A Family Affair

The Lindsey Family Makes  CrossFit Their New Tradition

Research shows that regular exercise can help you control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and prevent some cancers. Exercise can also help you manage blood sugar and insulin levels, improve your overall mental health and mood and even increase your chances of living longer. Many of these are among the reasons Johnny and Missy Lindsey from Lenox, Georgia joined CrossFit in Valdosta eight years ago. 

They also quickly discovered how workout time can become quality family time. And it can really be beneficial—for everyone. 

Growing up, Johnny participated in high school sports. As he grew older, he played some softball and basketball and became interested in golf after he and Missy had children. 

But at around age 35, Johnny found himself overweight with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

“My doctor wanted me to begin taking medicine to help correct my situation,” said Johnny. “I pleaded with him to give me six months to get my fitness in order. At that point, I was motivated to make a difference, so I joined the YMCA.”

Johnny began exercising three to five times per week and changed his diet. 

“After six months, my weight was down from 260 to 230, and my blood pressure and cholesterol had dropped down to normal range,” said Johnny. 

Johnny remained consistent with his workouts for the next several years, even joining his daughter Laura at her CrossFit box one Saturday in her new hometown of Kennesaw. 

“Fitness had been a priority for my daughter her whole life,” said Johnny. “She told me she had joined CrossFit, and, at first, I was skeptical. But she convinced me to join her one Saturday to try it out.” 

At this point, Johnny had been working out for several years.

“I thought I would blow this out of the water,” he admitted. “But it was just the opposite. After finding myself lying on the floor after that workout, it was clear I had no idea the level of fitness that was going on in there.” 

But Johnny said the amazing thing about it was how great he still felt afterward. 

“The coaches and fellow athletes were so supportive. It was a feeling that I had never experienced,” he confessed. 

So when he got back home on Sunday, he looked up CrossFit gyms in Valdosta and joined the next week. After about three months, Missy joined Johnny at CrossFit Valdosta, too. 

“Our daughter Laura would call every day and talk to her dad about the Work Out of the Day (WOD),” said Missy. “Hearing them talk and seeing their excitement about this new adventure intrigued me. I had other friends who were also doing CrossFit, so I decided I would give it a try. That was seven years ago, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”

Missy will turn 55 years old in June, and she says she’s doing things now that she wouldn’t have done even ten years ago. 

“Since joining CrossFit and cleaning up my diet, I’m down 30 pounds, but I’m also physically and mentally the strongest I have ever been,” she beamed. 

Missy can power clean 100 pounds and string together more than five pull-ups. Johnny’s biggest accomplishments since joining CrossFit include the gymnastic movements he has mastered and the great success he’s experienced in individual competitions. Last year, he ranked 50th in the CrossFit Open in the 55 to 59 age group, and, at the end of the qualifier, he was ranked 26th in the world in his age group.

“I am very proud of that, he said. “It takes a lot of time and support from your family to get to that point.”

But as for what they are most proud of, Johnny and Missy both agree it’s the fact that they can work out as a family. Their daughter, Laura Tucker, 33, is still very active in CrossFit, and so is their son Sam, 32. Sam’s daughter, Elseigh, 7, even enjoys the CrossFit Kids program at the family’s gym in Valdosta. 

The Lindsey family has established new family traditions, including completing a Memorial Day WOD and 12 Days of Christmas WOD together, as well as running a Fourth of July 5K at the beach each year. Johnny has even competed in team-style competitions with both Laura and Sam. 

“It makes me proud to be able to enjoy this kind of time together with them,” said Johnny. 

Missy added, “I’m proud of my family no matter what, but watching them compete really fires me up.” 

“I’d say knowing that we are all striving for the same goal is special,” said Johnny. “CrossFit has become our way of life. It’s really great that Missy and I can share that every day. Knowing our children are knocking it out of the park makes us very proud, too. And we just know our grandchildren will follow in their footsteps.”

Written by: Megan A. Powell  |  Photography by: Brandon Pham

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