What are your ages?
Liz Silcock- 60
Elana Findlow - 63
When did you start working out?
Liz Silcock - Initially we started working out in our 40's. Elana lived in New Zealand and I would fly from Sydney to spend time with her and visit the family. Our goals were fairly modest and we started out aiming to jog the length of Tamaki Drive in Auckland, which is a beautiful scenic coastal road with a bike path and walkway and we would pace ourselves by starting out walking quickly then gradually build up to a jog and then running from one lamppost to the next until we gradually clocked up a few km.
Why did you want to start?
Liz Silcock - We both have a competitive streak and love challenges for both ourselves and our kids, plus we wanted to be able to live well and travel and the only way to do that is to stay healthy.
Elana Findlow - Around age 42, I moved to New Zealand started walking 3 days a week with friends. We used to walk along the sea front, but we never walked as far as we planned. We did a small hike up Rangitoto. It was so hard. I decided I needed to get fit then. So, I joined a gym, did PT, and started short runs 5ks. We didn’t live in the same place but in the same continent, so whenever we met up we did fit things together.
Why CrossFit and not something else?
Liz Silcock - Before Crossfit we would enter fun runs, go the gym but the one thing that I loved the most was boxing. It was a great cardio and strength workout, but as you get older the impact soon wears on your joints. So, I continued to do it for a while as well as PT sessions and group fitness classes. When we came to Bali we continued to work with a trainer and signed up at a gym close to where we live and started to train regularly, but eventually things changed. The gym was taken over by new owners and whilst we continued with our PT sessions we also watched in wonder as they started to build this box around us, and it was more like a Parkour gym then all this new and different equipment started to arrive so of course we were curious to find out what it was all about, and I remember Elana telling me how she had seen one of our CrossFit coaches competing in the “Open” and how cool it was. We were just amazed and I suppose wanted to be a part of it so we didn’t really go out of our way to choose CrossFit it actually found us.
Elana Findlow - We moved to many different countries and I continued with gyms, PT, and running fun runs. Then, we moved to Bali (Liz and I living next door to each other ) and we had a trainer who introduced us to functional fitness which I loved. Then, our gym decided to open a box and we started to find out about CrossFit. It seemed so suited for us and something to help us get stronger as we got older.
What does it mean to you to do this with your sister?
Liz Silcock - My sister is the best we love to do everything together because we motivate each other, if there is anything we are struggling with then we practice, watch videos, take videos, critique each other so that we can highlight our weaknesses and identify where we think we are going wrong or see what we are doing well so that we can help each other.
Elana Findlow - It's really the best thing in the world. She knows me so well and she is the perfect match for me. I have never been athletic and Liz is. Plus, she is more dedicated and sticks with it and she gently pushes me along (sometimes not gently). She knows what I can do and knows when to push. I have come to realize that I can do more than I think as soon as I set my mind to it. When I do the practice, I can see improvements. Most days we spend time sending each other whats apps or tips we find online for a particular movement. We totally support each other.
Who’s more competitive?
Liz Silcock - I was in the under 59 age bracket until last year, so we were never really competing against each other, this year we are now both in the 60+ category and we actually did our first pairs competition together this year and so you naturally want to be the best so you don’t let each other down. We both recognize our own strengths and weaknesses so whatever we do it is always with the intention of achieving the best outcome for ourselves rather than competing against each other.
Elana Findlow - We are both somewhat competitive but more against ourselves and probably more supportive of each other.
Why is working out important to you?
Liz Silcock - It is so important so much so that we train most days, otherwise the day just doesn’t feel right. Apart from the occasional extra rest day when we decide to take a day off, so we might go for a walk along the beach or have a massage. But our kids are all grown up now and they train hard to compete and keep fit so we just want to continue to be good role models for them and of course so we can beat them at any challenge they might throw at us and in this case we will do anything to win.
Elana Findlow - We have always travelled and been active. So, we want to continue for as long as we live to have the same energy and ability. Plus, when we see our grandkids we want to be able to play with them and do things that actually take a lot of energy. I want to continue to fill up the water bottles, jump up on the counter to reach in the top cupboards, climb ladders just do everything I do now, without fear.
What changes or improvements in your day-to-day life have you seen since you started to workout?
Liz Silcock - We just don’t feel old in the way you hear people our age struggling with daily life. Injuries are probably our biggest fear but we have also realized that mobility is just as important and the key to being able to train injury free and achieve more than we would have ever thought possible, oh and regular massages are also very important too.
Elana Findlow - Confidence. I feel strong sometimes probably more than I am. We will tackle anything throw our way. The car had a puncture the other day and our first instinct was “oh we need to call the garage” then we said we can do this lets just try and so we did. Its that feeling that we can always try something.
How is it working out with younger athletes?
Liz Silcock - We love working with younger athletes infact the group we train with age ranges from 14, 24, 30’s to 42 years and we know that what we achieve daily motivates them to do well. We never ever feel like the oldies we just train at the same level of commitment as they do if not better depending on the wod and they never ever make us feel like they are able to achieve more because they are young and we are the oldies.
Elana Findlow - Great. It pushes us and I thank we push them sometime too. We pull the age card with them and say “Hey, if we can do this of course you can.”
I’ve been following you guys for a while. You look fearless. You rope climb, box jump, do handstand push ups. Does anything scare you?
Liz Silcock - We were actually discussing this today after finishing 19.4 and saying how we would love to be able to achieve muscle ups before we are 70, but how mad we are to think that the height of the bar is such a restriction or challenge and that we might fall off it! Elana thinks it should be lower and I think you just make the ascent higher. She definitely doesn’t like being upside down where as I find it frustrating, but we always finds ways to overcome these fears, just like Elana was fearful of rope climbing at one stage but now it is no longer a challenge.
Elana Findlow - I didn’t like rope climbs. It was scary. Then after going a bit higher each time, its not so bad. Kicking up scares me. I’m still working on that. Wall climbs are no problem now because I am stronger and I know I can’t fall.
You guys do CrossFit, Tough Mudders, hiked Manchu Pichu, repelled into caverns...what’s next? Do you have plans or goal for something else?
Elana Findlow - We just hiked in Bhutan for Liz's 60th. We always try to do something for memorable birthdays. I like to think that if the opportunity present itself take it. Never say 'no' is how we have done things so far.
I love your smiles. You both always look like your having so much fun while still taking your workouts serious. What do you enjoy the most?
Liz Silcock - Working out with the best bunch of people in our box we have so much fun doing it and we know how to motivate each other and if we are not training, we are sat in the corner of the gym somewhere talking about training or discussing kids oh and eating which is a very important topic and of course when will be the next lunch catch up!
Elana Findlow - I love the feeling you get when you work out. It really clears your head and then the sense of accomplishment after completing it. Wow, you cannot beat it. Sometimes, you don’t feel that you got it but you laugh because its over.
Elana qualified and competed at the MastersHQ Finals in Sydney, Australia. Can you tell us a little about that experience?
Elana Findlow - I didn’t think it a big deal. The only reason I got through is because there are so few of our age group, which is a real shame. Although, I loved the experience of a competition ( bit scary at first) but it was great to do something so different. I met so many great people all who you could talk about CrossFit. I did have to do quite a bit of extra training, which we did after class but it helped my confidence.
I really missed having Liz by my side but she was right there on my phone, along with my sisters and nieces. The women in our family, although we are all around the world, offer such support and encouragement.
Are you proud of your sister?
Liz Silcock - Extremely proud of her because competing in the MastersHQ Finals was at the same time that I was turning 60 and so was off to Europe at exactly the same time she was competing. I was so proud of the fact that she went to her first competition on her own, in Australia, not knowing anyone and having to complete the workouts without me or any familiar face cheering at her side. But I must admit I even though I was in Barcelona at the time and in different time zones I couldn’t sleep wondering how she was getting on it was 3 am in Spain so we ended up messaging each other in between heats for updates just so I felt that she had my support even if I couldn’t be with her. Prior to that we trained most days after class to make sure she was fully prepared and we did something I hate or at least am not very good at and that is swimming just so that she was fully prepared for whatever workouts she had to do.
Elana Findlow - So proud of Liz. She works so hard and is so encouraging. She deserves all she gets. She is superwoman athlete and she’s always been the shy and quiet one. So, it's great to see her emerge with CrossFit.
I know for me growing up in the 70’s & 80’s, the only thing socially acceptable for women to do fitness wise was Jana Fonda’s jazzercise-type workouts. Women didn’t lifting weights or have muscles, especially being moms and grandmoms. How do you feel about being apart of changing those societal norms and being role models for all women and future generations?
Liz Silcock - It feels so good when others acknowledge your achievements, whatever their age, and to be able to inspire anyone young or old to make a change for the better is the best thing you can do.
Elana Findlow - Yess! haha. I did Jazzercise and Jane Fonda (still have the record). OMG, so funny but we just didn’t have options to workout or time (raising kids – working).
I am so ordinary with no real athletic ability. With our awesome CrossFit community, which is such a supportive group, I have learnt to do lots of new things in a safe environment. So, I hope that older women and even young women would look at me and think "hey, if she can do that then I can try."
What advise do you have for other women reading this?
Liz Silcock - We tell anyone who will listen that CrossFit is for any age and regardless of their ability or capability anyone can do it because evrything is scaleable and there is always a place for anyone to start whether it is stepping on to a box or lifting an empty bar. We often talk about the time when we started CrossFit and our attempts at wall balls, box jumps and lifting weights, but we don’t have any videos to compare with how far we have progressed, but we can definitely see amazing improvements and the many obstacles we have managed to overcome and so if you want to live a happy, healthy and challenging life then just go for it and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Elana Findlow - Don’t be scared. There is nothing scary at all about doing CrossFit and within weeks you will surprise yourself at what you can do. Everything is scaleable.