“I did try that gym for a few months and managed to barely keep up with the 20-30’s crowd, in much pain, but if they put in a slower class for us ‘mature’ gals, I might try again.”
A woman said this to me on a local Facebook page. She appears to be around the same age as me, based on her FB picture. She had posted a video on that local page, of a group of women (including me) warming up for a workout in the park across from her house. Her post was a variation of “Is there anything more annoying than waking up and having to watch people get fit on a Saturday morning, while I’m trying to drink my coffee and plan which cooking shows to watch.” It was clearly in jest. And, I mean, I love coffee and cooking shows.
While other people joked about sitting closer to us and eating ice cream while we work out, I couldn’t help but comment that I was in that video and it was fun and she should join us sometime. Her response was the quote at the beginning of this post…..”if they put in a slower class for us ‘mature’ gals, I might try again.” Um, speak for yourself (I kept that to myself).
Now, I totally understand there may be reasons why some people want a slower class. And no one should be in pain when working out. There’s lots of legitimate reasons to take it easy. To go slow. Nothing wrong with that. Even if the reason isn’t based on an injury, or not having exercised in awhile, or just because you don’t want to. Just don’t blame it on an age.
Having gone to the gym in question for years, I know there are a number of women in the 20s and 30s range, but there are also a number of women, like me, in the 40s and 50s and older range.
My response was “hmm, I don’t know, I am in my late 40s and have been going for a few years. I find there are good options. If you ever want to just do a friendly few moves I can probably lead us through some things. No pressure. Just love movement. Happy Saturday!”
Don’t blame it on age though. Let’s not limit ourselves. Some days I have to adjust certain movements. Some days I have PMS, or my actual period, and I feel physically more tired, or stiff, or like my uterus may fall out of my body, and I modify things. But not because of my age.
Everyone has different abilities. But wherever someone is starting from, is a culmination of many things: athletic history, medical history, interest in and experience with, whatever activity they are choosing to participate in. Age can be a factor, but combined with the other factors as well, and relative to that person, not a limiting factor, on its own.
If I worried I was too old to participate in the park workout with my gym, here’s a short list of things I would have missed on Saturday:
- a friendly chat with other women while waiting to workout;
- stretching in a fun way, that I wouldn’t take the time to do myself;
- working on my balance while I did a combination lunge and row on the fence;
- challenging myself on weighted walking pulse lunges, that I would never do on my own;
- giving myself an internal pat on the back for my rockin’ push-ups with plank taps;
- being surprised that my beast hold was better than usual;
- practicing sprints, which I am mediocre at (I am a slow, endurance runner), but which I should be doing anyway; and
- enjoying the sun on my face while I stretched afterwards and the sweat poured off of me.
Whatever the proposed form of movement is, “Age, Shmayge”, I say. Figure out what you can safely do, something you enjoy doing, and want to do, something that benefits you, and do it. If you don’t like doing something, don’t blame it on your age.