It’s that time of year when most New Year’s resolutions to “hit the gym” meet their untimely demise — but if you’re trying not to quit, just look to 72-year-old Lauren Bruzzone for some inspiration.
The lawyer and now adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut is going viral after The Daily Show host Trevor Noah reposted a video of her doing atomic sit-ups.
“#MondayMotivation,” Noah wrote on Instagram. “[Lauren] you’re amazing! Thank you for the inspiration.”
Bruzzone, who first started CrossFit in her late 60s after joining Carozza Fitness — a private training and CrossFit gym in Stamford, Connecticut — was “puzzled” when her videos first began circulating the internet and then blown away when she saw Noah’s post.
“I was like ‘Oh my God! I watch him on YouTube all the time!, ‘ ” Bruzzone told PEOPLE.“I love him, and this is so cool.”
But she can do much more than just those atomic sit-ups. Her Instagram page is filled with photos and videos of her completing all kinds of difficult workouts, from tricep push-ups, to banded abs and her favorite workout, deadlifts.
Starting out as a ballet dancer, Bruzzone has been active throughout her life, whether dancing or taking group fitness classes at various gyms. However, about five years ago, when she was 67, she decided that she wanted to kick it up a notch. That’s when she decided to join the CrossFit gym following a friend’s recommendation.
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Bruzzone trains seven days a week, for an hour or more each day. And she met her current personal trainer, Wesley James, this past December. James helped Bruzzone achieve her goal of doing a pull-up earlier this year — something she had been working to accomplish for years.
“I would say to people ‘I’m going to get this pull up if it kills me,’ ” Bruzzone laughed.
James began posting videos of Bruzzone’s achievements and workouts on his social media, because he saw the inspiration she could be to people who want to be active but may need some motivation.
“He wanted people to understand that there are different levels of exercise,” Bruzzone said. “It doesn’t matter what your level of ability is, what your age is, anything. If you want to, you can do it.”
She adds that the the key is scaling the workouts to a level that is manageable for your own body’s capabilities, whether that is lighter weights or a slower pace, and learning the correct form to prevent injuries.
Since her video went viral, Bruzzone and James have received an outpouring of encouraging messages from people all over the world who are inspired by her hard-work.
“A lot of folks who are older, and kind of in my age range, are posting videos of themselves doing really impressive physical things and sending me the link saying, ‘I can do it too,’ ” Bruzzone said. “It’s great, it’s wonderful.”