Active aging at the Tournament Capital Centre
When I was a kid, I remember looking at people who I thought were old and thinking, “When I grow up, I want to be just like that.”
I’m still doing it.
There’s always someone older than me who is an inspiration, aging gracefully.
And, even moreso now, there are people who are aging actively.
When I was first introduced to the Wenger family 21 years ago, I was floored by my future inlaws.
They hiked, biked or paddled every day in the spring, summer and fall and cross-country skied every day in the winter.
When I first started hiking and biking with them, they would patiently stop at the top of every hill and wait for me to catch up.
They weren’t always the best at giving me time to catch my breath, but at least they waited.
Then, one day, it happened.
My father-in-law turned around to see where I was and was so startled he almost fell off his bike.
“Oh! You’re here,” he said, and he kept riding.
I will never forget that day.
When he was 62, he and his wife biked across Canada.
The summer he turned 72, he did the Yukon River Quest — a 740-kilometre canoe race from Whitehorse to Dawson City — with my husband.
They crossed the finish line in just under 50 hours.
He turned 75 on a 10-day canoe trip on the Churchill River with myself and the three generations of Wenger boys (my son turned 8 on the trip).
This year, at 77, he did his first 160-kilometre road cycling event at the Penticton Gran Fondo and we followed that with a driving vacation across Canada that included a 10-day bike trip along the northern peninsula of Newfoundland.
There is no age limit on leading an active lifestyle.
Working at the Tournament Capital Centre (TCC), I see the physical limitations, be it balance, cardiovascular or muscular restrictions, that threaten to slow people down. But I also see them working with what they have and finding the activities they can still accomplish and excel at, given time and commitment.
The active aging classes through the City of Kamloops have given me opportunity to see impressive improvements in the fitness levels of many of the people who I want to emulate when I grow up.
I want to be that person who might be a little intimidated to try something new, but still gets out there and does it and reaps the rewards.
The Tournament Capital Ambassador Program is giving those active over-50s a volunteer opportunity where they can lead by example and provide support to others who are looking to increase their health and wellness.
Volunteers chosen will do such things as facility tours and track hosting at the TCC, museum hosting, health beat circuit hosting at McArthur Island Park, hosting booths at events such as the Healthy Living Expo and Seniors’ Light Tour and volunteering at sporting events.
Successful applicants for each three-month session will receive training in automated external defibrillator use, first aid, emergency response and proper use of exercise equipment, as well as a three-month track and pool pass at the TCC.
Anyone interested in applying should contact Rhonda Eden at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications should be emailed or dropped off at the TCC (attention: Rhonda Eden) before Nov. 17.
Shawn Wenger is a BCRPA-registered personal trainer and weight -training and group-fitness instructor. She runs Fitness For Mortals. E-mail email@example.com for information.