Member Highlight: Paul Senior
Wednesday, January 1, 2014

To welcome each New Year, many people set fitness goals as their resolutions.  It’s common.  However, there’s nothing ordinary about the fitness goals being set and achieved by Center for Health & Fitness member Paul Senior year-round.

Paul, 69, joined CHF at his wife’s urging seven years ago. At the time, his goal was to lose a few pounds and “firm up.”  So he took a conservative approach – using the treadmill and light weights.

But as his physical condition evolved, so did his objectives.  And he enlisted the help of long-time CHF trainer Derek Malit to accomplish them.

Derek quickly put Paul to work on cardio, strength and endurance, because in his older age, Paul felt his strength and stamina were deteriorating.  And he wanted to fix it.

At Derek’s urging, Paul began training and participating in as many CHF classes as he could. He enjoyed the variety of exercises – and people – each group exercise session presented.  

Paul was having fun and, importantly, seeing results.  His strength was returning and his energy levels were as high as ever.  But he wasn’t satisfied.

“I vividly remember my old drill sergeant barking out, ‘drop and give me 25!’” said Paul, an ex-military man.  “In my 20s, 25 push-ups were a cake walk.  And I wanted to tell my wife I’m as good as I was in my prime – as far as doing push-ups anyway … So I set a goal.”

With Derek’s help, Paul quickly checked 25 push-ups off the list.  And true to form, he took it a step further.  He told a bewildered Derek that he wanted to now qualify for the Army Airborne Ranger School physically, which requires paratroopers to do 49 push-ups in two minutes and 59 sit-ups.

“I was taken back,” said Derek.  “Generally, 69-year-olds don’t qualify for the Rangers, or even want to, but Paul isn’t your average man.  He’s a goal-setter and his work ethic is second to none.  So I said let’s do it.”

Spoiler alert: Paul has qualified – exceeding both requirements.  And he’s not slowing down.  This year, he plans to improve his bench press and rowing reps.

Ever-humble, when you ask Paul what the key to his success is, he is quick to give credit to those around him.

“There have been many members who have encouraged me and helped me over the past couple years,” said Paul. “The positive reinforcement they and the Health District staff have given me has really helped keep me motivated.”

Paul hopes to inspire other CHF members to get fit and healthy in the New Year. He firmly believes there is a place for everyone at CHF and that the friendly, welcoming environment is conducive to success.

“The Center works with people at many stages of life; some have serious, maybe debilitating, diseases, and I see them diligently and determinedly working with the Center’s staff to improve their mobility, strength and weight,” said Paul.  “These people inspire me to reach my goals.  They’re heroes.”

To read more about Paul in The Beach Reporter article, 'Redondo Beach man steps up for health and charity: climbs 180 flights of stairs at World Trade Center', click here.