Harley Pasternak Shares Why His 101-Year-Old Neighbor Is His Inspiration
The celebrity trainer says to look beyond Hollywood for motivation.
Harly Pasternak's Instagram is flooded with photos and videos of him sculpting the bodies of celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Kim Kardashian, just to name drop a few. But one of his recent posts showed a 102-year-old woman doing her daily weightlifting routine. (Related: 4 Things I Learned from Trying Harley Pasternak's Body Reset Diet)
"This morning I had the pleasure of being able to join this incredible woman doing her daily weight training routine," he wrote. "Risa Igelfeld is about to turn 102 years young."
In the video, Igefeld is seen doing 10 shoulder presses as Pasternak counts her up. Take a look:
Risa, a retired music teacher, is one of Pasternak's neighbors. "She's adopted us and we've adopted her," he told us. "We go on a family walk every night and when we go past her house, our kids want to see her."
But their near-daily get together is about more than just her playing music for the Pasternak kids or chatting about what the world was like before the internet, cars, and phones.
Her unwavering positivity inspires Pasternak and his family to make the most of her company. "She's just an incredible woman who is incredibly positive," he says. "Her entire life she's been active. She used to run, bike and swim-up until recently and now she goes for a walk and weight trains at home." (Related: 85-Year-Old Woman Makes History Racing Against Men In 100-Meter Dash)
For Pasternak, Risa's company is a breath of fresh air. "She's an inspiration because I work with a lot of very privileged people every day and I'm very lucky to do so," he says. "They're all able-bodied people who have everything at their fingertips. But they still find reasons why they can't work out or make their step goal for the day. There's every excuse in the world."
Risa spent her life doing the opposite, Pasternak says. She never gives up on her goals, and always makes being active and mobile a priority. (Watch This 72-Year-Old Woman Achieve Her Goal of Doing a Pull-Up)
"She's contagious, smiling all the time, with not one complaint in the world," he says. "She's almost 102 and never misses a workout so why should you?"
What inspires her, you might ask? "She works out because it feels good," Pasternak says. "She loves life. Not just living long, but living well. She's a reminder that you don't just want to survive, you want to thrive, which is exactly what she does."