3 mindset changes that will take you from an amateur to professional ager

When I think of what a professional ager looks like, I think of two of my fitness clients, Judy and Don. They are my role models of what a professional ager should be. They travel to Alaska to go dog sledding, they travel across the country to visit family and stay active. They participate in my fitness classes even while traveling, and often include friends and relatives. I love that!

What does a professional ager look like

a little twinkle in the eye?

What does a professional ager look like? They have a positive outlook, laugh a lot, and find joy in what they do, maybe even a bit mischievous.  At the end of this post, you will find a video of Judy and Don driving down the coast in their car. It’s a low car that requires a certain amount of flexibility and agility to get in and out of, not much different than the dog sled. I encourage you to take a few minutes and feel their joy! You will smile as you imagine what it feels like with the wind blowing in your face.

 With your exercise classes, Judy can almost get out of the car relatively easily. Ha!   It’s nearly as low as the dog sled!  


After you watch the video, you decide how you want to live your life. Are you an amateur or professional?

1. What do you think when you hear the word old, older or senior

Amateur ager:

Well, I just can’t do … because I’m getting older. I’m too older for that! That’s just the way it is when you’re older. Your negative inner voice is so much stronger than your positive inner voice. University of Michigan psychologist Ethan Kross, author of Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why it Matters and How to Harness It says “we’re wired to notice the negative stuff more.”

The negative self-talk stimulates a stress response that can if high enough, take you down a path of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

We’re wired to notice the negative stuff more

Ethan Kross

Professional ager: The professional ager thinks about what they CAN do instead of what they can’t do. Is it hard to get out of a chair because you don’t get out of the chair as often as you did?  The solution: move more.  Take Judy and Don’s example of getting in and out of the low car or dog sled. Challenge the negative talk.

Professional agers can manage their negative inner voice by imagining they are talking to a good friend. You wouldn’t be so negative to your friend, would you? They think about tomorrow and the possibilities.

Reframe your situation as a challenge

Reframe your situation as a challenge and embrace being older.  Maybe you can’t move as well as you use to, but you can enjoy life and the wisdom it provides you.  If you let doom and gloom overtake you, you will become that naysayer negative older person. Yuck!

Professional agers also spend more time outdoors, which can help reset the mind and quiet the chatter.

When you get older, you realize that staying healthy is joyful and critical because age isn’t so much chronology. You can be very old at 84, which is my age, but you can also be very young. 

Jane Fonda

2. How do you view your health as you age?

Amateur ager: The amateur ager thinks that getting older is always associated with aches and pains. They will often say, “I just do what the doctor tells me.”

Professional ager: Will work proactively to stay healthy by eating well, moving daily, taking precautions to build strength to protect their back, knees, and bones, and partnering with their healthcare professional.  Taking fitness seriously and making it a daily practice is one critical path to becoming a professional ager.

It doesn’t matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.


3. What do you do to stay engaged with others and life

Amateur ager: Sits at home and watches TV and scrolls through social media feeds.

Professional ager: Meets other people socially, engages in physical activities with others, and may even have a pet to care for. The professional ager may practice daily mindfulness or meditation. A professional ager puts their feet on the floor each morning and says with joy “it’s going to be a great day”!

Imagine what our real neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person.


Below is the video from Judy and Don (used with permission) on their drive. Notice they have hats on for sun protection! Enjoy!

Love to hear more about the type of ager you are. Add a comment and let us know.

Sandi Feaster

1 Comment

  1. Joy Reeder on May 20, 2022 at 4:46 pm

    WTG, Don & Judy. I think maybe tomorrow we will be getting our “little car” out for summer. It’s a Saturn Sky convertible. Very close to the ground.
    Fun, fun, fun.
    You are an inspiration.
    See you both in a couple of weeks👍