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It’s My Boomer Birthday and I’m Becoming Less Visible

Alexandra Williams, MA
birthday art

Happy birthday to my twin sister!

I’m turning 56 in a few days, right on the heels of attending the IDEA World Fitness Convention. I don’t care either way about tacking on another year, yet I have noticed a trend over the past few years. I seem to be becoming less visible. Or maybe just less desirable. Let me explain.

First of all, I’ve been going to the IDEA conventions since they began in the 80s. So I love to attend and see long-time fitness friends from around the world. It’s one of the highlights for me. I also love to check out all the latest workout trends. When I first started teaching (West Berlin, 1983), all we had was high impact aerobics. That was thousands of clever ideas ago, I know.

Alexandra in West Berlin 1983

Relaxing in Berlin, 1983

But this year for the first time, as I walked around the Expo and sat in on sessions (with a press pass you are not allowed to participate, which is fair), I didn’t see a lot of workouts that would accommodate my body (or tastes, in some cases), and I’m actually in pretty good shape. The high impact, loud techno/ rap workouts don’t appeal to me. Neither do the very slow, quiet “older adult” workouts. I’m in the middle – stronger and with more stamina than my 20-year old university students, aware of current music (loving Aloe Blacc’s anthem “I’m the Man”), and willing to try new ideas – so I like high intensity, fun formats that challenge me, yet don’t seem to be an injury-in-waiting.

picture of IDEA World Fitness Convention Expo hall

Expo Hall at IDEA World Fitness Convention

Also, at some of the booths and workouts, participants could win prizes based on doing the MOST – repetitions, weight, time – anything that had me competing with everyone else. And by “everyone else” I mean “people 25 years younger.” I don’t like competitions where I might look foolish or old or weak, as I am none of those. I like competitions where I’m pitted against myself. I want to be the BEST, not the MOST.

picture of push-ups/ knee tucks on suspension cable

The smile is fake. Doing 20 suspended push-up/ knee tucks was hard.

If you want my business, or even want me to stop at your booth, you need to find a way to make me feel like a winner. For example, at one booth, anyone who could do 20 suspension push-up/ knee tucks could win a prize. I didn’t care about the prize, but I wanted to challenge myself. I managed to do the 20 (barely), and left happy. I didn’t care that the 20 year old guy just after me did them in mere seconds without looking remotely tired because I wasn’t pitted against him. Hey, that was me when I was that age.

But I’m not that age anymore, nor do I wish to be. I’d have to give up my boys if I were that young again, and a modicum of wisdom. The point being this – if fitness brands are ignoring someone as confident, assertive and fit as I am, what the heck do they think is going on with women my age who are nervous about exercise? If that were me, I’d be defeated at the start.

If you are a brand, let me help you out – we have more stamina, time, long-term view, patience, and MONEY. Find a way. And for my birthday, please send me Aloe Blacc.

I am unstoppable, not invisible.

Photo credits: birthday art: Prawny; Expo Hall: IDEA

About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

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22 Responses to It’s My Boomer Birthday and I’m Becoming Less Visible

  1. Jody - Fit at 56 August 25, 2014 at 7:24 am #

    SPOT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!! Preach it my friend!!!! LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Jody – Fit at 56 recently posted..You are Enough!My Profile

  2. Jody - Fit at 56 August 25, 2014 at 7:24 am #

    http://truth2beingfit.com/2014/08/gratitude-monday-family-hanging-on/

    newest post
    Jody – Fit at 56 recently posted..You are Enough!My Profile

  3. Yum Yucky August 25, 2014 at 7:49 am #

    Yup. Tell it, girlfriend!
    And a very happy birthday to you. Will there be cake(s)?
    Yum Yucky recently posted..The Truth About How to Get a Great Pair of LegsMy Profile

    • KymberlyFunFit August 25, 2014 at 10:12 pm #

      Well Ms YY – I hope a cake or pie is involved, though it’s usually my sis making one for me as my hubster –great guy that he is — has never ONCE thought about arranging a b-day cake or pie for me. Maybe i ‘ll order a fancy shmancy one from the bakery and eat it without him.
      KymberlyFunFit recently posted..It’s My Boomer Birthday and I’m Becoming Less VisibleMy Profile

  4. Lana August 25, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

    First of all – Happy Birthday! I love this post and I couldn’t agree more. I would love to do some sort of modified Cross Fit or Insanity workout – where I could really challenge myself but not get hurt. I think there’s a huge market for this out there!
    Lana recently posted..Breaking Up With My Best FriendMy Profile

  5. Patty August 25, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

    I LIKE IT!
    Patty recently posted..Exercise and Confidence in Midlife: I Am EnoughMy Profile

  6. Danielle August 25, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

    EXCELLENT! EXCELLENT! Loved this post. love them all… but this one is brilliant. Happy birthday to my fave twins!
    Danielle recently posted..What Do You Enjoy About Aging? My Profile

  7. Laura August 25, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

    Very interesting! Have you thought about reaching out to the brands directly ?
    Laura recently posted..10 Steps to Sustainable ChangeMy Profile

  8. Suzanna August 25, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

    GREAT post! “If you are a brand, let me help you out – we have more stamina, time, long-term view, patience, and MONEY.” Reminds me of ‘Green Tomatoes parking lot scene, which is up there as a classic, in my view! And thanks for the Aloe intro. Great video link. Keep it up and happy birthday to you both!!! Suzanna
    Suzanna recently posted..Optimists Walk Faster: Pessimists Die YoungerMy Profile

  9. Tamara August 25, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

    Hope you both have a wonderful, happy birthday.

    I’m sad too that ‘the market’ doesn’t seem to value women over a certain age, despite us being the largest demographic out there (with lots of knowledge, interest, time and money to spend on keeping ourselves healthy).

    Preach it!
    Tamara recently posted..3 Strength-Training Upgrades for Goddesses {guest post}My Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit August 26, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

      I am sure we’ll have fun b-days tomorrow Tamara. K is at Rancho la Puerta with her BFF, and I’ll possibly get waited on by my boys. Yeah, I love the IDEA Expo, but it didn’t feel inviting to me in many ways.
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Optimists Walk Faster: Pessimists Die YoungerMy Profile

  10. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul August 26, 2014 at 10:01 am #

    Great post, and a really great perspective!!
    Erin @ Her Heartland Soul recently posted..Exploring “The Discovery of King Tut”My Profile

  11. Jen August 26, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this story. I think it’s good commentary on how we tend to ignore our older or aging friends all to frequently when it comes to things like ability. i appreciate this!
    Jen recently posted..Spend Labor Day Weekend in LA with Budweiser’s #MadeinAmericaFestMy Profile

  12. Pamela Hernandez August 26, 2014 at 6:36 pm #

    Sing it!!! Yes yes yes! I was also thinking about how some brand continue to objectify women – even when trying to sell to women. Brands need to take a step back and think about who they are alienating and what it might mean to them long term.
    Pamela Hernandez recently posted..Nominate Pamela for The Best Personal Trainer in 417 Magazine!My Profile

  13. Marie August 26, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

    Love this post and your perspective. I remember teaching aerobics like that back in the late 80’s too. But I don’t think I could do the suspended push-ups/knee tucks at all – well done! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :-)
    Marie recently posted..Zucchini Bread with Blueberries and LemonMy Profile

  14. Stephanie Marlowe August 28, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

    I love the idea of putting yourself out there! I recently just tried CrossFit for the first time. While everyone in the class finished the workout minutes before I did, I refused to be defeated about it, simply coming to the class was success enough for me. Keep up these inspiring posts!

  15. Leisa A. Hammett August 30, 2014 at 7:42 am #

    Good point(s)!
    Leisa A. Hammett recently posted..Art & disAbility: Our Story and Sharing the Stage @ ShimaiMy Profile

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] It’s My Boomer Birthday and I’m Becoming Less Visible […]

  2. What Does Your Fitness Future Hold? Two Troublesome Trends from IDEA | Fun and Fit: Baby Boomer Active Aging Advice from Fitness Experts - September 3, 2014

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