Training is for Everyone, Including your Parents Over 60

Micky Ruiz


Micky really surprised me the other day when she said “I haven’t read all of your stuff but I try and read a lot of it, you really made a big difference for me telling me to eat more.  So thank you”.  That really touched me because like many of you I wish my parents were more active and I really hope for a lot of people out there Micky’s story serves as the reason they make the leap.  A big theme in the science lab, especially for people just starting working out, is that they need to learn to start eating like an athlete.  Here is the link for more info on how we teach you do that.


Question 1:  Your son is a very good athlete but I found it interesting that you said your daughter-in-law was your motivation to start.  Why was her story so motivating?


What impressed me the most, were the physical changes I saw in them both, but with Kristin the change was more noticeable. It wasn’t just the weight loss, it was the way she was getting lean and solid, and developing strength that I hadn’t seen before, hefting carry-ons into the overhead baggage bin like they were filled with air.  To be honest, I was envious.  I remembered being her age, having more energy, and wanted to regain some of what I used to have.


Question 2:  What would you say to someone that is on the fence about joining and a bit scared?


Just take it one session at a time.  I had butterflies in my stomach every time I went for the first couple of months.  Learning the language, how to modify the workouts — would I make a fool of myself, or worse yet, injure myself?  But the coaches were very helpful, giving me a lot of individual attention those first few weeks.  They and other members were very supportive and had lots of suggestions for modifications.  My son, Jon, told me how to “listen” to my body so I would push myself hard enough to make gains, but not so hard as to hurt myself.  It’s a lot to learn, but interesting and feels great once you start seeing results.


Question 3:  Before you started this new journey what were you doing to stay active?


That’s a tough question to answer.  I have always tried to maintain a walking schedule, I was doing Tai Chi for a while, and I take care of my 4-year old granddaughter 3 days a week.  I also work part-time in a quilt shop, so I consider myself active.  But I wasn’t doing anything that made a real difference in how I felt.  Since I had turned 60, I was feeling a lot of aches and pains that I (and my doctor) attributed to aging, and I felt that the key would be to start rebuilding some of the muscle loss that happens as we age.  More muscle would lessen strain on joints and studies have shown resistance exercises to grow bone mass, too.


Question 4:  Besides Burpees what’s your favorite thing to see on the board?


Seriously, I love the weight lifting.  I never would have predicted that because I didn’t think I could do it.  But the way the coaches demonstrate each movement and have you practice the parts is a good strategy for learning.  It’s fun learning the differences between a shoulder press, a push press, and a push jerk.  And all the little details that can improve your performance, who knew?


Question 5:  Give me an example of what “Eating to Perform” means for you?


Well, first of all “perform” means more to me than lifting heavier weights, or doing a workout in less time.  I want to do those things, too, but it’s more about how I feel everyday and how well I’m able to live my life and continue to do the things I enjoy.  Probably the best move I made nutrition-wise was to give up processed foods.  I follow the basic paleo guidelines about 80% of the time and make sure I’m eating enough protein to help repair muscles after exercise.  That’s about it.


My body has changed in so many ways in the last seven months — size, shape, posture, muscle tone.  And I feel healthier and stronger than I have in years.  It all carries over to allowing me to do the things I want.  Whether it’s climbing the 138 ft. high Nohuch Mul pyramid (which I did in Jan.) or running circles around the house with my 36 lb. granddaughter on my back (which I did yesterday), that’s what performance means to me.  People have commented that I smile more and show more confidence.  I’m in a great place.

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