Dear Fitness Trainer: I'm Not Your Grandma
The fitness industry is actively encouraging fitness centers and personal trainers to be more open and inviting to their 50+ clients. There's a lot of advice out there for young trainers working with Boomers. I'd like to offer a wee bit more.
First of all, just a reminder that I'm in the demographic that refuses to grow old. We want to (literally) have our cake and eat it too, and we're are willing to pay someone (a lot) to help us undo the damage done by decades of pizza and Mountain Dew.
They called us the "Me" generation. An iconic moment of my coming of age years in the mid 70s was the commercial showing happy people in a mountain meadow holding Coca-Colas and convincing the world to sing. I'm still singing. I gave up sodas two years ago, but I always have a song in my heart!
So I'd-like-to-teach-the-world-to-sing, never-grow-old-me walks into the fitness center to meet with 20-something Zoe. I'm here to do an observation to assist with my fitness career.
"What's your experience working out?" Zoe asks.
Well, I'm not a naturally gifted athlete," I laughed, "but I bounced all the way through the 80s with Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons!"
"Oh! I've heard about Richard Simmons!" Zoe gushes. "My grandma looooves him!"
Screeeeeeeech! That's the sound of a record scratching the song in my heart.
Seriously, Zoe? I know I'm 59. I know you could be my granddaughter. I know I'm not 25 anymore. But here, in this shrine to health and fitness, filled to the brim with shiny, colorful machines, please allow me the dignity of hanging on to my delusions of youth. Geez, they're not hurting anyone.
So, Zoe, and all you other trainers out there working with Boomers, I love you all, I admire your spirit and energy. You inspire me to be better. But in the spirit of collegiality, I'd like to offer the following alternative responses:
What was it about those programs that appealed to you?"
Are there any differences between the 80s fitness programs and Zumba?
Do you still practice some of those moves?
Were they mostly aerobics programs or aerobics and strength?
Do you have some moves you can show me?
Yea, well, you get the idea. I'm working really hard to keep the song alive in my heart. Just go with me on this, will ya?