Midlife Warrior – Kyla Carlson

Kyla Carlson – Midlife Warrior

Kyla Carlson hates it when I suggest she is 50. Technically, she’s not. She’s only 49 and 6 months shy of 50. But, ok, she’s midlife (sorry, Kyla!) and, as you can see from this photo, still kicking ass.

Kyla has always been my idol for her commitment to fitness. We swam competitively together in college and while I hung up my swim suit after two years, she finished out her college career as a distance swimmer, never complaining along the way.

Kyla loved the commitment to performing a sport at a very high level and embraced discipline like most of us hang onto long sleeps on a Saturday morning. Practice at 5:30 am after a night of college keg parties? No worries. She was bounding out of bed while I was clinging to the top bunk.

After college, Kyla started running. Again, I watched her in awe as she ran her first marathon. I believed there was no way in hell I could run a marathon. I could barely run 3 miles. But Kyla paved the way by running not just one marathon, but many.

Kyla’s role modeling allowed me (and I’m sure others) to consider that perhaps I could do a marathon too. Flash forward many years later and I can proudly say I’ve run 7 marathons in part because Kyla helped me believe I could.

Today Kyla is a rock star at Crossfit (and a Gold Star friend too. You will not meet a nicer person.). Leave it to Kyla to turn her attention to a sport that most people are doing in their 20s and 30s. She never lets age stand in the way.

Kyla sings karaoke like she’s 18 (I remember her at that age and she’s the same yet way better!) and she rocks Crossfit at an age when she could be a grandmother!

Once again, Kyla is a role model for midlife warriors. She is a testament that age is truly just a number. When she decides she is going to master a sport – master it she does. I’m sure it won’t be long before Kyla is competing in the Crossfit Games and placing in her age group. If anyone can do it, I know she can.

Fun fact about Kyla – she not only exercises incessantly, she reads voraciously as well. She was an English major at Kenyon College and has never lost the love of reading, even with Netflix and social media as easy distractions. I know nobody who reads more.

Kyla is now a library aide, working toward her dream of becoming a Librarian. How fitting that Kyla will be an ass-kicking Librarian who does Crossfit. I can see an action figure already.

Check out Kyla performing this Squat Snatch. How many of you out there over the age of 45 can say you are Squat Snatching?

Crossfit does the bones and body good. But be careful if you are new to the sport. Take your time to work up to heavier weights (do not try to push heavy weights immediately like Kyla does in this video!). Be disciplined about easing your way into the Crossfit world and before you know it you too will be a Midlife Warrior like Kyla Carlson.


  1. Shannon Conway

    Awesome women, both of you! Inspiring.

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