FIGHTING old age took on a new meaning recently when our residents at The Elms Retirement Park in Lincolnshire had their fitness tested by a military training instructor.
The family-owned park in Torksey arranged the challenge after learning that fitness and health was one of the key interests of park home residents. But what they might not have expected at the session was to be greeted by Nik Keast, a former RAF fitness instructor more used to whipping trainee officers into shape.
Over the next few hours, residents took part in a series of mock life-or-death scenarios, including crossing a crocodile-infested swamp and scrambling around a hostile planet.
“You’re amazing!” was Nik’s verdict following his mature master class for residents.
Despite many being more accustomed to gentle sit-ups, residents judged the occasion a fantastic success according to Tracey Coulson, a member of the park-owning family:
“Despite their age, many couples here love nothing better than keeping active – and residents often get together for different events, including people in their eighties,” said Tracey. “We always try and help when we can, and after a recent survey of residents’ preferences, we discovered that a large number regarded exercise as a priority. But rather than arrange just a PT class, we contacted Nik who served over 20 years in the RAF specialising in sharp-end physical training and leadership development. Nik now runs a fitness academy in Gainsborough, and he said he would be delighted to come along and put our residents against some of the challenges trainee pilots have to face. Everyone loved it, and I think we’ll soon be seeing Nik again at The Elms by popular demand!” said Tracey who also took part herself in the challenges.
The Elms has been under the same family’s ownership for over 35 years and its 340 park homes for people aged 50-plus are located in 65 acres of landscaped grounds.
“Community activity is a big part of the lifestyle of residents,” said Tracey, “Even if this also includes less combative pastimes such as outings, fetes, wine tastings, and quiz nights.”
Tracey believes such events also provide a crucial role in helping to ensure that nobody on the park experiences the sense of loneliness which can blight the lives of some elderly folk.
Following their brush with the tougher end of military training, residents were declared by Nik to be in “amazing shape” and clearly not afraid to get to grips with life in every sense!