In Episode 022, Andrea Austin offers hope for the Not Old Army

Today I will be speaking with a woman from Arizona who became a dealer of hope to men and, especially, women over 50.

After working as a paralegal for more than 35 years, Andrea Austin became a competitive weightlifter and health coach to help people get back into shape, both physically and mentally.

She encourages women to forge relationships with younger ladies who may not benefit from having a wiser, older mentor in their lives. Those women may have already lost their mother or live a great distance away from their families.

Andrea wishes someone had been at her side when she became a “hot mess” as she began experiencing natural hormonal and life changes a few years ago. Consequently, she encourages older women to become advocates for others who feel powerless or confused about the season they’re in.

In fact, Andrea considers herself to be a general in what she calls the Not Old Army, a strong and powerful group of experienced seasoned citizens who are on a mission to make their lives count.

She cringes when people suggest men and women are “over the hill” at age 50. That’s precisely the age when their souls should catch on fire now that they often have less family responsibilities and more time to devote to things they are passionate about.

When she was younger, Andrea was given a lot of career and life advice from people who never bothered to ask what she was passionate about doing. Being over 50 is when people can finally do things they put on the back burner decades ago to cultivate a marriage and raise a family.

She is on a mission to help people experience transformation in their lives. Many times, we get into ruts and settle in to a comfort zone. Yet, we desire more. It may be more experiences or opportunities to make a difference in the world around us.

Andrea herself noted that “for most of our lives, those of us over 50 have heard negative things like ‘You should…,’ ‘You can’t…,’ ‘You’ll never…, and ‘Why would you….’ Then, when someone comes into your life and tells you differently, it can be life-changing.”

For that reason, Andrea has worked to change her self-talk and how she communicates with others. Like she said, it costs absolutely nothing to provide encouragement to someone else.

But she also encourages people to make investments in themselves to become stronger physically, emotionally, mentally and even spiritually. An investment is required for anything that merits a return. Yet, done properly, that investment will pay dividends in the years ahead, not only for the person making the investment, but for the people who benefit from it as well.

I enjoyed Andrea’s enthusiasm when describing how she and her husband made their 50s fantastic, but they are planning to make their 60s spectacular.

It used to be that asking for help was considered a sign of weakness, yet all of us need help at some point in life. Asking for help shows courage. It’s also a sign of strength by seeking information from people who may have the answers you’re looking for.

Andrea said “can you help me?” are often the four bravest words an adult can say. People should not be afraid to ask for help because there are a lot of lovely people who would be thrilled to share what they know in order to help someone else.

People can connect with Andrea Austin by looking for her on Facebook and on Instagram.  The Not Old Army health and fitness group is available on Facebook as well.

That’s all I have for this week’s show. Next week I’ll be interviewing a couple, both of whom are named Chris, and who were preparing for a lifestyle of adventure as full-time RVers and Workampers. I will have that interview on the next episode of the Forward From 50 podcast. Thank you for listening!