Meet Susan, who joined Bold in January 2020 to feel stronger and more confident!

You’ve been with Bold since January 2020! Tell us about your health journey.

I was on my feet for much of the 35 years that I spent in the classroom (I was a teacher), and by the time I retired, my knees were in terrible shape. Between a slow recovery process from knee surgery and the onset of psoriatic arthritis – a painful, inflammatory condition – I required the use of a walker to get around as early as five years ago. 

I am 66 years old now, and remember thinking at the time that my body felt 20 years older. If that was what old age was going to feel like, I wasn’t impressed with what my future would be if I didn’t do something to proactively improve my health.

I do my Bold classes every day, and I don’t feel well if I skip them.

What brought you to Bold? 

I signed up at a local center to take heart health classes. But most activities were on machines, and the experience wasn’t very motivating or inspiring. That’s when Bold came in. I started with a chair yoga class, at the beginner stages for six weeks focused on improving my balance. Then the pandemic hit, and I was very happy that the switch to digital health and wellness meant I didn’t have to scramble to adjust to a new routine.

Walk us through how Bold fits into your daily life.

The great thing about retirement is that you have the flexibility and free time to do as you please, and Bold is how I start my day once I get going in the morning. I’m never certain how my arthritis pain will progress throughout the day, so doing my workout top of the morning ensures that it gets done.

In the mornings, usually before noon, I start my computer and do my session for the day. I’m active for a minimum of 30 minutes, especially for high-intensity classes like Pilates or cardio. For something like yoga, I’ll do it for about 45 minutes.

By prioritizing my workout in the morning, I feel like I can tackle the day and check off this essential part of my routine. It’s almost impossible to find excuses to skip my classes when all that’s required is that I turn on my computer. I used to make fun of people who were so into running that they would do it on cold winter days. Now, I understand how essential exercise is to feeling good and healthy.

How has Bold improved your health?

I’ve graduated from one-pound weights to five-pound weights, and I can hold a squat. I can handle more advanced classes and those with more cardio, which is a significant improvement from when I first started. I sleep better and know that getting stronger eases the pain I feel from some of my health issues, such as my knee and arthritis. Bold has become as essential as my medications.

The daily classes have empowered me to take on the daily challenges of life, both big and small. For example, the other day I was able to get up from our chaise lounge chair in the backyard without assistance – a small feat that was impossible a year ago. My body feels stronger, and I feel more confident. I use a Fitbit and the data I get on my heart health confirms how I feel: stronger, healthier and more able to move through life.  

What’s something Bold has helped you realize? 

I’ve never been a fitness hound, and didn’t aspire to a certain body image. Bold has helped me realize that as we age, movement and physical activity is about living the kind of active, pain-free life I want to live rather than obsessing over my appearance. 

Do you have a favorite instructor or class? 

The variety has been essential, not just in keeping me engaged but also in helping me build strength. I have instructors that I like for different moods. Alicia is incredibly encouraging and JoJo has high energy. Ryan gets you to push yourself harder and Jill is great for moments when I need something to calm and ground me. I have Bold’s chair yoga, cardio classes and strength-building program.   

The classes are fun and offerings have expanded in the last year, making it possible for me to venture into new activities, such as mindful movement Pilates. I am very proud that I have been able to move along the programs and see and feel the progress.