I was watching one of the regulars work out at the gym this morning. He did a 10 minute warm-up on the Schwinn AirDyne exercise bicycle, and then went back and did some dumbbell curls and presses.
You could tell he was pretty serious about it. After the dumbbells, he moved to the weight machine circuit. He started with the first one, did a set, rested a bit, and then did another set, and so on, spending about five minutes before moving on to the next machine.
All told, he did thirteen machines, which took him about an hour. When I finally looked in on him, he’d moved on to the Kettlebell rack, and was fiddling around with them. He ended up doing 10 min warm-up on the bike, and a little more than an hour in the weight room.
Yesterday I saw him working out in the cardio room. He rode the exercise bike for 30 minutes. Then he walked 30 minutes on the treadmill. Finally, he finished with another 30 minutes on the Schwinn AirDyne. That’s an hour and a half of cardio! Granted, he doesn’t go all that fast, or push all that hard, but it’s still a lot of exercise.
He does this every day. Some days it’s an hour on the bike and treadmill, and then half an hour on the weight machines. Other days, he’ll do it like he did today.
What makes this even more impressive is that he just had his 90th birthday this week. As he says, he made it into the next decade. You’ve probably guessed that I’m writing about my dad.
He works out like this Mon-Sat, holidays included. In fact, the only time I’ve seen him miss in the last few years, was six months ago when he was in the hospital as a result of some seizures and a subsequent fall.
After a few days of testing, some anti-seizure medicine, and a 6 week rehab at Twin Lakes, the doctors released him back to independent living. That same day I took him back to Brookstone, I also brought him back to the gym. In fact, he did his workout first!
He was pretty shaky the first week, but by the end of the first month, he was pretty much back to what he had been doing before. “I just have to be a little more deliberate in my movements in my old age,” he says.
Whenever someone says hello at the gym, and asks him how he’s doing, he always tells them, “I’m still alive.” I guess when you’re 90, you don’t take this for granted.
Some days I need to remind him what to do, and sometimes, how to do it, because he has some short-term memory issues. But he’s always ready to go. Dad says “I need to do it until the day I die.” We’re hoping he gets another decade of workouts in.
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