Proving that it’s truly never too late to start, Linda McGrath began her movement journey at age 60. Now, ten years later, she spends three days a week training with a personal trainer and spends her other days staying active with golf (weather permitting!) and other activities around Vancouver.
From the moment Linda’s trainer Johny Dyer told us about her, we knew we had to share her story. Her personal experience with movement is such a wonderful reminder to anyone who thinks they’ve missed their opportunity to learn something new, to get stronger and healthier, and to create a more beneficial relationship with fitness – that there’s no better time to start than the present.
Tell us about your history with movement.
When I was younger, I curled and played baseball, racquetball, and pickleball. I did fitness classes on and off, and I joined some different gyms but they didn’t stick.
My movement journey really started ten years ago when I joined Steve Nash Fitness with a friend of mine. I thought ‘okay, I can go with somebody and maybe it’ll keep me going.’ It was there that I first started doing personal training with Johny. I was 60 at the time and I had bursitis in my hip, which can be quite painful, so my movements were very slow. Johny was very patient with me. When Johny left Steve Nash Fitness, I followed him and I’ve been training with him for ten years now.
What does your current workout routine look like?
I work out three days a week with Johny. We incorporate stretching into my practice because I’ve got very tight hip flexors. I was recently dealing with osteoarthritis in my knees and that was really sore for about six months. He gave me exercises to incorporate into my workout that helped a lot.
We workout with weights, which was completely new to me when we started. I’m much stronger now. Sometimes I can’t believe how much I can lift –– I think the most that I’ve deadlifted was 95 pounds.
What benefits have you experienced since starting weight training?
My core is stronger now. I used to go to the chiropractor two or three times a week for my back. Last year, I didn’t have to go to the chiropractor at all, which is amazing.
Having a personal trainer ensures that I’m doing the exercises properly, and it helps to have that extra push. Johny takes into consideration what my limitations are as far as what I can and can’t do, but he also pushes me. I’m probably in the best shape that I’ve been in for a long time.
How do you feel being active versus when you aren’t moving enough?
If I don’t move, I get quite stiff. My knees and my back start to hurt. So, you just need to keep moving, right? If I was to say anything to anybody, it would be “I’m almost 70 and if I can do it, anybody can do it.”
Movement is what keeps you young. There are some days when I just don’t feel like doing much and end up being a bit of a couch potato. That’s when I find that I need to get up, even just to take a walk around the house. Just to do something to get the blood flowing again.
Do you have any advice that you would give to someone wanting to try weight training or a new form of movement?
You just need to do it! You need to do it for yourself. You need to do it for your body and for your mind. It’s important to keep it up as much as you can for as long as you can.
Don’t be intimidated at all about weight training. I didn’t realize how important it was until I started. I would definitely recommend it to anybody who wants to try. And it doesn’t have to be heavy weights, even light weights are essential to keeping fit. I didn’t start until I was 60. Age should have nothing to do with it. If you know you want to start on your journey, that’s when you do it. It’s never too late.
We asked Johny if there was anything he wanted to share on his experience training with Linda over the past ten years. This is what he shared with us:
“Linda doesn’t know it, but she is such an inspiration to me. She treats me like her son and has no idea the impact she has on me. To see a woman in her 60’s come to me to start her true wellness journey was a lot to take on, but we were both determined to help improve her lifestyle and get her moving way better. She is the pure representation of the saying “It’s never too late”