Member Spotlight & Interview! Meet Gail Coffee

Member Spotlight & Interview! Meet Gail Coffee

Gail and Desi working outHow long have you been a member at Castle Hill?

Since its inception, as I was a member of the previous gym at this location. At age 80, I may be the oldest of the Founding Members.

What does you regular routine at Castle Hill look like?

I have a weekly Pilates hour with Desi. It is so important to me that I rarely miss a session.

Have you made changes in your health and fitness lifestyle since you joined our gym? What changes stand out the most?

It’s hard to say since I’ve been a member for so long. I keep my weight down, am conscious of what I eat and I keep moving and stretching.

Do you currently work with a personal trainer? Who are they and what goals are you working on together?

I work with Desi Koome, Master Pilates Instructor. Our goals are to keep my scoliosis from interfering with my life and to keep me strong. So far, so good.

What motivates you to stay on track?

gail and Desi portrait

Gail Coffee and Desi Koome

Someone once told me that “you’re only as strong as your spine is supple.” I totally believe in that. A flexible spine helps with balance and posture and keeps many aches and pains away. I repeat that phrase to myself (and others often) and it keeps me going to Pilates.

What have been your obstacles with fitness?

Finding the energy to stay active. Also I have a knee issue, but my knee and I have reached an agreement. I don’t bother it and it doesn’t bother me. So, over the years I’ve given up on tennis, jogging, and my beloved tap dancing, but I’m not having a knee replacement either.

What aspect of your current fitness lifestyle are you most proud of?

I’m very proud of my overall physical condition. For an 80-year-old I’m in pretty good shape. If it I had to identify one thing, I’m proud of my core strength and the fact that I never have back trouble.

What is your greatest health and fitness achievement?

I’ve developed an attitude of looking for incidental opportunities to use my body. I do the regular things (park a distance from where I’m going, take the stairs instead of elevators, etc) and I like doing “chores.” From taking out the garbage cans to carrying in the case of wine, I welcome it all.

Are there areas you are still working on? What goal keeps you motivated to show up at the gym regularly?

I’m working on improving the muscles that support my knees so I do leg exercises regularly at home as well as at the gym.

When you aren’t working out at Castle Hill, what do you do?

Gail PortraitI’m an avid gardener. I think gardening is highly undervalued as exercise. It involves lifting, bending, stretching, endurance, and often a little cardio; especially when I have to dig a hole in our rocky soil or wrestle a heavy pot. It’s just hard work. And, of course, it’s good for the soul. I also read and attending continuing education classes at the University of Texas (UT Quest) where I have met many friends. I like to hang out with my daughters and their friends and my grandchildren. Young people keep me mentally alert, semi up-to-date, and we laugh a lot. I do a variety of puzzles daily. I exercise my mind as well as my body. Also I look forward to trips to Las Vegas whenever I get the chance.

Any thoughts you can leave us with?

Just keep moving and stay flexible. The long term benefits are amazing. Unrelated, unsolicited, unoriginal thoughts on living a happy life: drink a little wine with friends. Nurture your sense of humor. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Be kind.