This is Fitness Over 50


Bruce: Bruce Hatch, originally from Houston, but lived in Dallas most of my life.

Susan: I’m Susan Hatch. I was born in Wichita, Kansas, lived in Overland Park, Kansas as a kid. I moved to Dallas 33 years ago and never left.

Bruce: We were not really thinking about getting in better shape, although I certainly needed to. Susan got these goofy Nike Fuel bands and neither one of us thought we’d stick to it, but we set a goal and I started making myself at least walk or do whatever.

About three months later, I had my weight to where it should be, but I wasn’t really in the kind of shape I should be; I just didn’t weigh where I used to. Clothes fit better and things like that, but not like they do now. So, that’s kind of my end of it.

Susan: He had a hip replacement three years ago and couldn’t run anymore, but could play tennis doubles. I had bad shoulder surgery three years ago where I wasn’t really able to do much of anything for about a year and a half.

I’m not real big on going to the gym—if the gym is where I can see it from my house, I’m going to go. I can make myself get up and come in here and work out in the morning, but not necessarily push  myself.

If I know somebody’s coming over and I’ve got to do a workout with him, it’s going to be a lot more intense than me getting up at 6:00 in the morning and running on the treadmill like, “Oh well, I don’t have time to do anymore. I have to go to work, so maybe I’ll go do a little bit more later tonight,” and maybe you will and maybe you won’t but you’re not really accountable for it when you’re just working out on your own.

We both kind of quit running outside when he messed up his hip and they said the running outside is what caused it. So really just running on the treadmill, walking outside in the neighborhood.

Bruce: Riding the bikes.

Susan: Riding our bikes. We both got bikes right after I had my shoulder surgery and he had the hip surgery.

Hut: So a lot of general fitness, being active, but nothing really structured, strategic changes.

Susan: Right.

Bruce: No. And for me, I saw a friend of mine. He started to notice how much differently I’m playing now. I said that I always thought that whatever your body needed to be in shape to do to play tennis, it would get from playing tennis. It doesn’t work that way.

Susan: No.

Bruce: I wouldn’t say I was skeptical about your program; I was just skeptical in general, which should could tell you is pretty much my nature.

Susan: He just hates working out. He thinks it’s boring.

Bruce: It wasn’t that so much. I had the idea that there’s cardio stuff which is running on the treadmill, walking on the treadmill, or whatever, and then there’s sitting there lifting weights, which I could never make myself do. That was muscle building and then cardio was the other thing, and that was it.

So obviously you guys have shown us we’ve lifted relatively few weights. We’ve never sat here with a bar and done this, ever. That’s just not how it’s done anymore, and I was caught in that mindset that that was something I probably was not going to enjoy very much.

Susan: I think I have more energy in general just to do normal things like I’m a rep, I travel, if I’m not traveling I work here in town and I schlep, I lift rugs, fabrics for furniture and a lot of things in and out of my car…

Bruce: You get out there now and things are kind of effortless that used to require a fair amount of work and it’s kind of amazing. I just had that stupid idea that if I just play enough tennis that will get me in good shape to play tennis.

Susan: Especially playing doubles when you’re in your 50s. It’s kind of like, eh, it’s as good as it is, but it’s not going to look like—you know, when you see the Bryan brothers play doubles on TV, that’s not what it looks like.

Bruce: What’s that game called? What are they playing?

Susan: Nothing like that, no. When he tested us the last time to just do flat out… well we’ve been doing circuits, and he said we probably did 200 push-ups in the circuit the last time we worked out with him.

Hut: Awesome.

Susan: So we can see progress.

Hut: So overall, strength, endurance has just improved immensely.

Susan: Yes. We’d rather be doing something, moving and active than sitting on the sofa watching TV. I have friends my age and they complain about their aches and their pains and, “Oh, we’re just getting older.” We’re like, “You can get older if you would like…”

Bruce: Give it a try.

Susan: Yes, definitely.

Bruce: You’re not going to know unless you try it.

Susan: To me, anybody that does have room in their house for anything… I mean, this is a tiny little bedroom. Cameron said there’s people he goes to that have one piece of equipment or a little set of weights or whatever. To me, it’s no more expensive, and in some cases probably less so, than joining a gym and having to drive there.

I know, I’ve joined gyms before and I’ve done that all my life off and on. It’s like the typical you start in January and everyone goes and you can’t get in, and you can’t get a place to work out and you have to wait for the treadmill.

When it’s in your house, you don’t have that difficulty and you’ve got somebody that’s coming and you have to be accountable to them. I would definitely recommend it to anybody who asked and who wanted to get in better shape.

Bruce & Susan’s Flat-Tire Story:

Susan: So what do you do six miles from the house and you have a flat tire? We’re three miles from the Richardson Bike Mart, and we’re six miles from home. So we walk the bikes to the Richardson Bike Mart and then proceed to ride another 15 or 20 miles after we got done getting the bike tires fixed. That was on top of the workout and the tennis.

We didn’t feel wiped out or anything. So it’s just really been good to be able to—I don’t know too many people, especially people in their 50s, who would have just said, “Call me a pick-up truck Uber or a giant Suburban Uber to take my bike home and me home because we’re stupid us.”

We didn’t have any bike repair equipment with us, we just had—you know, they give you these little bitty saddle bags, so I bought a bigger bag to go on my bike when we went up there.

Hut: So before you trained, that would have probably wiped you out.

Bruce: We probably wouldn’t have done the bike ride, or if we did, we might have just ridden around the neighborhood or something.

Susan: We wouldn’t have done that much of a bike ride after we did tennis. We probably would have maybe ridden around the neighborhood ten miles and come home and drank a beer or something…but we did do that anyway!