Four Hard Lessons You Can Learn From The Elderly

Back in February of this year I found myself: lost, confused, unfulfilled, and lonely. For the past three years I had been working remotely from home. And in January of this year, I made the decision to move across the country to California to pursue a lifelong dream of living in sunshine.

You see, I’m an online health and wellness coach that specializes in helping you lose weight simply and sustainably. I’ve helped thousands of people get out of their own way, lose weight, get strong as f*ck and look good naked. I was in a position I wanted to be in forever after working dead tired hours as an in person trainer for seven years.

And here I am…experiencing all of these emotions that had me feeling like I didn’t know where I belonged.

My family and friends encouraged me to get a part time job, something that would stimulate my mind, allow me to socialize and do some good.

Well…not too long after battling my own ego (it’s kind of a mind f*ck to work for someone else after working for yourself for years)…I got a part time job.

I became a personal trainer at a senior retirement home where my clientele’s average age was 75 years old.

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I’ve trained geriatric patients before. In fact, I’ve trained all ages before. And I love what each age group brings to the table.

Little did I know…there were many hard lessons I would learn from my elderly clients.

These lessons have reshaped: how I live my life, how and why I exercise, how I spend my time and how I look towards the future.

And I would be doing you and the rest of the world a disservice if I did not share the many lessons that I’ve learned.

Lesson #1 – Do It All.

In my first week of training, I met a man named Dave…we’ll call him Coach because he told me he used to coach all the sports when he was younger.

Dave and I were shooting the sh*t, talking sports, and talking life. I told Dave that it had been really hard for me to meet people in California. I had quit drinking in January this year and unfortunately a majority of social activities have to do with alcohol.

I mentioned that there was some intramural sport leagues that I was thinking of doing but wasn’t sure.

…before I could even form another thought Coach said to me…”Do it all. Do it all now. Because one day, you’re gonna be like me…old and having a hard time just getting out of a chair…so do it all.”

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His words hit me in my soul. You know those moments in life when you feel something so profound and real that time slows down and you realize that you should just go for it…that was my moment.

And so I did and so I have been. I started playing ALL the sports. Football, softball, pickleball, volleyball, you name it, I’m playing it.

Do it all. Three simple words that will change your life too.

If you’ve been pushing off something you’ve really wanted…do it.

If you have been avoiding taking back your health…do it.

Do it all…because one day you may have a hard time getting out of a chair…and you’ll be wishing you did.

Lesson #2 – Get Off The Toilet

You can probably guess, but working in a senior center you see a lot people struggling to do the little things: Walking, sitting, standing, talking, etc.

And when you see people struggling like this everyday…you start to question what you’re doing right now so you can avoid struggling when you’re older.

Needless to say, HOW AND WHY WORKOUT NOW…is different than how I worked out before.

Yes, my goal will always include building muscle and trying to look good naked…I still want to capitalize on my youth and tell my future grandkids how good Grandpa used to look 😂…

…but I’m also taking more time to stretch. I’m focusing on my balance more. I’m training like an athlete…and not just like a meathead.

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All this to say…vary up your training. Train for your future self. Train for your present self…train. Do something so you’re not struggling to get your ass off the toilet when you get older.

That may mean doing exercises that you don’t enjoy.

For example: including some sort of squat variation that will strengthen your legs and get you out of that dining booth when you’re 90

The ability to do pushups because if you ever find yourself on the floor I want you to be able to get yourself up without the assistance of others.

Doing some mobility so your body doesn’t ache and you don’t find yourself staring at the floor because your posture sucks.

Do the exercises you don’t want to do so it allows you to live the life you want to.

Lesson #3 – Spend time doing what YOU want

When you see people in the twilight of their lives you often hear about regrets or the “should’ves”.

Have you ever wanted to start that business? Lose that weight? Go on that trip? Learn how to play that instrument?

Do it.

Spend more time doing what YOU want because it’s not an IF that you’ll be in the twilight of your life but a WHEN.

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So don’t waste more time living for what someone else wants you to do or what you’ve always been afraid to do.

Do it.

There’s a quote I love that I heard from Dr. Wayne Dyer years ago when I was a kid, “Don’t die with your music still in you”. Don’t die with your dreams. Live them.

Lesson #4 – How does your future look now?

Working with geriatric clientele you oddly get a glimpse into the future and what that can look like.

You see people struggling with their health, memory, speech, walking, etc.

You see people who have lived a whole life of love and loss.

It makes those arguments you’ve gotten into seem silly.

The anger you felt towards someone seem pointless.

I have a client named Warren. He’s 90 years old and was married to his high school sweet heart for over 70 years. She ultimately was diagnosed with Alzheimers and passed earlier this year.

When he told me that, for some reason, 70 years still doesn’t seem long enough to spend with someone you love.

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When you can see where life eventually ends up it makes you question how you’re living life now.

When you can see the end…you may find yourself walking differently now down a different path you didn’t know existed.

The Conclusion – High School Essay Style

I’m grateful for my experience of being able to train geriatric patients because I’ve absorbed more life lessons these last few months than I have my entire life.

I find myself being thankful for my health more often and catch myself thanking my legs for walking, my mind for thinking and my lungs for breathing.

I’m grateful to go up and down stairs and find myself using them more often even if an elevator is there or the escalator.

I’m grateful for the loved one’s in my life who are living and breathing and still here.

There’s a lot of lessons to learn in life and I guess what I’m trying to say…you can learn a beautiful life lesson from anyone, especially those who have lived a lot of life.

I love you super much,

Your Coach,

Ry Ry

ps. If you’d like to change your life and work together on YOUR health goals, you can apply for coaching at

pps. I’m grateful for you. Have an amazing life.

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