Too Fit to be a Senior Citizen
This morning a client I have been working with for over 13 years walked in for her workout and said “Oh boy have I got a good story to tell you”. She proceeded to tell me about a new senior living facility that opened in Boulder just recently. She is in her late 70s and they invited her to come on down and take a look around. She went to the facility and they immediately got her a glass of wine and walked her around the nicest units in the facility. They told her about fitness classes that they offered and how active the seniors at the facility are…or at least the clients who have signed up to move in soon enough after completion of the units. She told them that she was intrigued by the fitness classes and is always looking for new classes to try. A couple of days later she got a call from a front desk person about coming down to a fitness class that was starting soon and one that she would probably be interested in. The class was titled, Strength, balance and flexibility for Senior Adults. They asked my client some basic information about her fitness level. Can she sit on a fitball? Can she ride an exercise bike and what other exercise based things can she do? She answered them with yes I can sit on a fitball, yes I ride my bike between 50 and 180 miles per week and that she works out with me lifting weights, doing stability exercises, balancing on her knees on a fitball and doing all kinds of ball throws into a rebounder and using free weights and what not. About an hour later she got a call back from the instructor who stated that she could not be in the class. She did not fit into the mold of seniors that they were looking for. Able minded and able bodies seniors need not apply I guess. I could tell that she was mildly upset about this but this even though it was not the first fitness class she has been thrown out of for being too fit. This was the first class she was thrown out of before she went into the class. We both laughed pretty hard at the ridiculousness of what fits a senior mold. You see working out in my system means that you will be fit and healthy beyond what is expected and beyond what people think is normal. Just read the introduction of the book again and you will see what I think is normal. 97 years old, climb a tree, cut all the branches off and bundle it for the trash. No pains and no complaints just get the job done the way you should, quickly and painlessly, doing what humans do best, movement. That is my mold. I have never had anyone too fit to train with me at any age. In another month or so we will celebrate 14 years of knowing each other and training together probably with a nice lunch and a cup of coffee. Every time she comes into my center to work out people are amazed by what she can and does do. I keep coming up with fun ways for her to stay stable and strong and she keeps coming up with ways to get back at me.
It’s not that she is superman it’s just that we’ve been paying attention to her structure, her strength, and her endurance and adjusting her program according to what she really needs and not paying any attention at all to fitness standards and norms for senior fitness. Her fitness program is all her own and changing just like her…all the time. Truthfully, she might be SuperWoman, but that’s our secret.