I have been struggling with how to grow the OutdoorFit program. The majority of the OutdoorFit ladies are in their 70’s and 80’s. I wouldn’t be attracted to what is typically described as an older population workout . That sounds like a low impact senior aerobics class. So how can I promote OutdoorFit? I decided to meditate on it. The other morning, I woke up at 6am, made myself a cup of coffee, and set my phone alarm for 10 minutes. I sat in the darkness. What came to me is that I need to embrace the OutdoorFit women. They are exceptional! I am proud to be promoting them. And, I am 68, which is getting pretty close to 70! So, why not?
There is an image issue that I am struggling with. Do I call OutdoorFit a bootcamp? What 70 year old is going to say yes to a bootcamp that includes mountain climbers and burpees? Last Sunday during my church’s coffee hour, a group of people were talking about the CROP walk. It is a 5 mile walk to raise money and awareness about hunger in our area. A women said she has been walking 2 miles but at “her age” she doesn’t think she can walk 5 miles. She mentioned her ankles, knees and “her age” several times. I usually don’t say anything in a social situation about what I do . I could feel the emotion rising up in my body. I had to say something! I pulled her aside and asked her if she knew what I did. She said,”no”. I said, “I run an outdoor bootcamp”. Her immediate reaction was there is no way I am going to a bootcamp. Do I need a new description? Senior Fitness with Mary just doesn’t cut it. I sent the church women my website and a video of an interview with Elaine. She is 84-1/2 and comes to OutdoorFit 3 times a week.
OutdoorFit is an exceptional workout because of the ladies that show up. We are a very special bootcamp. You can be like Jane at 78 and still be doing pushups off the ground. You can come back to OutdoorFit after a hip replacement like Mary and Meredith. You can be like Elaine who keeps showing up and is in amazing shape with her 8 pound weights! In the video, Elaine talked about Sissie, another OutdoorFit regular, who at 83, still plays a mean game of tennis and pickle ball. Andrea and Elena, the OutdoorFit youngsters love a great workout and are inspired by the older women. We also have a fabulous group online that I know are thriving as well!
Strength training and muscle building is so important as we age. The ladies bring their own weights. They quickly advance from using 5 # weights to 8’s, 10’s and 12’s! I am there to help every step of the way.
The workout is outside all year long. The cold or heat does not stop us. We do go in for rain or snow. I also live stream the workouts if you are not in the area or just like working out in your basement.
We are Fit and Fabulous…Aging Optional!
Reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Come give us a try!
I LOVE this post. I have the same issue with the in-person classes I offer. ) I can so relate to the conversation you had with the lady with low expectations “at her age”. These kind of classes are not for everyone (but they could/should be!) I also call mine a BootCamp sometimes; when I say I teach strength training I think it gets a better response because most people want to be stronger. One way I’ve attracted younger people is through posting my classes as a Meetup group. There’s no way for them to tell the ages so they can judge the class on its merits. The challenge is to keep them coming back. : (
Thanks Mary! We just have to keep doing what we are doing!