Chelsea women enjoy early morning exercise, fellowship

Published 2:03 pm Monday, November 22, 2010

Some of the ladies who meet for the city of Chelsea’s early morning exercise class for senior adult women are (Standing L-R) Inez Smith, Shelby Blackerby, Jo Ann Williamson, Willodean Spratlin, Delma Austin, Martha Underwood, Carolyn Royal; (Seated L-R) Barbara Boaz and Joy Bonnie.

“When Curves in Chelsea closed, owner Krista Guy donated the exercise equipment to the City,” Barbara Boaz said. “It just sat in the basement of City Hall for a long time, then Mayor Niven and I started talking about using it for an exercise class, and finally said, ‘Well, let’s do it.’ ”

So, Boaz got a few senior adult ladies from her church to start coming, then the word got around in the community and more were added.

For a little over a year now, a group of ladies have been meeting in the lower level of City Hall three mornings each week to fellowship and exercise.

“It’s really not about losing weight as much as it‘s about toning,” one of the exercising ladies told me.

“And it’s making us stronger and giving us more energy,” another one added.

“I have a lot more energy to get things done when I go home after exercising,” Shelby Blackerby said.

Eighty-year-old Joy Bonnie said the exercise program has helped her to have more strength and to get around better. When she began coming, she’d had both knees replaced and was having to use a walker and cane. Today, she can walk on her own.

The women said they enjoy the fellowship as much as the exercise.

“We talk about any and everything,” one lady said. “Children and grandchildren, and even religion and politics.”

“And Medicare,” laughed another.

The program is free and open to all senior adult women in the Chelsea area. The group meets at 7 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and exercises for about an hour. However, Boaz said she will stay longer and keep the room open, if someone wishes to stay later.

There are now around 11 ladies who come regularly. They hope more will read this story and join them. Interested persons may contact Barbara Boaz at 678-6460.

Shelba Nivens can be reached by e-mail at