David Justman is a fan-favorite here at the J.

He works out once a week at our Fitness & Wellness Center with his personal trainer, Erin Crane, and he uses up to eight machines in a single training period. What’s the catch, you ask?

He’s 97 years old.

We were able to snag a bit of his time to see what fuels his drive for fitness and what makes Erin his perfect personal trainer.

What brought you and your family out to Denver?

I was born in Poland and came to the US when I was two. We were looking for a place that could accommodate three boys and my parents. After being in New York for two years, my mother developed tuberculosis. They [the doctors] recommended a facility in Colorado that had a good reputation, so we decided she needed to go there, the JCRS (Jewish Consumptives Relief Society). She spent a number of years there to get over her condition. When she had made enough progress they told her she wouldn’t need their services anymore, so she was released. We decided to come to Denver from New York once she was released.

How long have you been coming to the J?

My family was living at 270 S. Forest, the second house off of Alameda. So I would occasionally come by and see what they were doing here at the J–the progress. It was 1960 when we moved into that house, and we lived there for about 40 years. It was so close that I used to come here quite frequently, more often than I do now. Now I come by to meet with Erin at two o’clock on Fridays for our training sessions.

How long have you been training with Erin?

For the last two or three years.

Did you hand-pick Erin as your trainer?

When I came here, the person who was managing the facility thought I might like to spend some time working on the equipment. He said he’d talk to some people and arrange for someone to meet with me. I went with someone else a couple times, but we decided it would be a lot better to have Erin work with me because of her flexibility.

Describe a training session with Erin.

Erin gives me six or eight different pieces of equipment to work with and assigns various exercises. I’m able to do all of the things, which I like.

How do you get to the center?

I drive here. I’m still driving. Not many people my age are driving. I still can drive and I haven’t had any problems. I think I’d be the first to know if it wasn’t working out.

Have you ever thought about coming to the gym more than once a week?

I think one day a week is working out fine, but if Erin recommended that I come in another time, I’d be able to do it. I generally, every day, walk up and down the hallways [in my apartment building] a few times a few times a day to stay mobile.

What drives you to stay physically active?

Well…you feel better.

Have you always been active?

When I was younger, I was in sports–I played baseball. I’ve always liked staying active and partaking in sports, and such.

What’s your favorite thing about Erin?

She’s flexible, she gives me things that I’m able to do, and she’s reliable. When Friday comes along, she knows I’m going to be there. It works well being with her, and I can’t imagine it any other way.

Mr. Justman is a devoted member of our Fitness community and whenever we get to see his smiling face at the J, we know it’s going to be a good day. We deeply admire his drive and determination to stay in peak physical shape.

Maybe give him a high-five next time you see him around…or challenge him to an arm wrestle?