I came across this picture while browsing in a card shop. It’s an image taken from the Getty collection which I believe have exclusive ownership of every image as soon as it’s taken. It is meant to be a mildly amusing novelty card. The title Burn and Firm implies a touch of irony that some might say is a little patronising. Any way I suspect the lady and her friends are long departed and their feelings if any are now largely irrelevant.
Take a long look at the picture and ask yourself what you see. Yes I know you can see up her skirt but try and look beyond this. Oh dear another poor choice of words. What I am saying is does this picture make you feel anything; dismissive, supportive, maybe even a little respect and admiration. As Crossfitters we would have a field day correcting the poor form and of course the Health and Safety fascists would be pointing out the poor choice of footwear and clothing.
I asked myself could this be any of us in our sixties or later. I certainly hope so. Yes they are all squatting, to a degree. I certainly recognise some of that poor form in both myself and in some classes. But none the less they are exercising, quite clearly with some determination and effort. After all the biggest cause of the elderly entering full time care is the loss of their basic ability to be safely mobile. Functional fitness is part of the Crossfit mantra and rightly so. Now I can see five women in this picture and none of them are obese. This will be partly due to diet and they are exercising. So if you had a rueful smirk at this picture you may now be looking at with different eyes.
The other question I asked myself would they have been lifelong exercisers or could they have come to this late in life. Both are equally admirable. Old dogs and new tricks, really does not wash. I live by the philosophy that every day is a school day. So what does this mean for us? We all know people from the elderly population, whatever that is these days, it’s certainly not me any way. So take some time with your folks and think about how you could encourage them back into exercise or even to start. It’s never too late to learn, how often did we hear our parents say that to us? So if they resist, prevaricate and make excuses, just wink, smile and say…