2020 continues to be the year to persevere, and seniors at La Posada, a Kisco senior living community, aren’t making excuses when it comes to training for the inaugural Wisdom Warriors Challenge. While the original event had to be postponed, a modified and socially distant event is now scheduled for November 10 at La Posada. Residents will be competing in various track events exclusive to seniors.
The original plan brought together various senior living communities in the Palm Beach area. Athletes will now compete at their home campuses in much small numbers. Race times will then be compared, and one community will earn the first Wisdom Warriors Cup! Races also will be streamed on La Posada’s Facebook page so friends and family can watch.
This one-of-a-kind event is the brainchild of Linda Borgmeyer, occupational therapist and Director of Outpatient Rehab at La Posada. In 2019, she encouraged, trained and lead a group of seniors in a 5K race. The group ranged in age from 72 to 92, some taking on their first 5K ever! The event left them empowered but also craving more. They also desired something designed for their age group with a variety of distances. Within months, Borgmeyer created Wisdom Warriors – getting AARP, sponsors, and other communities on board.
“We’ve really been encouraging our seniors to stay moving. Although they’re practicing social distancing, they can still get out and get some fresh air,” said Borgmeyer. “We offer so many options, from outdoor excise classes to workout videos streamed into residents’ apartments. I tell our residents often, ‘don’t let COVID steal your strength.’ Getting outside hasn’t been canceled.”
Steve Dukkony, 88, and Ann Mayberry, 85, have done just that. In the last eight months, the duo has consistently been walking over two miles a day. They typically use a training program from Borgmeyer: walk 30 seconds slow, then speed walk 30 seconds. They’ve built up their pace over time, and the key was to start small.
“I’ve always been fond of running. I had a career in the military, and I enjoy being active. Even in retirement, I always want to stay moving,” said Dukkony. “What’s really been amazing is watching how much Ann has grown as an athlete.”
“Most of my friends and family would be shocked to hear I’ve been training for a race! But I’ve found you’re never too old to start exercising,” said Mayberry. “Training with a team really builds comradery. And it’s been a great way to keep myself busy during quarantine by going on long walks.”
“If seniors are brave enough to try something new and step out of their comfort zone, I believe they will find they are capable of more than they imagined in this chapter in their lives,” said Borgmeyer. “For these active adults, age is just a number and there is nothing holding them back.”
We made the news! Check out the Palm Beach Post article about the Wisdom Warriors event.