Betty’s Story: Age is just a number

“My grand-daughters... think I am 3 years old!”

70-year-old Betty Searle is no stranger to the gym. For the past 11 years she has got up 6 days a week to work up a sweat at her local Curves club in Sutherland. Before she joined, Betty Searle was an avid walker but had started to feel that her age was catching up to her. “I decided that it was probably time to start doing something about the body as it was getting a bit on the wrong side of the clock.” Despite her commitment, Betty admits that initially it took her a while to make the decision to join, “I was never going to be a gym bunny, I was far from it…It’s so easy to make excuses not to go and I kept thinking to myself ‘I must do that’.” Fast-forward 6 months, and she was hooked.

Now, 11 years later and having just completed her 3000thworkout session, she is officially the workout record holder acrossall Curves Australia and New Zealand clubs. As to her motivation,Betty explains, “I go for the physical and mental challenges, I feelyounger and more energetic every time - those reasons make itmuch easier to say yes than no. I see people my age who aren’table to do the things I do so I can’t take my energy and healththat I have worked hard for, for granted.” She also loves the senseof community and the non-judgemental environment at Curves,“I have a strong network of friends I have made through Curvesand the coaches are incredibly encouraging. We entertain eachother by doing a little sing-a-long session to the workout music in the morning.”

When Betty isn’t at Curves she’s spending time with her grandchildren and giving back to the community. She helps other elderly people in her area who aren’t as mobile by tending to their gardens for them. “It brings me happiness that I can help my community”, she says. Betty also donates her time to fundraising efforts at Curves Sutherland for the Joanne Mackay Breast Cancer Foundation as well as the Jacaranda Cottage, which supports young girls from broken homes and the Christmas Hamper Drive which helps families in need at Christmas. Her grandchildren are so impressed by their grandma that they can’t believe her age, “My grand-daughters (a oneyear- old and four-year-old) think that I’m three years old!”

Above all else, Betty has noticed her confidence increase since joining Curves, “(the) improvement of my strength in character. I have become much more confident by staying active and being a part of a community has been the most positive.”