Exercise class allows seniors to reach new heights

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Harnessing their power are, from left, Catherine, Rose Weisbrod and Carol Myerowitz of Ventnor, and Jack Godfrey and Barbara Kirsh of Margate. Harnessing their power are, from left, Catherine, Rose Weisbrod and Carol Myerowitz of Ventnor, and Jack Godfrey and Barbara Kirsh of Margate.

MARGATE – The Martin Bloom Community Pavilion isn’t on muscle beach, but the exercise class here is all business.

Led by former Holy Spirit High School football coach Bill Walsh, who is now with the Margate Recreation Department, the exercise class has a core group of residents who attend the sessions, offered 10 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday.

Walsh begins each class with a quote of the day. The class Tuesday, Jan. 29 began with a beauty from George Carlin.

“The only exercise some people get is running their mouths, jumping to conclusions and sidestepping responsibility,” Walsh said, quoting Carlin. “Let’s stop complaining and get moving in the right direction.”

The numbers have grown since Walsh began leading the group about two years ago.

He said seeing the progress his students make is his favorite part of running the class. Although some of the participants are nearing the triple digits in age, he said he doesn’t take it easy on them – he applies a little tough love.

 “We come because we love Bill,” said Carol Myerowitz of Ventnor, a former Margate resident.

Barbara Kirsh of Margate, who has been coming to the class for about two years, said everyone in the class is happy to be there.

“In the summertime we get here at 9:30 to get a spot up front,” she said.

Her friend Rose Weisbrod of Ventnor said the workouts are great cardiovascular activity.

“I had open heart surgery, and this is good for me,” she pointed out.

Among the participants was Fran Harris of Margate, who at 96 years old, can stretch and jump with the best of them. She can even touch the floor with her hands, which some people half her age are unable to accomplish.

One of the newer class members is Stephanie Jasiecki, 90, of Margate, who is blind and follows along with the help of a caregiver, Margeret Sefah.

Jasiecki said she enjoys all of the exercises, but what she most looks forward to is the camaraderie.

Asked why she comes to the class each week, she responded, “Because if I don’t, I will lose what I have accomplished.”

Jasiecki said each person has to find his or her own motivation to exercise.

“They have to do it on their own. They have to do it because they want to do it, not because they have to.”

The exercise class runs 10-10:45 a.m. The Bloom Pavilion is at Granville Avenue and the beach, behind the Margate Library. For information call (609) 822-2285. 

Photos by Shaun Smith


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