“I do not like to have to scale back in workouts because of my age – it is like having to drive from the Women’s Tee."
“Everybody here inspires me,” Patricia Filer says.
Yet if you ask anyone at her box, Morgan Junction CrossFit in West Seattle, Wash., she’s the inspiration.
A few weeks ago, the 63-year-old decided to sign up for the Open for the first time. Now, one week into the competition, she’s in the 20th position on the Masters 60+ Leaderboard.
Finishing 150 reps on 13.1 with a tiebreaker time of 13:32, she set herself apart from other women her age.
Like many CrossFitters, she didn’t start CrossFit so she could crush the Open. Two years ago, she joined CrossFit West Seattle to appease her son, Zach Filer.
“I have supported all three of my sons, all were athletes growing up and continue to be active, with CrossFit or martial arts,” she says.
When Zach opened his own box, Morgan Junction, last November, she followed him across town.
“It was natural to continue training with Zach, not to mention how proud I am of him opening his own box,” she says.
The community at Morgan Junction is like an extended family, and Pat is at the head of the table as the gym mom.
“The idea of being ... a role model is important to me,” she explains. “As a parent and grandparent, an educator and representative of the heritage community, I know the importance of always being positive, identifying and emphasizing strengths in every person, and remaining loyal to yourself and to your family and friends.”
She has always tried to instill those values in her sons, and she now sees her son Zach carrying on the message to a new community at Morgan Junction CrossFit.
Thirty athletes from Morgan Junction are competing in the Open. For such a young box, it’s an impressive turn out.
Eric Linxweiler says Pat is behind much of the momentum.
“I started training with her two years ago, shortly after I started CrossFit,” he says. “She was never the fastest, nor the strongest, but she always showed up and always focused on her form. In fact, the coaches would point out how she was doing better push-ups or deadlifts than us because of her focus on perfect form.”
It even started an expression. Soon, younger athletes started to say, “If Pat can do it, so can I.”
And when Pat signed up for the Open, many athletes realized they could, too.
“When we heard that Pat had signed up for the Open, we knew that none of us had an excuse,” Linxweiler says. “I went online that night and registered for my first (Open). Others did, as well, and now we have team filled with first-time participants, many inspired by Pat.”
Pat admits she’s competitive.
“Maybe a little more than a bit. But if I wasn’t competitive, I would not be able to continue to progress and advance in my training,” she says.
When she trains, she doesn’t scale to what she thinks a 60-year-old woman should be able to do. She scales to her abilities, whatever they may be at the moment.
“I do not like to have to scale back in workouts because of my age – it is like having to drive from the Women’s Tee,” she says.
Right now, she’s aiming for a 200-lb. back squat (she has squatted 175), and a 250-lb. deadlift (she has lifted 225).
She enjoys setting ambitious goals in the gym, and she finds that they pay off outside of the gym.
“It ties back to carrying my grandchildren when we are at the beach – it all comes into play,” she says.
For the next four weeks, she’s going to give her all to the Open Workouts. In April, she hopes she’ll either have a ticket to California or the confident belief that she tried her best, no excuses.