80-Year-Old Personal Trainer Inspires (& Shames) Us All!

burton fischmanIt’s January and you think you’re all ready to hit the ground walking with your Lululemon pants, recycled-plastic Nalgene, and your heart-rate monitor. Or is that just me? Didn’t think so. Anyway, there’s a man in Illinois who puts us all to shame.

While we were watching Jersey Shore reruns and entering frozen dinners into our food diaries, Burton Fischman was getting his personal training certificate. And he’s 40 years old. Times two. Which, carry the one, makes him 80 freaking years old. I’m officially an embarrassment to the fitness world. Thanks, Burton.

But wait! There’s more!


Call Burton now and hear about how he’s survived a heart-attack. Or how he’s an accomplished jazz pianist who once played in strip clubs to fund his PhD course work. Or, expectantly, how he has a PhD in English. Or how he’s a beloved teacher and a husband of 52 years. Sheesh, Burt, give it a rest.

I kid because I love. I love that there are people out there like Mr. Fischman with an insatiable appetite for life and learning. He’s in the news for being a super-old (my word, not his) personal trainer, but he’s captured my attention with his spirit and strength. The 80-year-olds I know aren’t out there pumping iron and giving speeches on leadership. OK, OK, caught me. I don’t know any 80-year-olds. But I know some 28-year-olds and they’re not doing squat (or, for that matter, squats) right now.

In my mind, Mr. Fischman is just finishing up a killer workout and is going home to his wife to read poetry by Edgar Allan Poe and toast to the famous writer's birthday with a full-bodied Merlot. In my reality, I’m going to finish up this can of Coke at my desk and go home to my roommate and watch American Idol. I guess we all have a little room to grow.

If you’re in the Mundelein, Illinois area, you can sign up for Mr. Fischman’s “Living Stronger Exercise Program,” or visit comed128.org. Let me know how it goes!


Photo via the Daily Herald

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