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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Monday, October 18, 2004

She's retired but busier than ever

By Paula Rath
Advertiser Staff Writer

"Retired" definitely does not mean "resting" for Geri McBeth of Kailua. She has developed a passion for weaving rugs and even dyes her own fibers. She is in the midst of remodeling her home and has begun taking her sister's dog to obedience and agility training. She does not count any of these activities as "workouts." She still manages to find the time and the energy to work out 10 times a week.

Geri McBeth of Kailua, front, does a little serious stretching with the help of Lisa Ortega Robertson, owner of On Balance Inc.

Deborah Booker • The Honolulu Advertiser

Name: Geri McBeth.

Age: 59.

Profession: retired organizational development consultant.

Height: 5-feet-4 1/2

Weight: 130.

Workout habits: Pilates three times a week; yoga two times a week; walking 3.5 miles five times a week.

When and why I started working out: "In my 30s and 40s I did aerobics, cycling and jogging. In my late 40s, I started martial-arts training and continued for six years, until a knee injury put an end to my training. As I entered my 50s, I suffered from chronic low-back pain, poor posture, as well as neck and shoulder pain. In my mid-50s I was diagnosed with borderline osteoporosis (osteopenia). My doctor advised that I begin doing weight-bearing exercise such as walking. At the same time my sister, who teaches Pilates in Tucson, recommended that I begin a Pilates program to help with the chronic pain. ... Two years ago, my husband and I retired and moved to Hawai'i. I continued Pilates with Lisa Ortega Robertson, owner of On Balance Inc.

Geri McBeth, front, shown here working out with Lisa Ortega Robertson, says that "exercise makes me feel great, and I find that I have fewer aches and pain if I am consistent in my practice."

Deborah Booker • The Honolulu Advertiser

"To complement my Pilates regime, I also began taking yoga classes from Valerie Hobensack with Silent Dance Center. The combination of the two exercise programs has made a huge difference in my daily activities. My posture has improved and my back, neck and shoulder pain have diminished significantly."

My good foods/bad foods: "I try to eat a balanced diet with lots of calcium-rich foods, however I favor vegetarian meals. I gave up coffee two years ago but drink green tea. I have a sweet tooth, so I do watch my sugar intake."

My biggest motivator: "Exercise makes me feel great, and I find that I have fewer aches and pain if I am consistent in my practice."

My biggest roadblock to fitness: "Dealing with stiff joints, aches and pains that occur as I get older. Also, there are times when I overuse certain muscles through simple activities such as gardening or hiking — it can be very frustrating."

What saves my sanity: "Having supportive teachers like Valerie and Lisa — who understand how to deal with setbacks — helps me stay positive. Also, working out with others who have similar experiences."

My next challenge: "As a weaver I enjoy the weaving process, which can be physically challenging because it involves long hours at a loom. I want to learn what things I can do to avoid overuse of certain muscles."

Advice for those in the same boat: "Look for certified yoga and Pilates instructors, and ask about their years of experience and training.

"It's never too late to start a fitness program, but you do need to set realistic goals for yourself. Over time, I believe you can regain balance and flexibility as well as strengthen key muscles through a consistent exercise program. Best of all, you'll feel so much better."