Age: 59- closing in on 60 pretty soon!
NH: How long have you been training at TKFC?
GB: Nearly 4 years, Steve (my husband) and I joined in February 2013
NH: What prompted you to seek out kettlebell training?
GB: I retired from my job in 2012 and looked forward to spending time on a fitness routine. I began walking about 4 miles, four or five times a week. I had taken some Zumba classes where the instructor added a few exercises with light kettlebells and I was intrigued. Mind you, in hindsight, the movements were nothing like what we do at TKFC.
I visited the Delmar Chiropractic Office for backache pain where I saw advertisements for TKFC, and was interested to learn more. When my husband retired a year after me I thought we could try something together so we signed up!
NH: What does being a strong woman mean to you?
GB: Like so many people my age, I’m not ready to start slowing down yet. It’s important to me to be a good role model for the people I care about; my children, grandchildren,”little sister” (from Big Brothers Big Sisters program) and friends. I want to be able to take care of myself and try new things. I love surprising myself with new accomplishments and I let my family know about them. “Don’t mess with me!”
NH: Were you always physically active?
GB: No, unfortunately while I was working I only made time for my job and family. My job came with quite a few after hour responsibilities and launching kids into adulthood seemed to be all time consuming. I was overall healthy but needed and looked forward to adding physical activity to my new retired life for both my physical and mental health.
NH: What are your favorite lifts and why?
GB: I enjoy deadlifts, primarily because I surprised myself at the weight I was able to lift in my early attempts. But also I find relief from my lower backaches when I do deadlifts. (Geri’s current PR is 205lbs for the deadlift!)
I’m thrilled to have finally learned snatches and typically do them when given the option of a ballistic move. I still need to work out a few kinks but I find them enjoyable because they were so complicated for me to learn.
NH: What do you like about training at TKFC?
GB: I appreciate having classes that offer individual feedback for improvement. It is important to me to be sure I am doing moves properly so that I don’t hurt myself and that I am challenged to progress.
I also enjoy the camaraderie with the other members. I love that, at times, there’s a level of competition and that regardless of whether we have any chance of being the “best overall” we are driven to increase our own “best” accomplishment. Everyone genuinely supports each other.
NH: What benefits outside of the gym have you experienced as a result of strength training?
GB: I have more confidence in trying new physical endeavors. My husband and I hiked Huyana Picchu, an additional two hour steep hike in Machu Picchu . I felt physically up for it from TKFC training. If I had read more about it in advance, I might not have tried it as those with fear of heights are discouraged by some reviewers.
I know not many people are aware of kettlebells, it’s even hard to find it on many activity tracking systems. I’d advise anyone to give it a try. It’s an efficient workout because it combines aerobic and weight training. I’m thrilled that my improved strength lessens my back pain. Once you master a few moves, it really grows on you. Nancy is a great instructor who has created a very welcoming environment. She guides you and challenges you at whatever level you’ve achieved.
Geri and her husband Steve live in Voorheesville, NY. Geri is consistent class attendee and works hard, has a great laugh, and is always challenging herself. TKFC wouldn’t be the same without her!