Today we highlight one of our favorite athletes — the amazing and inspiring Kathy L.  She turns 70 this fall, but her energy, enthusiasm and ability rival that of people half her age (or even a quarter of her age!).  She’s proven that age is just a number and her approach to fitness is something people of any life-stage should strive for!

“In my past I’ve had poor luck with physical fitness. I kept hurting myself trying to do it on my own.  I have a shelf full of fitness books that failed me.  Then I pried open my wallet and hired a trainer one day.  I really enjoyed working with a personal trainer, but it got really expensive working out twice a week.  I’m kind of a cheapskate and hated spending all that money.”

I joined my county gym and I was looking for a class setting with guidance so I wouldn’t hurt myself.  I thought I’d get the benefits to help keep me improving but also keep me safe — and I could save a little money too.  But the classes were hard to get in to. They’re crowded and you need to sign up.  And sometimes I couldn’t even get in because I got shut out and I didn’t get the personal attention I needed.”  So that’s when she decided to give the Cove a try.

She’s been at the Cove just over a year and a half and continues to just get faster, stronger and more agile. She credits the coaches, the environment and her fellow athletes for her successes here.  “One of the first sessions I couldn’t do a single burpee, box jump or jump rope. The coaches are all so awesome. Everyone is so patient. I am learning something new every day and I keep seeing improvements.” 

Oh, and she’s been injury-free.  “No aches and pains.  Not a one. The only ‘injury’ I’ve had is sciatica from my desk job!  I honestly feel it’s because of the guidance of the coaches.  I know I’m responsible for myself as well, so I’m really careful.  There’s personal responsibility there, but they are amazing.”  She also loves the fact that we properly prepare her for the workouts.  “I really love the warm ups.  It’s something I’ve never had the discipline to do on my own. Some are really grueling for me.  But it’s part of the reason why I think I haven’t been injured.”

Besides staying injury-free, her biggest overall goal is just to see continued improvement. “I think for me it’s notable that I can actually expect to continue to improve at my age.  Even starting this so late, I think I can continue to see improvements for at least the next 10 years until I’m 80.”

She also has specific and measurable goals, and she’s ticking them off quickly.  “One of the goals I put on the goal wall was to be able to do a box jump.  And I just did my first 12” jump today.  Maybe I’ll try to put a plate on it soon to make it higher, but for now I’m just happy I can do it”.  She also has a goal of doing a full push up.  “I haven’t done one since I was in my 20’s.  Holden has really been working with me on it.  I can do a plank for a full minute now so I know it’s not my core strength, it’s my upper body that needs to get stronger.  I’m confident I’ll get here. I do a tiny bit every day”.

“Everyone is so wonderful and friendly. And like I said, the coaches are just all awesome. And I’m inspired by everything these amazing athletes do. It’s so thrilling to see the young fellas lift so much weight the bar is gong to break.  And these women — they do a chin up and then keep going.  Those (muscle ups) are amazing.  I love watching it all.   I know I can’t compete with those great athletes, so mentally I strive for 2/3rds of the RX.  I scale myself to finish in the middle of the pack and I get a FANTASTIC workout.”

And she’s seeing and feeling the results outside the gym too.  She just came back from a skiing trip to Utah where she claims much more stamina and strength on the mountain than she’s felt in a long time.  “I hike more.  I do the things I love like golf and enjoy generally staying active.” 

As we age, things like protecting bone density and performing simple movements like getting up and down off the floor are really important.  Strength and power output are key elements to living a long and productive life and she’s increasing hers daily.  “My friends are really struggling — with degenerative diseases and age related things.  I’m kind of an outlier now. “ Actually, we’d prefer to say she’s exceptional.

So exceptional that all of the things she could do when she came in, she can now. “I can’t believe I can jump on a 12” box.  I can’t believe I can jump rope 40 or 50 times unbroken.  In our first classes I couldn’t do a single one.  I can even do burpees now.  I was away and saw Brian’s note about “out of town workouts”.  And there was one that said “100 burpees for time”. I didn’t do 100 — I did 70 — and it took me a long time, but I did them.

And best of all, she’s so intelligent about all of it.  She doesn’t over-reach, but she also doesn’t go soft.  She comes out sweaty, more fit… and safe too.  We think it’s the ultimate win-win relationship. She is inspired by the athletes around her and they are inspired by what she is doing.  When you see her, please give her a huge high five and tell her job well done!