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A Runner’s Diary: Working Out With Seniors Around Valentine’s Day

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My parents live in a gated senior community in South Florida. During my training period, I went to visit them.

It wasn’t hot and the sun wasn’t out either, so I decided to take my training in doors. I ran my allocated three miles on Thursday and needed to cross-train on Saturday. I decided to run a mile to warm up and then weight train for an hour or so. I usually train with a trainer in New York, but since my schedule has been so hectic, I decided to do it on my own in Florida.

My father drove me to the gym in his complex. I wore my new Brooks blue shorts and spring coral top. I was excited to wear it outdoors because up north it is way too cold to wear shorts to the gym!

I felt very young here. I was surrounded by people in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. It was actually crowded in the aerobics room, where they had 12 treadmills (but very tiny ones), a couple of stationary bicycles and two air bikes. Most of the people were on the treadmills.

My dad came with me. He road the stationary bike for five minutes and said he had enough. He left me there. I continued on my journey and ran one mile and then weight trained.

As I was weight training, I noticed that there was a picture of an elderly woman demonstrating the correct position on the machine. At my gym, it’s a younger man demonstrating, so I found this interesting. Then I wondered if there is special equipment for seniors.

My focus was on my legs. I needed to build them up so that I can run this Half Marathon in NYC on March 20.

I did leg curls, squats, dead lifts, abdominals and more. I stayed there for more than an hour and kept getting stares from the older men.

“You seem to enjoy working out,” one man said to me.

“It looks like you know what you’re doing,” said another.

I just smiled, kept my earphones in tight and listened to my favorite music on my MP3 player.

When I was done, I walked into the hallway. I was dripping wet from the sweat. I noticed there were dozens of people lined up to get a $5 Valentine’s Day lunch. Everyone wore red—red shirts, red dresses, red hats, red scarves and red shoes. It was only 11 a.m.

I thought to myself, I better get out of here before I have to put on a red shirt and get shoved inside to eat an early lunch!

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About Hilary Topper