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You Never Slow Down, You Never Grow Old"

Meet Poway's own, Mike! Mike has been involved in sports and fitness most of his life. He's pushed through challenges and setbacks to prove that fitness can be achieved at any age. At almost 70 he's not even thinking about slowing down! Continue reading below for Mike's inspirational story:

I've always been active, playing a range of sports as a kid through college. From tennis, to cricket, to track, to rugby, surfing, skiing, skating, etc. etc. I was also a gym-rat both in the weight room to the old high-impact aerobics of the 1980's. Thanks to my first marriage not working out and traveling the world before settling in the US, my kids came late, and when they came, everything went on hold, gym, sport, everything... 20 years flew by, and I found myself unfit, and as my girls described it: more than a bit "cuddly". I was coming up on the big 6-0, the kids were fast becoming independent, time to make some changes... I'd had a membership at 24hr fitness for 20+ years, but hardly ever used it anymore. It was just $7.50/Month, so I never got around to canceling it. So, I went back to the gym... just doing weights soon became boring. Then I discovered "Les Mills" classes, especially "Body Pump" - back in the aerobics classes, I had discovered that with the right music, I get almost limitless energy. For me, Body Pump was a great mix of music and weights. I soon became the resident BP fanatic doing everything to the extreme, with as heavy weights as could fit on the bar. I also worked on my diet - cut out all added sugar, cut back on carbs, focused on good, whole food. I added several supplements to make up for what is no longer in our food. Then I discovered Orange Theory Fitness... I remember going for my first free trial class. Thanks to all the Body Pump, I thought I was pretty fit, but the OTF coaches know how to inspire you to try harder and after that class, I walked like an arthritic duck for about a week... ...but I was hooked. I still kept up the Body Pump classes for a while, but soon OTF classes became my passion. They've remained that way for 5 years. I also did the MCRD "Boot Camp Challenge" every year until they stopped because of the pandemic. I've always enjoyed hiking, trail running but during the lockdown, those became my only option apart from weights & rowing at home - good, but boring - I found myself hiking/running Iron Mountain, Mt Woodson and others 2-3x per week. Now that the gyms have reopened, I've scaled back the hikes a bit - a ruptured ankle ligament doesn't help right now, but that's healing and will soon be as good as new. I still have my rowing machine, weights a chin-up bar and inversion boots to use in between OTF classes. Oh, and I love dancing and hit the floor like a maniac any time I can find good rock music and space to dance. :) So here I am, now coming up on the big 7-0. Nowhere near ready to slow down. As Tom Petty says in "MaryJane's Last Dance" - "I don't know, but I've been told. You never slow down, you never grow old" - Getting ready to do OTF's "Dri-Tri" challenge in a week or so... and ready to do my dance-thing on St Paddy's day. Oh, and the cuddliness is gone, I now have just 16% bodyfat - my girls mock-complain that they miss it, but they love that their old dad is so fit and healthy for his age :)

-- Mike

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