What do most older adults want to achieve as we age? Yes, we want to have financial security, but the biggest concern is that we do not want to suffer from physical and cognitive ailments. It is no secret to readers of my blog that physcial activity helps to ensure both physical and brain health. Working with older adults is rewarding because I am able to see the progress my clients make that allows them to live life more fully.
I am looking to grow my business for just this reason. Of course, I want At Home Senior Fitness to be successful from a financial standpoint, but I know that there many people out there who could benefit from the services we offer. They just do not know about us yet, or they think that there is no one out there who understands them and their particular circumstances. To try to reach out more, I am expanding into social media to help get the word out.
If you are interested in your own personal growth or know someone who is, check out our instagram account or our FaceBook page. These are updated on a regular basis and share the latest that is going on–even some great pictures of my clients doing their workouts! As always, more info is available at my website, or you can email me at email@example.com.
It has been about four months since I told you about my welcoming At Home Senior Fitness’ first additional personal trainer, Sam Kalamasz. She is steadily growing her client base and bringing our unique brand to the Brunswick/Medina/Strongsville area near Cleveland as well as the rest of the world via the internet. I am looking forward to her continued success and growth.
As of the first of the year, I welcomed Victoria (Vicki) Yannie to AHSF as well. I hinted at it in my year-end reflection, and now it is official. Vicki brings a wide range of skills and experience. Both her undergraduate and Master’s Degrees are in the areas of physical education and she is a certified Silver Sneakers instructor. She has extensive experience working with older adults, has written papers, and made presentations on a wide variety of topics related to fitness. Vicki will be helping me to cover the eastern suburbs of Cleveland as well as some on-line work.
When I started AHSF, I was not sure if there really was demand for what I was offering. It was a risk, but it has paid off–not only from a business standpoint, but also in the ways that we have been able to help older adults become stronger, more flexible, and even more independent.
As 2022 draws to a close, I have a few reflections on the work that I have been doing for the last 12 months.
There were many successes. I have engaged two other trainers to work with me; the newest will be introduced on this blog soon. This has become a necessity as I continue to get regular inquiries about my services and there are only so many hours in a week. My book of clients has been maxed out for a while. Once I get these two trainers up to their desired number of hours, I will consider expanding further. All of this was unimaginable to me when I started At Home Senior Fitness over two years ago.
The rabbi work continues to be fulfilling. My part-time pulpit at Beth El – The Heights Synagogue continues to allow me to do some of the work that I enjoy best and for which I have decades of experience. Our small congregation of 80 families feels just like that–family; this, of course, means that there are squabbles just like in any family, but we always look out for each other. The most exciting developments this year have been the addition of some new families/individuals who have brought fresh ideas to what we do, and the inititation of a fundraising campaign to raise $250,000 to write a new Torah scroll and have some money to cover extraordinary expenses.
I continue to help out at a local synagogue that is “short” a rabbi. This is like being a substitute teacher but, in general, the “students” are more respectful and appreciative of the work I am doing. Most of the time (sometimes weeks on end), I have no responsibilities, but there are other times when I have my hands full with hospital visits, funerals, leading services, etc. I am glad that I can help this congregation as my family and I have many wonderful connections there.
I also have a very part-time gig as a consultant for American Greetings, based here in Cleveland. They have a line of greeting cards for Jewish occasions and I make sure the content and artwork are appropriate for the given purpose. This is actually fun and lets me flex some creative muscles (see what I did there?).
On a less positive note, two of my clients passed away. I blogged about one earlier; the other passed away in the fall–quite suddenly. He was one of my best clients, training with me three times/week for 45 minutes; I really enjoyed our time together and miss him and his sense of humor. Other clients have been through injuries and medical crises, but thankfully most are back to working out or on their way to recovery.
Best of all, I have had a good year health-wise: no surgeries! I did have COVID and am still dealing with Long COVID, but I am grateful that my case was mild and my continuing symptoms are mostly manageable.
It has been a good year. 2023 will be filled with lots of opportunities. I will continue to blog about what matters to older adults when it comes to their health, and I will continue to service the community in other ways as well.
I have blogged several times in the past about the health benefits of being grateful. Our general outlook on life (positive or negative) can have a profound effect on our health and wellbeing.
In the spirit of the holiday, and in the interest of good health, I would like to briefly reflect on those things for which I am thankful this year at Thanksgiving. Of course, I am grateful for my health, my family, my friends, and my general welfare, but I want to discuss a few more obscure blessings in my life.
I am truly grateful for the clients in my personal training business, At Home Senior Fitness. I am truly fortunate to have a great group of clients–not just because they help me pay the bills, but also because I have been able to build great relationships with most of them. I have shared meals with clients, visited them in the hospital, and seen them through joyous occasions and times of loss as well. They have also seen me through ups and downs. I really do care about my clients and that care and concern is returned in spades.
I am grateful for the personal trainers that I had as a client. I always enjoyed the workouts and the results, but did not realize what a huge effect they had on me, pushing me to always do more and better. This has influenced the way that I train my clients as well. I also learned from them the importance of relationships as well as building and maintaining trust.
I am thankful that I have a network that has helped me build my business. Sam Kalamasz, who is working with me, has been a great resource and is committed to helping me grow my client base. ACE (through whom I maintain my certification as a personal trainer) has been helpful and informative. FAI (through whom I have my specialization to work with older adults) continues to enrich my skills. IDEAfit is the main source of my continuing education credits; their on-line resources and conferences are pretty top notch. SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) is also an invaluable tool; they exist in most cities and helped me get organized as I launched my business. I definitely could not have done this all on my own and these organizations have been vital.
As we approach Thanksgiving, I encourage all of us to go beyond the “typical” things we are grateful for and consider some of the other factors that have helped us get where we are. The next step, then, is to try to be the person that others are grateful to have in their lives.
Best wishes to all for a happy and fit Thanksgiving!
Today marks two years that I am working on my own as a Personal Trainer. November 15, 2020 was my last day employed at the local JCC. Last year I blogged about my thoughts on the one year anniversary; and it was an interesting read.
I wrote “sort of” in the title because I am not exacly all on my own any longer. The addition of Sam Kalamasz to my team means that I have someone who is helping me expand my territory and business. Sam will begin offering on-line classes aimed at a more beginner/intermediate level; my fitness classes are more on the challenging side. Once we get one class up and running, we will expand the offerings further. These classes will be offered virtually, so if you are interested or know others who would be, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are still many opportunities out there. I would like to get into the digital realm and hope that 2023 will be the year that happens. I will be in need of more help the east side of Cleveland soon as I have potential clients whom I have turned away. I am also eager to find ways to partner with others who serve older adults. It is all looking up.
It is important to mark milestones like these. It is a time for reflection–looking back and looking forward. For now, as we are about to head into the Thanksgiving holiday, I am grateful for all the help and support.
Thanks for all the feedback on the exciting news about At Home Senior Fitness’ growth. In case you missed it, my personal training business now has a new trainer: Sam Kalamasz. Like me, she has a specialization in working with older adults and has many years of experience. I consider myself fortunate that we have connected, and clients are already complimenting her good work.
What this means in practical terms is that there is more capacity to help older adults who can benefit from greater strength, increased flexibility, and improved balance. The need out there is tremendous and I often have a waiting list. Having Sam on board means that it is more likely that we can meet the demand with less of a wait time.
While I am covering in-person training at client’s homes in Beachwood, Pepper Pike, and the Heights (Cleveland’s eastern suburbs), Sam will cover Brunswick, Medina, and Strongsville (southern suburbs).
As the pandemic has eased up, many new clients have expressed a desire to do in-person training. This may not always be an option (if it is outside our territory or the schedule does not mesh). It is important to note that half of At Home Senior Fitness’ clients train virtually, that is to say, via Zoom. This allows us train clients as far east as New Jersey and as far west as California–not to mention clients overseas. Yes, we are global!
Even so, many folks are intimidated by a virtual workout, or are concerned that it will not be as effective as in-person; I blogged about this over two years ago. I have a few clients who have trained (and still train) in a combination depending on availability; virtual clients (who range in age from mid-50s to mid-80s) will attest to the safety and effectiveness of on-line training. Back in the early days of the pandemic, many older adults were not familiar with the technology to make it happen, but as time has elapsed the majority have learned to navigate Zoom and other virtual platforms. They have learned that it usually involves no more than the click of a mouse to start the live video.
The continued good news from At Home Senior Fitness is that we are looking for clients who want to feel better as they age. If you are interested in staying strong, preventing falls, and being mobile while minimizing injury and exposure to COVID-19, get in touch with us at http://www.athomeseniorfitness.net or email@example.com. Let’s talk about what we can do for you! It will be worthwhile and fun!
It is just over two years since I trained my first client at At Home Senior Fitness. At the time, I was still working as a Personal Trainer at a local gym, but had decided that I wanted to branch out on my own. I worked both jobs for two months before giving my 2-week’s notice at the gym; I knew that in order to make my business successful, I would have to jump in with both feet.
Although I have always been busy, in June I got to the point where I could not take on any new clients virtually or in-person. I had all but stopped advertising since word-of-mouth was my biggest source of referrals, and I did not want to take out ads and then be unable to offer a spot on my schedule to those who would make inquiries. I began to consider whether I should hire someone to work with me. I was working with my SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) mentor to strategize and was about ready to make the move when “fate” intervened.
I mid-July I received an unsolicited inquiry from a certified group fitness instructor who was also studying for ACE certification as a Senior Fitness Specialist. After many years of working with older adults, she was interested in transitioning her career into fitness and wanted to talk to me about the work that I do. We set up a Zoom conversation and, after speaking, we both understood that working together could be a great fit (pun intended!). It was fortuitous for both of us.
I am very pleased to welcome Sam Kalamasz to the At Home Senior Fitness team! Sam will be training virtually as well as in-person in territory that I am unable to cover (Medina, Strongsville, and Brunswick, OH). Sam begins with her first client today! Over the coming weeks, we are looking to build her client base, so if you know people who might benefit from working with a kind, compassionate, and skilled personal trainer–either on-line or in her territory–please refer them to http://www.athomeseniorfitness.net.
I am so excited for this new stage for me and AHSF…and for Sam. We are honored to be able to help older adults live their best lives with improved strength, mobility, and independence!
It has been 3.5 years since I began this blog, and now I have reached the milestone of 400 followers. To mark the occasion, I reread the blog that I posted when I hit 200 followers.
I noted back then, that I had little idea how the whole blogging thing worked. Originally, the blog was supposed to deal with the intersection of Judaism and physical fitness, but it veered more into fitness for older adults a couple of years ago, reflecting my personal training business At Home Senior Fitness.
What is new since I hit 200? My business was still in its early stages and I was struggling to get new clients; now I have a waiting list! I am now a regular contributor to Northeast Ohio Boomer where my column on fitness for seniors appears in each issue. I have taught classes for local organizations including a synagogue, Village in the Heights, and a group supporting individuals and families with Parkinson’s Disease. I have been interviewed for print media, radio, and a podcast!
It will be interesting to see where I am when I get to 600 followers. Currently in development is digital content from my brand, and the strong possibility that I will expand my business to keep up with growing demand.
In the meantime, I will keep bringing you the lastest news, tips, and advice for how to stay healthier and more fit as we age!
Thanks for reading, and feel free to offer feedback and spread the word!
Today marks one year since I left my position as a trainer at the local JCC. I had worked there for over two years and it was the first position I got after my certification. I am grateful for the friendships and experience that I got, and that management was willing to take a risk in hiring an “old guy” like me. Being new to the Cleveland area, it was a great way to connect with the local Jewish community as well.
In late summer 2020, though, I decided that I wanted to branch out and try training privately. It was certainly slow at first, but the pandemic actually helped. Many folks felt uncomfortable/unsafe going into fitness facitilies and either wanted to train virtually or one-on-one at their home. Within a few months it was apparent that I was onto something; there was a need for someone who worked exclusively with older adults, understood their particular needs, was affordable, and convenient. I knew it was a big leap to go out on my own, but I also knew that, as they say in Yiddish, “you can’t dance at two weddings.” In other words, it is difficult if not impossible to grow a new business while still employed somewhere else. If I wanted to At Home Senior Fitness to thrive, I would need to give it my full attention. November 15 was my last day at the JCC and I have not looked back.
I am really happy to report that I have a full book of clients. I am working with a great group of older adults and am gratified to see the progress they are making. I have clients from as far west as the Bay Area in California and as far east as Ashkelon in Israel. I am training virtually, in-home (within 5 miles of my home), and leading a regular fitness class on-line three times/week. My clients range in age from 58 to 93. Some are quite agile and active; others are recovering from strokes and other serious health conditions. A hallmark of At Home Senior Fitness is that the program is never “one size fits all;” each client has a fitness plan designed especially for them that will keep them safe, injury-free, and working toward their goals.
The biggest news is that I was recently tapped by a local publication for older adults to be their “expert” on fitness. I will be a regular contributor with a column appearing in each issue. This is really exciting and a great opportunity to expose many seniors to the idea of keeping fit as we age. I will share more details as I am able.
I look forward to what the next year will bring. Stayed tuned for more exciting announcements about what is planned for 2022.
Finally, a big thank you to my clients and to all those who have supported me on this journey (especially my patient wife!). You all give me a reason to be up and at ’em each day!
I have been supported by and supported the work of the Cleveland East Senior Network–bringing entertainment and joy to seniors in long-term care facilities, while creating connections with others who serve older adults.
I have built my client list to over 30! The youngest are in their 50s and the oldest in their 90s. They are mostly in Ohio, but I train clients remotely in California, New Jersey, Illinois, and even Israel! I am joined in my fitness classes by folks from the Bronx to Vancouver.
I have turned a profit and been able to re-invest in the business and give charitably.
I have been interviewed for newspapers and radio for my expertise in working with older adults.
I have maintained this blog; it now has over 300 followers.
Through it all, I have gotten to know some pretty amazing clients. The relationships are what make it all worthwhile; I have tried to be there for my clients and they have been supportive and flexible–especially when I was out for a few weeks after my kidney donation surgery.
Most importantly, I have watched my clients progress. They have become stronger and more flexible. Goals are being met. Nothing thrills me more than hearing “I went up the stairs and didn’t even get winded,” or “I walked four miles,” or “people tell me that they notice something different.” Everyone has engaged me as their trainer or group fitness instructor for a different reason; I am honored that they have entrusted me to help them reach their fitness goals.
What’s ahead for Year 2? Lots of exciting and new stuff is planned for the coming 12 months…but let me get through the Jewish High Holidays first!
Thanks to everyone (especially my wife who believed I could do this) for making me and At Home Senior Fitness the success that it is!