A little reminder is necessary every once is a while—as clichéd as it may be—age isn’t anything but a number. The only thing stopping you from you getting out there and doing whatever you really want to do is, well, you. We recently has the pleasure of meeting three extraordinary women proving that finding your way of staying active will keep your body vibrant, your mind quick, and your life filled with joy!
The Ninja: Elaine Butler, 72, Sherwood Park, AB. Retired and part time ninja at Iron Goddess Sherwood Park. Growing up on a farm and riding horses all her life Elaine was always active. A short stint of some jazzercise 20 years ago, and always enjoying a good bike ride or walk, Elaine never really had a regular exercise routine. A few years ago she saw her daughter join a local fitness and kickboxing group. Not only did she see her daughter experience weight loss results but she also saw how much fun she was having and the awesome new friends she made. Elaine thought “I feel good, I could give this a try, why not?”
Starting off slow and steady, Elaine quickly learnt how amazing and powerful her body was becoming. She kept going and going, and for the first time in her life she was consistently going to the gym. Who says there’s an expiration age to get fit? Its never too late! Her trainer Rhonda Karisse, made it fun, informative, and created an environment that was supportive and encouraging. Not only was she becoming more connected with her body, gaining more strength and confident in her skills but connecting and growing with an amazing diverse group of women.
Her confident, assured, and caring presence is an absolute delight to encounter. Boxing at Iron Goddess has not only made her stronger then ever before but as she says “punching something couldn’t be more fun and stress relieving.” As long as she’s still swinging she still thriving.
Elaine’s health secret: Move, move, move! Something is always better then nothing, find something you enjoy and just have fun.
The Warrior: Rhonda McLeod, 61, Edmonton AB. Accountant and partime cross fit bada**. Two years ago Rhonda was unhappy overweight, completely inactive and looking to make a lifestyle change. A friend told her about a cross-country bike road trip she was doing and it stuck with Rhonda. She thought about again and again and couldn’t shake the idea. She was inspired and saw a golden opportunity to take the leap and make a dramatic change in her life. Rhonda decided she was going to get active, set a big goal, and seize the opportunity to see the country she loves in the best way possible. Love in Motion is a cross country tour bringing support and hope to vulnerable and hurting across Canada. Vancouver to Halifax, summer of 2017, 9 weeks, 63 days, 7500 kilometers. Dream big go big!
To begin, Rhonda enrolled in a cross fit gym and quickly built a relationship and friendship with her trainer Rich. She struggled in the beginning, often wondering what she got herself into but continued and worked very hard to lose over 60 pounds in18 months. In little more then a year, Rhonda went from completely inactive to now squatting 135 pounds and competing at the Battle of the Border. She keeps pushing her limits, one day at a time, improving everyday. She blows away her own expectations while showing all those around her what amazing perseverance and will she holds.
Now a regular at, CrossFit Armoury Edmonton, she has found a energetic and crazy supportive group of “young punk friends.” She often is touched and surprised how many people have reached out to her telling how much she’s inspired and pushed them to do better and be better. Never before has she been around such a positive and supportive group that has in a way healed her. Rhonda has over come obstacles, pushed her limitations, learnt more about and how much others cared for her and how much she cares for herself.
Rhonda’s health secret: Don’t take everything so seriously, relax, and embrace opportunities. Let your boundaries down and people in, you never know what you can learn. Find a fit and supportive community cause it will invigorate your life.
The Dancing Yogi: Geha, 60, Edmonton AB. Owner, founder and inspiring leader of Wellness on Whyte. Her day job involves creating a zen, relaxing, healing environment to all of her clients. She practices acupuncture, energy and spiritual healing and helps others learn to apply nutritional info into their everyday lives. Geha is a wealth of knowledge, over 20 years experience of mentoring, educating, and guiding others to live their best lives. She possesses a calming presence, an infectious passion for life, helping others and most importantly having fun.
An active yoga student, you can often find her at her favorite spot Sattva School of Yoga. Practicing has been apart of her life for over 20 years, taking her all around the world. She grew up as a very sick child, troubled with asthma and severe allergies she wasn’t able to be very active. Geha graduated with a degree in movement and as a young adult, moved to New York to practice and embrace her passion for interpretative dance. To this day dance is her favorite pastime. After long day of work she often will go home blast some music and dance to her heart’s content. Yearning to dance, letting her hair down to weather it be classical, salsa or hip-hop she allows herself to disconnect and let her body be free. Her mantra is to let go, find endless reasons to laugh and enjoy yourself.
Apart from keeping her body moving a vital part of her health is her mental wellbeing. Mediation allows her to keep her stress levels down, her mind sharp and her spirit high. As a health practitioner, Geha knows that a balanced healthy lifestyle isn’t just keeping active but also taking time to connect your mind with your body and remembering the power of using food to fuel and heal yourself.
Geha’s health secret: Take 30 minutes everyday to do whatever you love that keeps you moving to the point of exhaustion. Always remember no matter your background, genetics, fitness level or nutritional challenges know that with the proper changes and attention you can change your health dramatically.
By Jenise Kropp