BREVARD COUNTY – It’s important to keep active as your body ages, whether that activity is through bicycling, walking, yoga, or sports.
For Brevard resident Ken Ogden, keeping active meant celebrating his 64th birthday by competing in the 2018 CrossFit Games in Madison, Wis.
“CrossFit has an annual world-wide competition that starts with the CrossFit Open the end of February,” Mr. Ogden explained. “It consists of one different workout a week for five weeks. You are ranked each week worldwide. For the 60 plus Masters division, the top 200 advance to the Masters online qualifier which takes place mid-April. You are required to complete four different workouts over four days, and they must be videoed and judged. After that, the top 20 athletes are then invited to the CrossFit Games in August located in Madison, Wis.”
Mr. Ogden trained at CrossFit OwnIt in Melbourne, where he practiced for the CrossFit workouts by doing exercises like hand stand pushups, burpees, chest-to-bar pullups, wall ball shots, rowing, thrusters and front squats.
Not only did Mr. Ogden battle to compete in the 2018 CrossFit Games, he was also fighting a different battle: cancer in his cheek.
“After I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma on my left cheek, my doctor's recommended radiation treatments; [there would be 30 treatments], once a day for six weeks,” Mr. Ogden said. “The treatments were to start about the same time as the CrossFit Open. I continued to work out and compete. The doctor would tell me that I might experience fatigue and would ask me each week if I was experiencing any. I would tell him I just finished a hard workout, so yes I was pretty tired. Some days I might have been more tired than usual, but not enough to stop the workouts.
“My gym family and coaches were always there to encourage me,” Mr. Ogden added.
Fifteen supporters followed Mr. Ogden to Madison to watch him compete in the CrossFit Games. He competed in a number of events, including the Open Water Swim event, where he placed fourth.
To add to his successes, Mr. Ogden's cancer treatment was successful, and he now lives cancer-free.
“I love the challenge of working on something and I’m failing and failing and failing and failing, and then I get it,” Mr. Ogden told CrossFit officials. “As you get older, you can still learn new things.”
Mr. Ogden’s home gym, CrossFit OwnIt, is located at 100 Southwest Irwin Ave., No. 5, in West Melbourne.