September 25, 2015

I can do it, so can you

Dear Editor,

I may not wear the cute little shorts and tank tops that the younger women wear, but I am at the Fair Haven Fitness Center working out three mornings a week and I am 78 years old. I am proud to say that I have been working out, with Jamie Matta as my trainer, for 20 years now. We started out at the little training room at Castleton College (now University) when I first retired and moved to Vermont.

Matta is still teaching a class at Castleton, but is now the owner of Fair Haven Fitness. He is committed to having everyone achieve their goals. I know there is a crew of “boot campers” at night, hauling around tires, logs, or chunks of cement, but I can only tell you about the morning crowd. I have met a variety of them, from a tattooed boxer in training to a teen ballet star. Some people want to lose weight, others to gain, or to become stronger. Myself, I am there to stay healthy and strong.

On Jan. 20, I had a double knee replacement. Three weeks later, I was back at the fitness center on a bike. My physical therapy continued at Mountain View Center in Rutland on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but Jamie Matta helped me keep those knees in motion, admittedly slowly to begin with. He has a great knowledge of human anatomy and a knack for knowing how much you can tolerate. We do a combination of stretching, strength training, and cardio. I work out with a partner who has similar needs. Matta adapts the workout to each of our individual needs. If I mention that my pants are snug, we will do more sit-ups or twists (after a scolding about my diet). I know that it helps me being in a group of people, of all ages, who care about each other and encourage each other. People come before or after work, even on a lunch break. A committed group of women is there at 4:30 in the morning!

Whatever works, the important thing is to get moving. Give it a try, at any age, and you will not be sorry. I don’t know if it’s the gym or the gin, but I feel pretty good for my age. If I can do it, anyone can. Newcomers are always welcome!

Elaine Nordmeyer, Hubbardton

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