When People of a Certain Age Go to the Gym

GYM

When People of a Certain Age Go to the Gym

By Sue Rice

When people think of a workout class, they probably don’t picture a room full of people of a certain age (say over 65) using weights and bands, dancing, performing Pilates and participating in TRX suspension classes, but this is where I find myself anywhere from 3 to 5 times a week.  I love the camaraderie! These are all folks my age and older who have decided they are not aging without a fight.  It’s all in good fun, though.  We support one another and work hard to keep up with our instructors.

Some of the gals can still don a tank top and not worry about their arms doing the chicken dance. 

No, most of us don’t look all that great in our workout gear, but we don’t look all that bad either.  We look a heck of a lot better than our peers who have decided that retirement means sitting in front of a TV all day.  Some of the gals can still don a tank top and not worry about their arms doing the chicken dance.  Yes, there’s the occasional pair of black men’s socks with old fashioned workout pants, but that is not the norm.

The instructor reminds us that we will soon be wanting to wear our sexy sundresses.  None of us has the heart to tell her that at our age very few of us are wearing sexy sundresses, even to do the laundry.

Yes.  There are the ongoing organ recitals.  Nobody makes it to this age without a few war stories about what time has done to their bodies. 

Some of the ladies have persuaded their husbands to accompany them to the cardio class today.  One of the men is heckling his wife saying she is too slow.  I haven’t seen him here before and am not surprised when he has to sit down from exhaustion midway through the class.  The instructors have become comfortable challenging our abilities.  I think the fact that we’ve not had anyone fall over dead has given them confidence to go full throttle.  It’s exciting to find that we can perform cardio routines for an hour and that we can use our own bodies as weights to perform on the TRX machines.

GYM

No, most of us don’t look all that great in our workout gear, but we don’t look all that bad either.

Yes.  There are the ongoing organ recitals.  Nobody makes it to this age without a few war stories about what time has done to their bodies.  People show off their scars and brag about their artificial knees and hips.  However, these folks are not asking for sympathy.  They’re proud that they have come back to the land of the living with newer and better parts that let them do Zumba and swim and stretch.

We do get word of the occasional death from cancer or some other illness, but these folks were up and about until they died.  Probably the fact that they were physically fit lengthened their years of good health and allowed them to participate fully in their lives for longer than they would have if they hadn’t been coming to the gym.

Our instructor reminds us to check on our neighbor and make sure she’s ok.  We don’t have to be reminded.  We’re usually exchanging encouraging and enlightening remarks throughout the workout.

One of the perks of getting older is that a gym membership is free for most of us who are over 65. 

Remember that this is a group of retirees.  We have the time to travel and do what we want to do.  It’s amazing the places I learn about from my friends at the gym.  They travel to China and London, the Caribbean and ski towns.  It’s an ongoing travelogue every day of the week.  If you want to know about a place you’re thinking of visiting, you just have to ask enough people and you will find somebody who has been there and can provide lots of info.

If you are enjoying this post, please click here to get GRAND Magazine – Living the Ageless Life FREE

One of the perks of getting older is that a gym membership is free for most of us who are over 65.   I’m sure our health insurers would agree they would rather pay for Silver Sneakers than pay for us to go to a nursing home.  We want to be able to participate in life rather than sit on the sidelines.

gym

Mondays and Wednesdays, I move from a one-hour cardio class to a TRX class.

Mondays and Wednesdays, I move from a one-hour cardio class to a TRX class, then come home and walk the dog.  He and I keep track of our miles on an app I have installed on my phone that tells me we have walked over 550 miles.  Not too bad for an old lady!  On days like today when we’re expecting 6” of snow I remind Buddy to be grateful that he lives with old people who have the time to get him out to the park where he can bury his nose in the snow and chase the squirrels.

Like they say, it’s the journey – not the destination, that makes this life worth living.

It’s been a great day, but I think I might have to swallow an aspirin with my ice cream this evening to ward off leg cramps and other unwelcome events that can bring me straight up in bed and ruin a good night’s sleep.  But if that’s the price I have to pay to be a part of this energetic and hopeful community, I will gladly sacrifice some sleep to remain able to get up and dance.

Like they say, it’s the journey – not the destination, that makes this life worth living.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – SUE RICE

gymSue spends her free time teaching ESL to parents of refugees in Akron, Ohio and manning tables and doing public speaking for a cancer wellness center.  She is a grandmother to two boys and two girls.  She says she feels blessed to have had her own kids stay in the area which has allowed her to be part of the grand-kids’ lives from day one.

Share this article...