Carole Pefley’s house is a modest, older home with beautiful flowers, bushes and trees all around the yard.
Her gravel driveway behind the house can accommodate five or six cars. No one would guess what goes on some mornings and afternoons in that quiet house on Madison Avenue.
Since paying my “dues,” I have become an elite member of Carole’s “club” and am witness to the shenanigans taking place behind closed doors. I can also attest to the fact that such activity can become addictive. We women are not members of a witch’s coven, and we are not trying to overthrow the government. We throw weights at times, though, and we also throw our weight around. Carole’s Fitness club, 5661 Madison Ave., has only one requirement: You must be 50 or older.
I had passed Carole’s Fitness sign so many, many times on my way to go Krogering and often wondered who was in there, whether it was difficult, easy, or just a waste of time.
I exercise every day for at least 30 minutes in my home and have never been a joiner. I am too self-conscious to exercise in front of people and have shunned big-name exercise clubs for that reason. Baring my 60-plus-year-old bod in front of a bunch of toned teens at a gym sounds like medieval torture to me. So when I spotted an ad for a free exercise lesson offered by Carole’s Fitness, I decided to go. (People interested in Carole’s classes can call 788-8377).
We assembled on a Saturday morning in late March in the garage behind Carole’s house. The floor was covered with a thick mat, which made any heavy impact movement easy.
The session started with some stretching to relaxing music, then Carole began some moves new to me called Tabata, which is interval exercise. Cardio workouts and sculpting training are interwoven. My favorite part is the idea of working hard for a few minutes (or less) and then resting for two minutes. I was surrounded by women in various shapes and sizes, all 50 or older, and some, to my relief, were older than me. All of us had a common goal in mind: to just get a better body.
I decided to sign up until summer. Then I signed up for another six weeks. Now I couldn’t stay away even if Carole poked me with a stick when I walk in the door.
We laugh a lot at Carole’s. We sometimes kick our legs in chorus-girl fashion. There isn’t one old codger in the place. All of the women are focused, bright, articulate and funny at times ... sometimes all at once. They bring new meaning to old age. I like to think of it as being “new age.” Being over 60 doesn’t have to mean retiring and sitting in a rocking chair; it can mean getting up, moving, finding your heartbeat and realizing you are more alive than you think.
Baker retired from IUPUI in 2010 and enjoys writing prose and poetry. She is working on several memoirs, including one about spending part of her childhood at Longacre Park and Pool.