MEMBER PROFILE

Carol F., age 89

New Orleans, LA

Vivo Member Since 2020

Three days a week, Carol starts her day with Vivo: 7 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 9 am on Saturdays.

If 7 am seems early, you’re not keeping up. “I’m really going to request that I get an earlier class on Saturday if I can. It’s just great to start the day and then exercise is done,” she says.

When we spoke, Mardi Gras was right around the corner and Carol was getting ready. She dons a sparkly Mardi Gras hat and glasses and exudes excitement about heading out to Royal Street to enjoy the parades, the music, and everyone out celebrating on their balconies. Carol took a few minutes out of her day to talk about her experience with Vivo. 

 

A TYPICAL DAY

A typical day is different for me now than it used to be. I acknowledge the fact that I’m in my 89th  year and whereas I used to be very busy, I’ve slowed my life down.

I have my business and I’ve been working independently for 40 years, first as a facilitator then as a life coach. About 10 years ago, I decided I wanted to do coaching with people who were in the second half of their life, and I started participating in the positive aging movement. What I discovered is a lot of people tell their life story out of the bad things, which is really sad to me. So, I created a process that works. People recall memories of their life in seven-year cycles. I put that into context and the process works beautifully.

 

LIFELONG ACTIVITY

I’ve always been active, and I’ve always had a level of determination that my health is important.

When I first moved to Louisiana 43 years ago, I got caught up in Cajun dancing. Only one bar had Cajun dancing on Thursday nights, and I went crazy over it. There were festivals and a whole community of people who were fun, healthy and revitalized. I can still do it, but it’s not easy and I pretty much reduce myself to just doing  waltzes now as I’m not sure I can keep up otherwise. Dancing has been a main factor in my staying healthy the entire time I’ve lived here.

Before Covid I had a gym routine. I had three classes of water aerobics a week plus I would get on, I think, seven different machines afterwards. But then Covid changed all that.

 

INTRO TO VIVO

I attended a presentation by Kevin Snodgrass, Head Trainer of Vivo, in 2020. I had recently fallen at that time and had been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, which means that there are a couple places in my spine that can trigger my leg giving out. I was bound and determined that I was not going to let that happen again. I met Kevin, immediately joined Vivo, and I’ve been exercising three times a week since then.

I like the fact that I’ve been able to continue a routine with Vivo and I like the comprehensiveness of the program and the educational component. It’s all right there. I came in at a time when there were not these lovely class outlines and I just have appreciated how the program has grown so well.

Kristin Vanderpool is my trainer and I just totally appreciate her: her professionalism, her sensitivity, and her skills. She’s tops and so is Kathy Porter who I have on Saturday.

Vivo is an investment for me and so it matters that I get what I need from what I’m investing. As I age, I realize that my level of competence has lowered. Where I notice a difference is that I still, even though it’s been four years, have not mastered the balance on one leg. I feel strong and continue to work on my balance. And I really know the value of the dual task exercises, even though I find them challenging. I feel like it’s the best time I could spend.

Dual-task exercises involve performing a motor task and a cognitive task simultaneously – such as answering questions while doing lunges. The exercises are effective in improving balance and reducing the risk of falls.

 

THOSE DARN EXCUSES

Everybody says, ‘Oh, I’ve got to lose this weight,’ but they don’t do it. I don’t know what I could say to my friends or family. They have a whole world of pool exercise and support, and they do nothing. I haven’t figured out what it is I could say about why this is so important to me. I do know that sense of balance and memory continues to get harder, but for me, I just am not going to stop. And I tell people why it’s important to me for that same reason.

 

MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT AGING AND STRENGTH TRAINING

I think sometimes people will say, ‘Oh, you shouldn’t be doing X, or you shouldn’t be doing Y.’ I feel like every person in Vivo is debunking these ideas about limitations and everyone is continuing to get stronger.

 

WHAT’S NEXT

Well, two things. I want to take my Cycles of Life Legacy Program to the world. I need to get a team together for that. And I need Vivo to help keep me strong and healthy!  It’s not for vanity’s sake, it’s for health’s sake, so I’m going to keep working on that.

To learn more about Carol’s work, visit her website.