Seniors, What’s in a Label?

As I was heading out to buy a bus ticket into New York City, my wife says, “Don’t forget to ask for a senior discount.” Ggaackk!! “senior discount… senior? As it happens, you have to be 62 to get a “senior” discount on the bus and I’m a mere 61 (and a half). It’s interesting to note that the idea of being classified as a senior got under my skin. I also wouldn’t take kindly to “elderly” (maybe when I hit 90 I’d be okay with it). I don’t have a problem being my age, just the label(s) that go along with it.

Untitled design (33)Now, because society loves labels, every generation has a designation:

  • Gen Z, iGen, or Centennials: Born 1996 – TBD.
  • Millennials or Gen Y: Born 1977 – 1995.
  • Generation X: Born 1965 – 1976.
  • Baby Boomers: Born 1946 – 1964.
  • Traditionalists or Silent Generation: Born 1945 and before.

I can live with being a baby boomer since it actually was a time of a baby boom. I’m not so fond of “Boomers” and industries (including fitness) realize that those of us that are in the second half of our lives, as a whole, don’t really like it. So, they have attempted to find other, what they feel to be more pleasant sounding designations.

  • Retirees (many are not retired)
  • Middle Agers (well, the middle of what?)
  • New Agers (a new generation and a new way to age)
  • Young-Old (65-80)
  • Silvers (you might as well call us blue hairs)
  • Zoomers (that’s just silly!)

I guess my point really is that we should not accept being labelled at all. We are all individuals. We are all at different levels. We all experience the aging process differently. As I explain to personal trainers that want to train the over fifty population, “The only difference between training someone over fifty and someone younger is that we’ve had more time to screw up our bodies.” We may or may not have special issues, depending on how we’ve treated ourselves through the years.

So, in my humble opinion, no labels necessary. You be you. Take health and fitness on wherever you are and just keep on getting better!


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