mom senior citizen weightlifting cropped

The Best Advice You Can Hear About Aging: Linda’s Story

Meet Linda.

Linda is a 66-year-old retired teacher. She also happens to be my mom!

Mom was never athletic. She was never very active either. She was not a couch potato, just didn’t formally exercise.

About 10 years ago, as I started becoming very interested in Nutrition and began my CrossFit journey, I also began pressuring her to make some serious lifestyle changes. She resisted for a long time until finally, she caved.

Now, I can tell you all about how she went from a dress size 16 to a size 8-10.

I can focus on how her doctor took her off blood pressure and cholesterol medicine.

I can even tell you about the enormous amount of energy she gained.

About how she ran her first and then subsequent 5ks.

About how she did deadlifts, ring rows and plate jumps for the first time in her life.

But that is not what this is about.

This year in May, on one of her daily 5k morning walks, she fell. Hard.

Broke and dislocated her elbow, tore her rotator cuff in her shoulder and busted her face and teeth. After elbow surgery including 3 plates and 8 screws, several dental surgeries and physical therapy she is doing so well! She is back to personal training twice per week and walking a 5k nearly every morning.

This love letter is not even about her challenging (both mentally and physically) recovery from the fall.

It is about one small but defining moment in the hospital back in May. She asked me to share the importance of this moment.

Mom was awaiting surgery. She had been admitted and would have the surgery the following day due to the on-call doctor’s schedule. She was in loads of pain and feeling mortified with her busted face and broken teeth.

And now, she had to pee.

The nurse explained the next steps.  Using the bedsheet, she would turn her on her side to allow room for sliding the bedpan under her bottom. We were all three trying to figure out how to do this with minimal pain. At that point, even the sheet rubbing on her elbow was causing intense pain. It seemed impossible to move her at all, much less turn her on her side.

Then I remembered how my mom had mastered so many variations of the glute bridge. Single-leg glute bridge, banded glute bridge, elevated glute bridge. I mean, she can rock the glute bridge! (What is a glute bridge? Lay flat on your back and use your butt muscles to lift your hips. The higher the better.)

So what did she do? She did a glute bridge while the nurse slid the bedpan under her bottom. Piece of cake. Easy. Safe. And confidence building. And boy did she need something to lift her spirits at this point.

Here’s the point.

Do functional fitness. Lift weights. Use resistance bands. Stretch and increase your mobility to positively change ranges of motion.

Your body is an amazing machine. Learn how to use it to enjoy your life.

Today, just 6 months later, mom is back to her daily 5k walks, doing push-ups, walking lunges, shoulder presses overhead, farmers carry and so much more. How? Because after her recovery, she came right back to her personal training sessions. She went back to her walks (even though she was terrified!)

The solid habits she established before the fall, with a little support and encouragement from her team at FitCity, fell right back into place.

And now more than ever, she understands the importance of sticking to her healthy, active, weight lifting and walking focused lifestyle.

Mom says “If you think you are too old to start CrossFit, this is actually when we need it most. Our balance may not be what it used to be and our confidence may not be what it used to be but the things I do in my sessions are geared to improve both of these areas. They (the coaches) are trained to work with our age group and adapt things to our abilities. Plus I always leave feeling good!”