You’re Never “Too Old” – Just Ask My “Zumba Cheerleader”

I’ll admit to probably calling myself “old” far too often (I mean, I am about two months shy of my 29th birthday … and yes, I mean the 5th one). To discussing with some of the ladies in my classes my theory that once you hit 30, things start hurting that never hurt before. The recovery time is not as good as it once was. Yes, I’m definitely working out a lot harder than I was at 22. But I often feel it a little longer than I did once upon a time.

But being “old” is not the purpose of today’s post: it’s actually knowing that you’re never too old.

As you know, I spend a lot of time at the gym. Some days, I think there’s a real possibility I spend more awake time there than I do at home (unfortunately, “real” work and sleep take up the bulk of the rest of my days). I’ve seen a lot of people come a long way throughout the years, but there is one person who I find more inspirational than anyone else, even a lot of the people I’d consider at least to some extent personal success stories. No, this is about someone who you wouldn’t necessarily expect to hold a little bit of a place in my heart.

I don’t know his name, but he’s easily close to my grandfather’s age. He’s taken the Zumba class before my Piloxing class for as long as I can remember … and I’ve been teaching that class for almost two years now. I lovingly refer to him as the “Zumba Cheerleader,” because his attitude, and his dedication and love for the class is infectious. He calls everyone “honey” as they leave the studio, announcing how many calories his heart rate monitor tallied during the class, wishing everyone a good night. And, in true sweet old man fashion, he’s always handing out candy on his way out the door (I kid you not, I ran into him in Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago, and the man had a piece of chocolate on him, which he tried to pawn off on me). It’s adorable.

My point? There is no such thing as “too old” to get started. It’s easier to start young, but like I’ve already said, I feel like something new on my body starts to ache every week. My Zumba Cheerleader has to be at least in his mid-70s … and he’s still shaking it with a bunch of girls who could be his granddaughters a couple times a week. I’ve also seen him on the cardio floor and in the weight room (he actually came up to me the other night and told me I was really strong – it was cute) – the man is seriously in the gym at least three or four days a week. And if he can do it, anyone can do it. You just have to find something you love and want it bad enough to make it a priority.