Ageism drives me nuts.
When people make judgements about others based solely on their physical age, I cringe.
It works both ways of course. It happens to young people fresh out of school who are looking for an employer to give them a chance, and it happens to older people who are considered to be past their prime.
I have had young people ( twenty-year olds) leave my classes because they do not want to be seen with sixty-year olds. It always surprises me because I really do not see age. Funny thing is my students are some of the strongest people I know!
Today, I met three people who have just retired from their jobs. They have joined the gym in order to get fit and improve their lives. I am so happy that they now have the time to dedicate to their health.
If you are someone who is uncomfortable exercising beside a sixty year old, you had better get used to it.
As Jo Ann Jenkins says in her book, Disrupt Aging, “10,000 people are turning sixty every day and this will happen for the next fourteen years.”
The population is living longer so we need to redefine age. If we are going to live well into our nineties or later we cannot start labelling sixty as being ‘old.’
I prefer to look at our retirement years as the time for us, where we can redefine ourselves and our lives. We spend most of our younger years working, serving and caring for others. In our sixties, we can turn this around and rediscover who we are and decide where we want to go and who we want to become!
That being said, I always make sure that each client knows that they have to judge the safety of the workout for themselves. If you suffer with bad knees or a bad back, then you have to talk to the instructor and make sure that the class is suitable for you. If you have a heart condition, speak to your doctor and get cleared for exercise. Communicate any health problems you may have to the instructor. Do your homework about exercise options and select the safest way to get in shape and keep fit. There are so many fabulous types of classes. Explore and try new things.
I had a gentleman come up to me today and tell me that he is “old” before he even told me his name. I only see potential when you approach me. I do not judge you based on your age. I will do my best to keep you safe and you must promise me that you will stop calling yourself, ‘old.’
Too many people are willing to do this for you.
Hold your head high. You’re in class getting stronger, preparing for the best years of your life!
I am guessing that many of you have 30 or 40 more years to live. Taking care of yourself should be your number one priority.
See you tomorrow,