Over 50s Lifestyle

On the cusp of 63, starting a new career& not accepting ‘No’

June 6, 2020
never too old

‘Sorry, you are probably a little old for this Course’.

That was the response I received from a training organisation when I applied to join the Group Fitness Instructor course 6 years ago. I was 57, newly retired and looking for something to not just fill the void but to challenge me. I had wanted to become a personal trainer for sometime, so with the encouragement of my darling husband, I applied for the Certificate III Fitness only to be told – we feel you are too old!

That was a huge blow to my self-confidence as I had always prided myself on living life regardless of my age. Looking back, I should have pushed back but at the time I let my dream go. I remember I told this story to my friend and mentor, Peta Gillian from Strong Healthy Women and she encouraged me to ‘just do it and don’t take ‘no’ for an answer’.

Fast forward 5 years and I was still wanting to do the course. My husband said to ‘go for it’ so I did. I applied to an Online Option, walked into my local gym and told them what I was doing. To my pleasant surprise, the Manager was very welcoming and supportive of my decision and found a young personal trainer to act as my Supervisor and also provide ‘clients’ as volunteers for my studies.

I also had support from Peta who provided the opportunity for me to complete my Group Fitness Assignments through the Strong Healthy Women Virtual Studio.

Overcoming obstacles and challenges

The biggest challenge of the course was finding a Supervisor and ‘clients’ in my local area. I thought I might be finished before I started, however, as I wrote above, the local gym manager helped me overcome this hurdle.

My learning: I put my feelings of doubt aside, went for what I wanted with determination and self-belief and overcame the obstacle of not having any local contacts.

The next challenge was Module 3 which I have written about previously in my post Sometimes you just need that kick up the butt – I just couldn’t seem to get past it but I kept pushing along and with the assistance of the P.T. I completed it. Whilst I was struggling with this, rather than let it derail me, I pushed on with the theory section of other modules that I could complete.

My learning: Don’t give up no matter how difficult something is. I found a way to overcome the mental block I had with this particular subject, kept going but also found ways to keep going with the Course rather than being stuck with potential of giving up.

The final challenge was COVID-19. I had completed most of my Course except for the Group Classes. We received an email from the Assessor to say that he would extend our finish date by 6 months, due to social distancing restrictions which meant we couldn’t give group classes.

That didn’t stop me! I could have waited the 6 months but I had a stroke of inspiration. As most of the Fitness Industry was turning to Virtual Studios during the pandemic, I asked the Assessor if I could complete my Group Classes online under Supervision and record the class to send to him. No one else had thought of this idea but he agreed and so I kept going.

My learning: Just because something gets in your way, there is usually a way around the problem. I didn’t want to wait 6 months so I found a way around the issue by putting my Virtual Studio idea to the Assessor. What was the worst that could happen? The Assessor may not agree and I would have to put my course on hold.

Course Complete

Yesterday, I received an email advising that I had officially completed my Certificate III in Fitness and a Certificate would be sent to me. (Of course, I’ll be sharing a photo of me holding that so watch this space!). I felt such a sense of satisfaction which brings me to……

A new opportunity

I have been offered a very exciting opportunity to become part of the Strong Healthy Women Team. I have accepted a position as a Group Fitness Instructor within the SHW Virtual Studio. This opportunity means I will also be able to share with you the philosophies of Peta Gillian, CEO of Strong Healthy Women and provide you with ways you can also connect with the SHW community.

Strong Healthy Women believe the foundations of living Healthy, Strong and Connected can be developed in 3 keys ways. We call these our foundations and they are… MOVE. EAT. LIVE. Which is exactly how I want to live my life.

I love the style of the Fit/Flex class which is a combination of Strength and Flexibility training. The classes are 45 minutes long – the first part is about Strengthening our bodies through exercises with hand weights and resistance bands. The second half of the session is all about Flexibility with a Yoga/Pilates style stretching session. Here is a link to SHW for more information, we can work out together!

Here is an extract from the SHW Newsletter advising members of my appointment. For those of you who don’t know me, you may learn a little more about who I am.

Meet Sue, our newest member to the Strong Healthy Women Virtual Studio team.

I am excited to welcome Sue as a friend and trainer to the SHW team. She brings many years of everyday life skills and qualifications that will see your continued progress during your health and fitness journey. You’ll see Sue working out with you and as an instructor. It’s lovely to see one of your trainers working out with you, wouldn’t you agree? Sue shares a little of herself here.

“I’m Sue Loncaric, an almost 63 year old living on the Gold Coast. I’m married with two children, two step children and 5 grandchildren. In my younger years I kept active as a Ballet and Dance teacher for 15 years, however after having children and moving to Queensland I took a more sedentary job and let my fitness slide a little.

I’ve always tried to live a fairly healthy life as my parents and brother all died in their 60s. At 50 I decided to get back on track seriously with fitness and health and took up running and engaged a P.T. I recently completed my Certificate III Group Instructor Certification which has been a dream of mine. Why? Because I love helping others stay healthy and active to enjoy life beyond 50 and because I want to be a healthy role model for my grandchildren. We are never too old and it is never too late to start and I can’t wait.

We all have dreams and aspirations and sometimes the road to achieving them is definitely not smooth. However, if you are passionate and persistent and consistent you will make your dreams a reality just like I did.

Have you realised a dream? Did you have any difficulties making it a reality?

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way


  • Reply Jennifer Jones June 6, 2020 at 09:07

    This is fabulous news Sue. Congratulations on your new career. You’re proof that ‘age does not matter.I do regret that I didn’t keep updating my qualifications. How ironic that the older person in the course was the one that came up with the idea to do the presentation virtually. Well done.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 6, 2020 at 13:18

      Thanks Jen, it is quite exciting and I was determined to make it happen. Have a lovely weekend and thank you for our kind words. x

  • Reply Retirement Reflections June 6, 2020 at 14:10

    Congratulations, Sue!! You are an incredible model and inspiration to ALL!
    I’m so excited for you!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 8, 2020 at 08:06

      Thank you so much Donna for your lovely words and your continual support. Have a beautiful week. xx

  • Reply Toni Pike June 6, 2020 at 14:24

    Congratulations, Sue, on your incredible achievement and exciting new position. I could not be happier for you. love, Toni x

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 8, 2020 at 08:08

      Thank you Toni, it was challenging at times but now that I’m finished it was certainly worth it. Have a lovely week, my friend. xx

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au June 6, 2020 at 15:08

    Hi Sue – it’s been wonderful watching you tackle this Cert III and overcoming each hurdle that came your way. The fact that you accomplished it all in record time and have a new position where you can put your skills to work just proves that age is definitely not a barrier. You’re on fire atm and I’m so proud to be your friend xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 8, 2020 at 08:09

      Thank you BBB, I’m feeling pretty good at the moment and quite energised which I haven’t felt for a while. Appreciating that life is good for me atm. Have a great week and I truly value your friendship. xx

  • Reply Christina Daggett June 6, 2020 at 18:43

    Congratulations Sue! I’m so impressed that you never gave up on your dream. It’s wonderful that you have already secured a position with SHW. Best of luck in your new career.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 8, 2020 at 08:10

      Thank you Christina. It was difficult at times but I really wanted to do this for so long that I was determined not to give up. Thanks for your good wishes and enjoy your week. x

  • Reply Denyse Whelan June 6, 2020 at 22:00

    Heartiest Congratulations Sue! This is such a good news story for you & the women you continue to inspire & help. How wonderful it is that you can do what you are most passionate about as an instructor in SHW.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 8, 2020 at 08:11

      Thank you Denyse. I’m very grateful to have the new position and quite excited for new beginnings. Have a lovely week and once again thank you for your good wishes. xx

  • Reply Joanne Tracey June 7, 2020 at 07:11

    I have to say Sue, my eyes leaked happy tears on reading this. So so so so proud of you and happy for you. I’ve told you before that you’re an inspiration to me – and, well, a shining example of what can happen when you don’t give up.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 8, 2020 at 08:12

      Oh Jo! You have such a way with words and I am deeply touched. Thank you so much for your friendship and support which I truly value. Have a beautiful week. xx

  • Reply suzanne June 7, 2020 at 08:14

    Congratulations Sue, this is a wonderful accomplishment. Best of luck as you continue to move forward. You are an inspiration!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 8, 2020 at 08:13

      Thank you Suzanne for your best wishes, I’m feeling pretty excited about life at the moment. x

  • Reply Jan Wild June 7, 2020 at 08:38

    Congratulations Sue, knowing when to hold them, when to fold them and when to walk away is so important. Add a good dose of tenacity to ‘when to hold them’, and that’s such a winning attitude.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 8, 2020 at 08:14

      Thanks Jan. I thought I would ‘fold’ on Module 3 but I just kept plugging away and once that one was finished the course was much easier. Have a lovely week and thanks for your best wishes. xx

  • Reply Janet Camilleri aka Middle Aged Mama June 7, 2020 at 10:17

    Good on you Sue!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 8, 2020 at 08:17

      Thanks Janet! Have a lovely week. x

  • Reply Candi Randolph June 7, 2020 at 20:05

    This is so exciting, Sue! Not only did you push past the self-doubt, you’re entering a new phase of your life that exemplifies what your goal has been for quite a long time. There is so much satisfaction in that. You deserve all the kudos, my friend. xo

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 8, 2020 at 08:16

      Thank you so much Candi and you have been such a support during my journey. You continue to inspire me and I thank you for your kind words of encouragement and friendship. xx

  • Reply Erica/Erika June 8, 2020 at 11:27

    Wow, you showed them, Sue!

    “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!”

    Virtual studios are really a key with many types of classes.

    Huge Congratulations, Sue! You are an inspiration on many levels! xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 10, 2020 at 10:33

      Thank you as always for your lovely words of support, my friend. Have a beautiful week. xx

      • Reply Dr.Amrita June 15, 2020 at 03:36

        Congratulations on completing your course.Your persistence helped you overcome obstacles.Glad to find you at the pitstop

        • Reply Sue Loncaric June 20, 2020 at 10:04

          Thank you for the congratulations and I’m feeling very satisfied to have completed my course. Great to have you visit from the pitstop. Enjoy your weekend.x

  • Reply Debbie Harris June 8, 2020 at 16:45

    Woohoo, you are a star Sue!! Huge congrats for not giving up and working through the problems that the pandemic posed. You are such an inspiration to us all and I’m so excited for what the future holds for you!

    • Reply Debbie Harris June 10, 2020 at 07:42

      Back for #mlstl Sue and have shared 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 10, 2020 at 10:38

      Thanks Deb, you are always so supportive and I truly appreciate your friendship xx

  • Reply Natalie June 10, 2020 at 06:32

    Huge congratulations, Sue! Good for you to overcome all obstacles to realize your dream and get a position promptly. Have a wonderful week! #MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 10, 2020 at 10:39

      Thank you Natalie I do feel a sense of satisfaction, that is for sure. xx

  • Reply Christina Henry June 10, 2020 at 08:15

    Congratulations Sue! It’s a huge achievement and to overcome all those obstacles to get there is even more impressive. Think outside the square – you have certainly done that, and it’s working out well for you. Best of luck on your new ventures

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 10, 2020 at 10:44

      Thank you Christina, I’m feeling pretty pumped excited really. xx

  • Reply Christie Hawkes June 10, 2020 at 08:46

    Congratulations Sue! Good for you on getting creative with passing your final requirement in a time of social distancing. You are such an inspiration. #MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 10, 2020 at 10:45

      Thank you Christie, I was determined to finish and not wait 6 months so had to come up with an idea :)xx

  • Reply Michele Somerville June 10, 2020 at 09:45

    You can add “persistent, inventive and flexible’ to your resume of facing challenges. although I have little confidence in my ability with exercise, I will check out the link. Never say never! Blessings and Congratulations! Michele

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 10, 2020 at 10:50

      Thanks Michele. I’ve been known to be a ‘dog with a bone’ meaning I rarely give up although I did feel quite vulnerable when they told me I was too old that is for sure. Enjoy your day. x

  • Reply Deborah June 10, 2020 at 09:56

    I absolutely love that you didn’t give up. Not just at the idea of being ‘too old’ but at the other hurdles… moving online. You’ll never know if you don’t ask and it’s surprising sometimes that others haven’t thought of a work-around!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 10, 2020 at 10:49

      Thanks Deb. I did give up at first but obviously turning 60 made me feel feisty LOL:) I also didn’t want to wait another six months to finish so got the grey matter working and came up with the online request. You are right if you don’t ask you don’t get. Have a lovely day. xx

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee June 10, 2020 at 10:32

    Congratulations!! Great story – I love that you were too old at 57 but not at 62. Ha!~!!!Good luck with the future endeavour! #MLSTL

  • Reply Michele June 10, 2020 at 10:55

    Woo Hoo! Sue, I am so happy for you that you continued to pursue your dream and finally made it!
    It is a great accomplishment and I hope it feels as good as it sounds! This goes right along with my post today about movies to inspire you not to give up on your dream!
    Also, I love your new website name and the branding. We all want to live well, so it is an apt name!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 14, 2020 at 15:48

      Hi Michele it feels great! I’ve wanted to achieve this for quite some time and despite some challenges along the way, I’ve done it. I’m pleased you like the new website. I felt it was time for a change and the name suits my direction. x

  • Reply Amy Johnson June 10, 2020 at 21:01

    Congratulations on your achievement!

  • Reply Enda Sheppard June 10, 2020 at 23:07

    Ah it’s so good to have such a good news story to read! That is so good that you achieved your goal, and you have a fresh start at something that you obviously love. Pity you did have to wait those extra few years to try again, but here you are now. Best of luck with it. #MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 14, 2020 at 15:49

      Thanks Enda! I’m feeling pretty excited really and a sense of accomplishment. Glad I could bring some good news to your day. Enjoy!

  • Reply Rita June 11, 2020 at 07:01

    Sue, You are an inspiration to us all! Love!!!!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 14, 2020 at 15:50

      Thank you Rita it is an exciting time. x

  • Reply Christine June 11, 2020 at 16:31

    Great story! Pleased you found a workaround to get your certificate completed. Where there’s a will there’s often a way.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 14, 2020 at 15:50

      That is for sure Christine. You just have to want something badly enough and push through don’t you? x

  • Reply Cheryl June 14, 2020 at 19:31

    Hi Sue, congratulations on your success! I’m not sure how I’d react to being told I’m too old for a course! What a shocker! Anyway, you really showed yourself that you can do it, and also you’ve demonstrated that you’re adaptable (with the online classes!). It sounds like I’m writing a reference for you, but you’ve really done well with this dream, well done!
    My dream was to live in France. I didn’t know how that would be possible being an Australian, but I finally managed it by becoming an English teacher and moving to Moscow, meeting my (French) husband in Paris, and then living with him for a while in Paris (and then in Moscow). Unfortunately I ended up not liking life if Paris at all but I’m now happily married and travelling and living a very interesting life with my wonderful husband! 🙂

  • Reply Kathleen June 17, 2020 at 11:28

    Sue, CONGRATULATIONS on your achievement and most all in NOT giving up and not letting the negative words of others keep you down. So proud of you and the help and motivation you give the rest of us. We have to feature your post in the next Blogger’s Pit Stop.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 20, 2020 at 09:50

      Thank you so much Kathleen. I was challenging at times, but I was determined to finish the course. I appreciate you featuring my story on Blogger’s Pit Stop xx

  • Reply Roseann Hampton June 19, 2020 at 08:32

    What a great testament to your dedication! Thanks for sharing with us at The Blogger’s Pit Stop!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 20, 2020 at 09:47

      Thank you Roseann, I did feel such a sense of accomplishment when I finished. xx

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