2010 CrossFit Games Finals

My Story: Terry Dickman

How CrossFit changed the life of one Master's athlete.

Terry Dickman is a part owner and a trainer at CrossFit Excel in Manteca, Calif. This year, he competed in the Master's Division at the Southwest Regional.  In worldwide competition his scores were strong enough to put him in 6th place overall. His 225 pound thruster is the second strongest posted. His daughter caught it in action. However, Terry was not always crushing workouts. The road that he has taken to the CrossFit Games contained enormous obstacles. He will be competing next weekend for the title of World's Fittest over 50. He gave us the following account of his road to the Games.

I have always been athletic (I played football, pole vaulted, ice hockey. You name it, I tried it).  In my early forty’s I used to race mountain bikes and was fairly fit. I took third in the 1995 AZ State Mountain Bike race series in my age group.

About 10 years ago I became ill. My symptoms were excruciating cramps that would prevent me from walking at times, biking was out of the question. After a few years of these symptoms I finally  went to some specialists, I had all kinds of test including a muscle biopsy. I was diagnosed with Beckers Muscular Dystrophy. I had a hard time doing any kind of exercise. They told me there was no cure and not to over-do it (exercise). So that’s what I did, I sat around and made excuses. Any type of long endurance exercise would really set the symptoms off. They told my wife I would probably be in a wheelchair by 50. It’s a big joke between us today. So I quit exercising for the most part.

A few years ago, I became a high school football referee. This was mostly to get back to a sport I loved. This move temporarily satisfied my urge for sports, but many times I felt myself wanting to make a tackle instead of throwing a flag. Plus, I wasn’t too keen on getting yelled at by a 25 year old “Coach”, who had no idea what he was talking about. Two of my fellow crew members were into this thing called CrossFit. They use to do walking lunges and other common CF movement before games to warm up. I found it odd, but intriguing. I asked a few questions and ended up visiting CrossFit Excel. The rest is history. I am now part owner and a certified Level 1 trainer.

The Becker’s? Well, I never did believe the diagnosis. Today I am 52 years old, stronger and more fit than I have been in 20 years. I have no symptoms. Since changing my diet (I am a Caveman) and finding CrossFit I have never felt as fit as I do now. I really think the combination of both things was my cure. CrossFit continues to improve my life, everyday. I am competing in the 2010 Games next week. I wonder what that Doctor would say to my wife now?

See you guys in Carson!

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23 comments on this entry

1. Jay Thomas wrote...

Terry, an amazing story. It really puts things into perspective for all of us. Looking forward to meeting you.

2. Paul Flores wrote...

Terry, your story is very inspiring. I have seen your competitive spirit first hand. You are a gifted athlete. My wife and I enjoyed meeting you at the Southwest Regional competition. Good luck in Carson.

3. Big Johnny (crossfit excel ) wrote...

Can't wait to watch you crush the WOD's Big T !

4. karianne wrote...

I'm so glad I have gotten a chance to have you at our box from time to time. Can't wait to see you compete.

5. David Rosenberry wrote...

It's so inspiring to be reminded that limitations are often false ceilings... thanks for living that truth Terry

6. Bud Hitchcock wrote...

Watching Terry train alone, is truly inspiring.... being able to see him compete @ the 2010 crossfit games is gonna be the highlight of my year! i speak for everyone at the gym! LETS GO BIG T! "if your a badass they will remember your name, to get down hard is why you came!"

7. David Dean wrote...

You are an inspiration and I wish I could watch you compete in the games. Hammer it!! I'm pulling for you.

8. Kimberly Malz wrote...


Looking forward to watching you "tear it up" in Carson.

9. Christin Street wrote...

GOOO TERRY! Can;t wait to meet you and the fam out there!

10. john wopat wrote...

Great job and continued success Terry. Go get 'em!

11. Jon Hults wrote...

Terry, great story! I'm really happy you found CrossFit and have overcome and excelled! Kat and I look forward to seeing you and your family again in Carson and I look forward to competing next to you again too.

12. Diane Dennis wrote...

Terry - I'm so excited for you! Even though I don't post to Mark's thread anymore, I have been rooting for you and following your placement throughout the Regional competitions and bragging about you at my CF box. This Masters thing was MADE for you and I will be watching the stream this weekend and cheering like mad for you!

13. David Sally wrote...

Terry -- it was great to compete against you last year at the masters throwdown @ CrossFit Sweatshop. Good luck to you in Carson this upcoming weekend.

14. john kane wrote...

Congratulations on making it to the games. I will be rooting for you.
John Kane

15. Kirk & Lori Lippincott wrote...

Terry is truly an inspiration to us both as a coach and CF Masters competitor. Your humble, kind manner is complimentary to your fierceness in the gym. We will be watching every minute and cheering for you. No need to tell you to give it your all because to do less is not in your nature. Kill it!!!!!!!

16. Mark Laakso wrote...

Inspiring story Terry. I have no doubt you will be a great representative for all of the CrossFit masters throughout the world.

17. Graeme wrote...

Inspiring story Terry, and how often do we hear similar things in the CF community. I've been following your progress on the Forum & trials. I think you & the other Masters will show the CF community & the world in general that the athlete is not finished at 30,40, or even 50. Go get 'em - good luck to you & the other men & women masters

18. Kevin Suttmoeller wrote...

My money is on Terry to win the Over 50 class. I got to compete against Terry last year at an over 40 competition held at CrossFit Sweatshop (www.crossfitsweatshop.com). The guy is an animal! By appearance, I thought he was in his early 40s, but he was almost 10 years my senior and he gave all of us a run for our money at that competition. I've talked to Terry a couple times and he is a great guy! Congratulations Terry and good luck this weekend!

19. Shawn wrote...

Wow! Good job!

20. Mark wrote...

Good luck Terry.

21. Kim Spangrude wrote...

Terry is awesome, mostly because of what he has been able to achieve, but also because he is my cousin and I am so proud of Terry and his siblings who have worked hard to achieve such great health!
Love you guys, wish I could see the competition! (It better be on YouTube so we can watch it afterward!)

22. Andy wrote...

Inspiring.....GREAT JOB.....Keep crank"in em out ! Good Luck in Carson.....hey to all the family

23. Sarah Zuckerman wrote...

What a great story. Very inspiring, in fact, I think I'll go push some weight around right now!!!


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