Happy 80th Birthday Larry the Legend!
Written by Michele Vieux
This weekend, our oldest, oldest member, Larry the Legend, turns 80 years young. The reason he is the oldest, oldest is because he is ten years older than any of our other members AND he was the very first member of Invictus when we officially opened our doors in 2009, which is when I inherited him as my client. Prior to that, he had been working out with CJ at another gym and also in the park while we worked to get our first location open. His hard work and dedication to being an Invicti is a testament to his belief not only in maintaining physical activity and health throughout his lifetime, but also his belief in us as coaches, to help keep him strong, mobile and safe.
In my ten years of knowing Larry, there have been many laughs and lots of ups but I can’t think of a single down time except for when he finally broke parallel in his squat – something he told me was impossible when we first tried. I’ve been accused of using snake oil and making up strange exercises and stretches for him to try but he always comes to our session willing to give it a go. It only took five years but he did it and now he has one of the best Sotts Presses in the gym. I like to have him do the Burgener Warm-Up every time he comes just to show the youngins that anything is possible and they are always impressed when they see him do it.
His squats aren’t the only thing that impress me and the other members. He does things most people his age – and much younger – couldn’t imagine doing. Besides coming to sessions with me twice a week, he also enjoys playing tennis three times a week where he was recently complimented by much younger players about his speed and agility; hikes literal mountains with his wife of over 50 years, Liz; travels the world and battles the “Blum Curse” which means every trip has some crazy snafu they have to physically or mentally overcome; and spends time with (and bragging about) his three grandchildren who range in age from three to nineteen years old.
Besides being willing to try anything, what I love about Larry is that he never slacks off, even with the excuse of being “old”. He is a hard worker and is honest with himself and me about what he is able to do. If he says, “Let’s go up in weight for one more set!” I think it’s great he wants to push himself. And sometimes when he says, “That’s enough for today.” I believe him and then usually talk him into doing some Crossover Symmetry or mobility work instead to which he agrees.
He has also never injured himself in the gym outside of nicking his shin with a barbell or getting a blood blister from using the hook grip for multiple reps of hang power cleans. He understands that people of any age can, and should, workout safely. He is so confident about that fact that when he travels, he does not hesitate to go to the hotel gym to get in some goblet squats and dumbbell rows on his own.
Larry always has amazing stories too however I’m not sure how true all of them are…And he likes to use them to get in a little extra rest or to talk to a pretty lady working out nearby. I know those tricks but that’s one of the things I love about Larry.
I’m proud to call Larry not only my client, but my friend. Here’s to many more years working together. Happy birthday Larry the Legend! I know you pretend to be embarrassed to be called that but you truly are a legend in so many ways and you know when to use the moniker to get out of your “honey do” list with your wife.
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