For my “DAY JOB”, I serve as the CFO for a wonderful non-profit organization that serves older adults in a three-county region along the lake shore in western Michigan…Senior Resources of West Michigan. Nearly 100 people work for this AREA AGENCY ON AGING, one of 16 in the state of Michigan (there are 623 sister organizations throughout the United States since the 70’s). We are basically the go-to organization for older adults and their family / caregivers for resources to provide information, access to services, etc….such as transportation, training, education, nutrition / meals, companionship, health services, in-home services, and much more.
Our office is located on a campus that provides some of these services through AGEWELL SERVICES, a partner agency that we award funding for programming. Today’s guest blog post is courtesy of AgeWell’s Fitness Program Specialist, Francine Calandro. You can ask most anyone in the area about Francine, your likely to get a smile…she’s been active in the community for years in areas of Group Fitness, training, dancing and community fundraising for the population we serve.
First, and most importantly, I have three wonderful sons that I am so proud of…two that fly for the Air Force and another that is a computer technician. I started teaching Fitness classes in my 20’s and always told my students exercise is like brushing your teeth…YOU HAVE TO!
I teach a variety of classes, but when I was asked to get certified in SPIN, my first thought was ARE YOU KIDDING ME? NO! At first it was hard and I cringed at the thought of doing it, but more and more, it was a great workout…sweat pouring out of your body. TAKE THE CHALLENGE!
Now when I tell people to try SPIN, and they say the same as I did at first, I encourage them to not give up after the first ride, because it gets better with each class!
I’m 58 now and still teaching a variety of group fitness classes and am also a personal trainer. A few years ago, at age 55, I placed 2nd and 3rd in a Bodybuilding competition.
Everyone thinks my only passion is dance, but Indoor Cycling is also a favorite…it’s so challenging!
GET ON THAT BIKE AND RIDE…it’s an adventure!
In addition to Fran’s highlights above, she’s been a perennial STAR in Muskegon’s DANCING WITH THE LOCAL STARS event. Over the 10 years of DANCING, more than $800,000 has been raised for Muskegon County food pantries!
This FACEBOOK post from a fan:
Our amazing Francine…walks on water in everyone’s eyes. Compassionate, energizer bunny who cares so deeply about our seniors.
A SUPER-STAR thanks to Fran for this post and for all she has done in our community to keep our older adults active and finding the FUN in fitness.
A sampling of Fran’s favorites…
SPin the News:
For the video part of this story, you can see Fran and dance team at the 2:10 mark…