Mary Robinson started exercising regularly when her children were young.
Her children are now grown — she even has a toddler great-granddaughter — and the 93-year-old downtown Redmond resident is still moving.
After decades of taking dance aerobics classes, Robinson changed things up when one of her daughters connected her with Susan Stearns, a personal trainer in Redmond, about six and a half years ago. The pair has worked together ever since.
“She’s good,” Robinson said about Stearns.
Stearns is certified by the American Council on Exercise and has had her own personal training business for 23 years. While the Redmond-based trainer, whose business is called Totally Sound Fitness, Inc., has worked with clients of all ages, over the years, she found her niche working with clients in their 50s and older.
Robinson is her oldest client.
“I’m going for 100 (and older),” Robinson said.
Stearns has also gone through training for working with older clients. She said when working with this particular demographic, there are things to look out for such as the level of weightlifting individuals can handle. In addition, she said she works on things such as balance with her clients as well as functional activities like bending over and standing up. Stearns also works on her clients’ abilities to move around obstacles by placing cones on the floor and having them walk around them.
When Stearns works with Robinson, the workouts usually consist of about 20 minutes on the treadmill — typically broken up into 10-minute increments — and some weightlifting. There is usually some resistance training and stretching involved.
They utilize the gym equipment in her apartment building’s fitness center.
“Which I ignored,” Robinson about her previous exercise habits. “I had Jane Fonda (tapes).”
Stearns said she tries to mix up the types of exercises she has Robinson tackle.
In response, Robinson said she never knows what she will be doing during their training sessions.
The pair meets once a week for an hour-long session, but it doesn’t end there.
“I’m supposed to do homework,” Robinson said before admitting that she doesn’t do it. “(Stearns’s) job is to come here and make me do it.”
Stearns, who has a fitness studio in her home near Marymoor Park, said since she began working with Robinson, her client has gotten stronger. She said Robinson has increased the amount of weight she can bench press from three to five pounds.
“I really look forward to working with Mary,” Stearns said. “We have a good time while she’s (working out).”
Stearns said as we get older, it is important to exercise because it helps us keep our mobility. For women, she said resistance training is particularly important for bone strength.
Robinson can attest to that as she does not have arthritis. She said she can still do needlepoint and has no difficulty with the exercises Stearns has her do.
“I can do everything she tells me to do,” Robinson said.