Is Our Industry Ageist?
Before you scroll down to see just who it is that questions the relevance of people post 50 presenting at this and other conventions, just hear me out and read my post.
I wait with anticipation each year to see if I am in the final cut of the IFS video, just one clip sums up the emotions linked to creating content, presenting sessions and communicating with a host of people eager to experience what we create. I do wonder though – What do you see? Do you see age or do you see talent?
I began presenting at IFS in Blackpool in 199something! and over what is now decades my sessions have ranged from slide, step, aerobics, conditioning, PT, HIIT, Unite, Freestyle Fitness Yoga, Yoga, masterclasses, lectures and workshops, you name it I have done it and each year I leave motivated and inspired to do more – including this year. What is even more important is that each year I do contribute more and continue to cultivate change in an industry that I have helped to evolve from its formative roots to present day. It is the term presenter that fails us quinquagenarians as we are so much more than that. What we provide is wisdom, something that is generated over time via experience. A legacy, based upon the impact that our work has had on the people who attend and the pathway that our industry has followed. Reliability, a simple and yet so underrated quality that enables people to depend on us from year to year. You see for those of us who still provide ongoing content at events such as IFS, we are the living proof that the fitness industry is a place where careers are made.
What do I share with Rachel Holmes, Ceri Hannan, Steve Watson, Stuart Harrop, Tony Stone, Cherry Baker, Lydia Campbell, Rachel France (and more)?
- We create and evolve our own content.
- We have built businesses much bigger than our own presenting persona.
- We have successfully amalgamated a love of what we do with an understanding of how the industry has progressed.
Now for the big reveal.
It was me who questioned Am I Too Old? A necessary self evaluation really as painful as it might be. After my first session someone fed back this comment – “Thanks Jayne, as usual the perfect blend of education, content and humour”. Phew! As long as people gratefully receive what I have to give and what is important to me as a human being, I will continue to show up for as long as I can.
Age is not just a number, it is so much more than that.