San Angelo Senior Athlete in Her 80s Encourages All To Get Fit
SAN ANGELO, TX - There are all kinds of excuses on why people don't go to the gym, but then there are those who have pushed themselves to go those first few times; as a result, it has become a way of life. Setting personal goals and achieving them, watching the scale go down and the muscle mass build up, and feeling better about oneself as a whole are enough to make the sweat and tears worth the effort.
Serious athletes will mute their cell phones, won't spend much time for water or bathroom breaks, mirror time, or idle chit chat; and many will exercise after gym hours.
San Angeloan Carlene Griscom is the prime example of one who maxes out her gym time and then does "home work."
For several years now, she said, "I worked out at Heroes Gym (formerly Gold's Gym), and of course the famous R. Lord's Boxing Gym in Austin."
Currently, Griscom has found what fits her needs best at a new gym, and said, "These trainers really are a blessing to the community, and working out here has let me know that I was just 'playing' at the other gyms."
She added, "My scheduled workouts are Mondays and Fridays for one hour each at Fitness United-MBSC Thrive San Angelo, located at 2215 W Beauregard Avenue."
The gym is owned and operated by Certified Personal Trainer and body builder Matt Cutrer, who trains and also oversees his own CPT's.
Last Friday, in between sets, Griscom took a few moments to chat with LIVE! about the importance of staying fit. As she worked the rings, incline bench with weights, and some floor exercises, including planks, it was almost like watching a well-oiled high tech machine in action because she didn't miss a beat.
So what is so special about Carlene Griscom? She is in her 80s and started boxing in her 70s.
Regarding her passion for training, she said, "I am excited to let other seniors know about this opportunity they could avail themselves of to enjoy their 'golden years' and feel strong and energetic. One man at FitU is in his early 90s, and he does some amazing jumps during his workouts!"
Both Cutrer and CPT Brandon Smith were on duty that Friday working with several ladies of various ages. Towards the end of the session, the students took turns pulling a 70-something pound sled 25 feet across the floor and back, with various weights on it; some with the trainers standing on it as well.
To watch Griscom and Smith interact during their workout routine, it was obvious Smith was proud of her dedication, athletic ability and endurance. In regards to working with Smith, Griscom said, "He's beautiful, and it really helps during the workout with the hugs, fist bumps and words of encouragement."
Smith said, "FitU's workout programs are written by a company in Boston who sends them to us and we use them as a template, customizing plans tailored to individual clients. Deadlift is a great example; one person might be lifting a 400 pound bar while the next person may be touching [his or her] toes. In our mind, they're both doing the same pattern. Once that person can touch [his or her] toes, we get them on the kettlebell."
As he was speaking, Griscom walked over to the kettlebell rack and proceeded to pick up two 30 pound bells and walked 25 feet across the floor and back. If that wasn't incredible enough, she did the same with two 35 pound kettlebells. Excitedly, she shouted, "Quick, get a picture of this!"
Smith continued, "Once they max out the kettlebells, we get them on a bar and so on. We have a very specific program where we're thinking 'movements not muscles.' Rather than thinking today is chest day or leg day, we're going to do push, pull, and work their core, so that way we're getting every aspect of the body at a time. This will help [them] determine how many days a week they will need to work out with the minimum effective dose rather than the maximum recovery dose."
Smith said Griscom started 10 or 11 months ago and has been "incredibly impressive the whole time."
"I'd say she's more dedicated than over half the people I've met," he said. "Recently, she told me she's been working on a hip exercise for 20 minutes every night that we do up here; I wish everyone would do that."
Just a few days earlier, Griscom was proud to say, "Yesterday, I started working on my thighs by sitting on my heels, instead of a chair, for 15 minutes. I have to use an Air-X dense foam cushion under my butt and pillows under my knees and legs, but I accomplished it and feel the improvement already."
For those who know Griscom, she definitely enjoys life, lives it to the fullest, and brings a little burst of sunshine to all she comes across with her radiant smile and witty personality. Always the go-getter, she never lets anything get her down. Even on this day, she was working with a new pair of shoes, pretty stylish, and admitted they would "take some getting used to."
Smith's advice to anyone considering joining a workout program is to "start where you are, work with what you have, and do what you can."
Overall, people have to find what works for them. Some people do better when motivated by a personal trainer, while others do fine with one or two pieces of equipment at home.
For a little motivation, check out videos of Griscom pulling the 203-pound sled at https://www.facebook.com/FitUSanAngelo.