Break down the barriers
Age isn’t a roadblock to getting in shape – or being a social media sensation.
Mark Cashi didn't pay much attention to his health until he was 50, when he faced up to the facts he didn’t feel great and had concerns about his health history. Four years later, he does cross-fit training, and he's improved his diet. When a coworker recently posted on Facebook a video of him jumping rope 77 consecutive times, it got 900 likes!
When you hit 50, what was going on that motivated you to make some changes?
Well, I just wasn’t feeling too well. I was a little heavier than I wanted to be and found out I had prediabetes. There’s a lot of high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes in my family.
Your wife played a big part in getting you started exercising?
She did cross-fit with her friends and talked me into it in 2016. Now, we go together several times a week. It helps that we do it together.
What do you like about cross-fit?
There are a lot of young families in the club, and we’re the older couple, so that’s fun. We all push each other to work harder. I like the fact that the workout changes often, so I don’t get bored. We often have to run, which I really enjoy.
When do you work out?
We go after work at about 6:30. I go home and change clothes before going to the gym, which is only a block from our house. And we go Saturday mornings.
How’s your diet these days?
We’ve changed our diet a lot and eat more low-fat foods, salads, and chicken. We don’t really have a plan; we just make it up as we go along. I grill a lot of chicken. I still grill hamburgers, but not as much.
Would you walk us through a typical food day?
Breakfast is eggs, toast, and fruit. Lunch may be grilled chicken, salad, and veggie. Dinner is always light.
How’s your willpower?
I admit I cheat every now and then. I can’t do it 100 percent! I still have a hamburger about once a month, but it’s a small one. I don’t have as much appetite as I used to, especially for fatty foods and sugar.
What differences have you noticed since you started getting healthier?
I feel better and move easier. I also sleep better, and that’s a real plus. I’ve noticed I handle stress better, too. I’ve only lost 5 pounds, but I’ve lost quite a few inches. My arms and shoulders are bigger.
You have two grown daughters. What do they think?
They’re really proud. The oldest, who is 28, does cross-fit, too, and she helped inspire us to get into it. She thinks it’s wonderful and brags about us.
Are your medical issues better?
I still take a low-dose blood pressure medication, but my prediabetes has leveled off.
What’s your motivation for staying in shape?
I know from experience that I won’t feel good if I don’t do it. Also, it’s a great stress release – mentally and physically. Whenever I can’t make it, I just feel bad.
What do you want to accomplish?
I’d like to lose 10 to 20 pounds. I still have a little bit more belly than I’d like.
What’s your advice?
Keep trying. You’ll have failures, but just keep going. I tried for years without success. And remember, you’re never too old to get healthier. Look at me!