What an Old Man Taught Me About Working Out

This is gonna seem like its coming from left field, and has nothing to do with fitness. But stick with me, I’ll bring it back around like neon clothes. (You remember, they used to be the thing then they weren’t and now all the cool kids are wearing them.)

Here we go:

I’m gonna tell you a story about an 87 year old client I’ve been training for a few months.

Every time we train he comes in and warms up on the stationary. Then we go on to lift weights, I mostly focus on improving his posture and balance. When you’re 87 you don’t care too much about how you look, you just wanna keep your mobility.

In our time together he has improved his balance and I always jokingly tell him that he’s an inch taller since we’ve worked on his posture. This may or may not be true, I didn’t actually measure but it certainly looks like it.

Anyway, this man has trouble remembering things, if I ask him how his morning was he pauses and just doesn’t remember. On most days he asks me how my morning went and if I was busy. I’ll answer him then we’ll go on and do a few more sets or move on to another exercise and he’ll ask me again how my morning was and if it was busy.

We have good little talks and I work hard to make him feel comfortable and entertained. We have built a good rapport with each other even though he doesn’t remember very much and each conversation is like the single serving relationships Edward Norton had when he traveled in Fight Club.

One day, interestingly enough, he stops and tells me how much he really enjoys our conversations. I was a bit baffled but also honored. Here is a man who has trouble remembering even the smallest things and he tells me he enjoys our conversations.

I thought about it throughout the day and it led me to remember some advice I had once given my brother: people don’t remember what you say, they only remember how you make them feel.

The compliment from this dear old man is proof that even if people don’t remember what you say they remember how you treat them. He doesn’t remember what he had for breakfast but he told me he enjoys our conversations. What an honor.

This was all possible because I have always been attentive to him and I truly do care about his well being. And I do everything I can to let it be shown.

Without further ado I’ll bring it back around to fitness: the way you live your life will reflect in the way you exercise. If I were the type of person looking for a shortcut I could have kept quiet, walked the old man from exercise to exercise and never made a connection. But the same way I don’t skip workouts or look for the easy way out, I didn’t cut corners in my relationship with this old man.

This works the other way too, if you cut corners when you workout, chances are you also try to find the easy way in life. This is wrong.

Just as my hard work paid off with a heartfelt compliment with the nice old man I train, your hard work will pay off when you give your all to your workouts. And the person who will thank you will be you.

So work hard in life and work hard in the gym because what you do affects not only you but all of the people you come into contact with.

Be the best person that you can and I’m willing to bet a highlighter yellow pair of Nike shorts that you’ll look and feel the way you’ve always wanted to.

One thought on “What an Old Man Taught Me About Working Out”

  1. Very cool Tim,I must say I feel the same way.In regard to connecting on personal level.I look forward to our workouts.I am the type of person that needs one on one support.I can not tell how happy I am just to be able to run again! Living with ADHD makes starting up something new so hard, It has a way of holding you back before you begin.Thank you,I feel like I am truly getting my day off to a good start,I think before I eat….I am focused.

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