Continuing with our new column, “That Girl”, we are celebrating the accomplishments of real women who make health and fitness a priority because we know that true athletes come in all shapes, sizes, ages and athletic abilities from around the world. So this week we’re celebrating Barbara McKeon, an incredible 60 year old fitness instructor (whose birthday just happens to be today!) who says her love of fitness keeps her young at heart and in body.
Barbara McKeon (pictured here with fitness buddy, Nick Venditti)
New York City
60 Years Young!
Urban Rebounding Enthusiast (see photo below)
Fitness/health accomplishment you are most proud of:
I wasn’t always involved in exercise, in fact it wasn’t until right before becoming pregnant with my second child that I was asked to teach an exercise class as a substitute. That class was successful and soon I began teaching it regularly. Then I began running and my goal was 2 miles -max, or so I thought. Exercising kept me motivated and in October 1984 I ran my first NYC Marathon–13 months after my second daughter was born.
What inspires you to get fit every day?
Each week I teach 4 classes, Abs, Total Body Conditioning, Urban Rebounding and Abs/Back/Butt. In addition, I try to run around the Central Park reservoir at least once a week. My full time job, Director of Aaron Academy, a private special education school keeps my mind as focused as exercising keeps my body tuned. Also, I have 2 granddaughters, Olivia aged 6 and Marcella aged 4 who keep me inspired to stay young so that I can watch them grow into adults! I am also inspired to show women over the age of 50 that you don’t stop because you get old, you get old because you stop!
What do you do when you don’t feel like working out?
I tell myself that I am worth the 45 minutes that it might take to complete a work-out and look at what else I might be doing with that time. Usually, it’s nothing…
Favorite energizing meal:
SUSHI! Love the protein.
What’s your favorite way to chill post-workout?
Sitting on my rooftop deck overlooking Central Park when I work out at home or sitting on my porch when I work out at my weekend get away.
What is your top kick-ass workout?
When I moved to NYC I became certified in Urban Rebounding. This exercise is performed on mini trampolines, called rebounders and is a great cardio work-out without the joint compression that runners face. I now teach a variation of that class called Barre Hoppin that combines urban rebounding with body bar work. This is how I stay motivated. I continue to change and challenge myself with new work-out routines, great music and the fun of motivating others. The fun of motivating others inspires me.
Where is your favorite/most unique place you’ve ever exercised?
Biking around Nevis, British Virgin Islands.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned through sports?
Age doesn’t matter, believing in yourself does. Because I continue to exercise at age 60 (today!) I continue to inspire others–young and old. I am also a CLOWN in the Macy’s parade!
Calling all female athletes (that means you!): Do you surf, ski, swim, climb mountains, mountain bike, compete in races or stay fit with any other sport? We want to inspire other women with your story. Send an email to editor@Blisstree.com with the subject “That Girl”.
Photo: Barbara McKeon