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Why Age Is Just A Number - Tucson Personal Training Group Fitness Blog

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Why Age Is Just A Number - Tucson Personal Training Group Fitness Blog


Today’s post is from one of our new instructors, Renee Blanchard. In it, she talks about some observations she’s had working with some of the older students in our facility. Although she remains quite modest about her personal accomplishments, at age 52, she is in better shape than most 20-year-olds. So, without further ado, here is Renee…

50 is the new 40, 40 is the new 30, and no one can agree on the exact number that makes you old.  Growing old in a wealthy society with access to clean water, medical care, and quality food, aging looks very different than it does for many places in the world.  With medical advances, pharmaceuticals, and procedures, we are able to live longer lives.  But at what point do you cross over from young to old?  Is it a physical barrier?  A mental shift?  Retirement? Or, is it determined by a healthy or unhealthy body?

Every day I work with men and women whom some might consider “old”.  One woman is into her 70’s but can drop into and out of a full squat with no hesitation.  Another is able to press large weights over her head and perform push-ups that would impress women half her age. My mother-in-law is 82. She loves her job. She works 4 graveyard shifts in the ER of a major metropolitan hospital. 

The interesting commonality in these ladies is mobility. Watch them move! They have maintained strength, balance, flexibility and mobility through the years, or worked hard regain it after allowing it to slip. If you can pick yourself up when you fall, if you can reach for something on the floor, if you can carry the 50-pound bag of dogfood into the garage, you have independence.  If you lose movement, you lose freedom. 

On the other hand, we all have seen or may know those 50 or 60 year olds who are unable to take care of themselves or move about on their own.  They have a look of defeat and resignation, thinking there is nothing they can do to change the state they are in.  This is heart breaking!

I would like to think that at some point we become less concerned with outer beauty standards and focus more on quality of life.  Naturally, it is harder to get out of bed in the morning.  Some days your feet and knees ache and you feel like you are wading through mud.  That is the natural progression left unchallenged. 

But the women I described above have chosen to fight back.  I see them every week pushing themselves to deliver one more rep or challenge themselves to go a little heavier.  Their reward is freedom and independence.  When you swing, press or squat a kettlebell you are investing in your future self.  When you practice balance and work toward flexibility, you insure that as the years move forward, you will be better able to enjoy every day and the tasks and responsibilities you have. 

With each accomplishment, you feel stronger and more confident.  That is an amazing feeling.

One last story…

I have been watching a woman in my neighborhood run every other day since I moved here, and I know she has been at it for years prior. I will call her Delores. Delores is 84 years young.  She runs 8 miles, every other day. Her pace may seem slow but she doesn’t care. She is out there moving and breathing and enjoying life. I love to watch her move, and every time I see her I am reminded, I want to be like Delores. I’m off to a good start and working toward that goal every day, and I would challenge you to make the investment in mobility which will, without a doubt, change your life.


Renee has been a fitness instructor since 1988. Seeing all of the trends come and go over the years, kettlebells have become her passion. She received her HKC and SMK kettlebell certifications as well as the ACE personal trainer certification. Now at The Protocol, she enjoys seeing her clients get the results they want and make changes that allow them to live a longer, healthier life. Living in Tucson allows her to participate in her love of hiking, running and being outdoors all year around.

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