Being Strong for Each Other
A Fitness Love Story:
In fitness and in love, Shebah and Nate are Baby Boomers who personify a Millennial phrase: #relationshipgoals.
The pair, both over 60, met and became trainers late in life. They now live together, work together, and share a robust relationship that includes healthy living at its core.
Their fitness love story offers lessons for all of us at Valentine’s Day and year-round.
How They Met
Shebah and Nate were both involved in successful careers when they interviewed for a municipal recreation job.
Nate got it, but the first time they met – at a grocery store, without knowing about the professional rivalry – Shebah was smitten.
“I turned around and looked at this guy, and he’s really fine…,” she recalls. “I applied for the job, and then I got him.”
Shebah became a catalyst for Nate’s transition to exercise and healthy eating. He had recently suffered a health scare while working a corporate job that involved a lot of travel and stress, without any time for taking care of himself.
That was more than 10 years ago, and the pair are both super-fit and devoted to helping their clients, and each other, live their best lives for as long as possible. Some of their clients are younger adults, but many are over 50, as well.
Nate and Shebah stay active inside the gym and outside of it.
“It’s important to us that we walk our talk,” Nate says. “We want to make sure we do what we suggest.”
Shebah adds, “We’re promoting this whole idea of being ageless, so we want to look that part.”
Tips for Other Couples and the single independent types.
Part of their motivation to stay fit is rooted in their concern for each other. They share that philosophy with other mature adults who want to get fit or remain fit.
“Do you want to stay healthy long enough so that your partner doesn’t have to take care of you?” Shebah asks. “People don’t think about that. But it creates a stronger bond.” What about staying fit and healthy to maintain your independence as a happy, healthy single person?
Nate says fitness helps them grow their interdependence — common growth and experiences that make the relationship stronger. He has become a great friend to Shebah’s adult son, whose activities as a special-needs athlete keep the family moving.
Some research suggests that working out with your significant other or friends is good for both your workouts and your relationships. But sometimes, one partner or friend is ready to exercise and eat right, while the other one isn’t yet on board. This couple cautions against applying too much pressure if that’s the case.
“You can only do it for yourself – you can’t do it for somebody else until they want it,” Nate says.
“You have to make up your own mind that fitness is for you,” Shebah adds. “The other person doesn’t always listen. You can lead by example.”
That idea of being “ageless” means something different to everyone, and Shebah and Nate urge people over 50 to focus on posture, alignment, balance and nutrition, along with strength and cardio training.
“It’s not about trying to be 25 again,” Nate says. “It’s about dealing with your issues and getting on with your life the way you want to. Getting old isn’t for weaklings.”