Some Wetaskiwin seniors are showing the community that it is never too late to get fit. From hitting the gym to gentle yoga classes, pickleball and more, they say that the fitness community in Wetaskiwin is incredibly welcoming and that it is never too late to get started.
Kevin Hickey, 73, a former competitive weightlifter says that he began his weightlifting journey in Wetaskiwin in 1986.
“I wanted to challenge myself,” Hickey says.
He competed in the very first Pioneer Days bench press competition held on Wetaskiwin’s main street and hasn’t stopped lifting ever since. At the age of 55 he won a Senior’s Masters Alberta weightlifting competition when he managed to bench press 325 lbs.
At nearly 74, Hickey continues to hit the gym on a regular basis and can still seated press over 400 lbs.
On top of his workouts Hickey loves the social environment of the gym; a sentiment shared by other seniors Hickey met at Elevation Fitness.
Jack Huston, 66, Blaine Gusdal, 55, and Rob Haggarty, 58, all say that the scariest part about the gym is getting started, after that the connections you make and the strength and endurance you begin to build—even if it’s slow, is worth it.
“I wish I would have started decades ago,” says Haggarty.
He began going to the gym regularly three years ago to prepare for a big hike across Spain that he had planned with his wife. While COVID-19 paused their travel plans, it didn’t pause his motivation to keep going on his fitness journey.
He says that even if the hike never happens now, it was all a win-win regardless because he has fallen in love with the gym and the gym atmosphere.
Sue Fraser, 57, says that the gym has gotten her through some tough times. After starting working out regularly at 50-years-old she says, “no matter what struggles you are going through in life this has been my lifesaver.”
A ‘nana’ as she calls herself to five grandchildren with another on the way, Fraser says that finding your happy space with fitness is all about being consistent and finding your routine.
“Everyone feels intimidated when they first start but we are all in the same boat.”