what are you going to have to do? A deadlift,” says Cook.

These fundamental exercises have made Hoshaw feel more self-sufficient. She’s now part of the CrossFit community, which keeps her active. Everyone encourages each other at the gym. “I like that positive attitude,” says Hoshaw, “I think of it as a way of life. It’s necessary for me to feel good and strong.”

Hoshaw wasn’t always sure about her destined role as an inspiration. Cook and some coworkers decided they needed to post something for CrossFit members to start preparing for the CrossFit Games. Cook knew it would inspire others if they saw Hoshaw getting set for the Games at her age. Hoshaw was hesitant, but an Instagram video of her working out went viral. The video was viewed thousands of times, and now Hoshaw knows how she can help others.

“I feel like I can encourage other people,” says Hoshaw. And of CrossFit specifically, she says, “It’s amazing the doors that you can open if you just give it a try.”

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