How Glynn Rhodes went from ‘party animal’ to exercise inspiration

Glynn Rhodes (center) with his classmates dressed like him in tribute at Anytime Fitness in Luling.

Glynn Rhodes of Bayou Gauche had a revelation that has made him a thriving 76-year-old.

“I was drinking and a party animal. I was a rock star,” said Rhodes, who had his epiphany in 1979. “We were always night clubbing. We were definitely a product of the ’60s. Then you turn 40 and you think, ‘Something’s going on here. I’m getting old. I’ve got to get out of that lifestyle.’”

And he did.

“I guess the deciding moment was I turned 40 and ‘I’ve got to cut this foolishness out,” Rhodes said. “It seems to be working for me.”

A 76-year-old Rhodes is exercising and recovering from knee probe surgery.

Rhodes, who was a welding contractor, was strong, but couldn’t walk up stairs without getting short-winded and he knew that wasn’t good. He started training and running 5Ks – and got good at it.

When he needed back surgery in 1985, he started cycling and it became an activity he did for years. Then came the bench press contests and anything that came down the pike in the last 30 years – and his daughter even joined in. She still does the Iron Man run and Rhodes welcomed the bond they formed training together.

During that time, he and a partner even opened an exercise club for about 12 years in Luling, which was fun for Rhodes until it wasn’t fun anymore and they sold the business.

“It wears you down,” he said. “You’re constantly motivating people. You’re up there and giving 100 percent and people want that.”

Rhodes was burned out, but he stayed in personal training and nearly two years ago joined Anytime Fitness in Luling, It was a good move for him and he enjoys coaching his younger classmates. His instructor, Carmela Cary of Luling, and class have become his extended family.

When he took off class for a knee probe, Cary and classmates dressed like him – complete with mustache and his “do rags” to welcome him back.

“This man just inspires us all,” Cary said. “From his heart, he’s just an awesome person. For his age, he looks amazing.”

Rhodes in his colorful exercise outfits lifting weights.

Rhodes was equally complimentary of Cary and added it was humbling when they surprised him with the high compliment of mimicking him.

Thanks to his fitness, Rhodes said he’s doing things like building docks and driving pilings that others couldn’t do at his age.

“I’ve been blessed,” he said. “I just go out there and do it. I’ve been able to take care of myself and it’s paid off in the long run.”

His classmates are younger and start exercising earlier than people used to train. He’s even seen some of his old clients at the gym who trained at his exercise club and told him they’re still exercising thanks to his helping them make this important lifestyle change.

They’re on the cardiovascular side of the building and mostly women, he said.

“I love it because they are taking care of themselves,” Rhodes said. “I compliment them.”

Rhodes (center) in costume for Super Hero Day at Anytime Fitness.

At Anytime Fitness, it’s a much younger crowd, one that Rhodes really appreciates, as well as newer body pump classes. He’s having fun and doing his body pump classes, which he called the “greatest thing to come down the pike in the last 20 years as you get older.”

“It’s become a way of life,” Rhodes said of training. “Once you get in shape, you don’t want to stop. It’s an adrenaline rush for me. When that music starts and the first beat goes off, it’s full throttle.”


About Anna Thibodeaux 2071 Articles
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