Unlike many who reach retirement age, former nonprofit executive Janet Pfeffer knew precisely what she wanted to do when she stepped down. Motivated in keeping herself in good physical shape, Janet thought the best way to achieve that goal was to become an exercise instructor herself. And in no time at all, she was hired by the YMCA of the Chesapeake to teach her fellow seniors the best way to keep an active lifestyle.
That was ten years ago, and since then, Janet reached such popularity that she added classes at the Londonderry retirement community and the Oxford Community Center. In addition, she hosted a series on the Spy entitled “A Fit Retirement,” where she interviewed her fellow exercise enthusiasts about their daily routines. With all these activities, Janet not only was maintaining her own health, but she was “self-actualizing” in a way unimaginable to her when she started this second life of hers.
But last year, something happened that changed all that. While walking with a friend, she took a misstep on the trail and fell. Unable to get back up, Janet immediately realized that a serious event had happened and soon afterward learned she had seriously broken her hip.
In her Spy interview, Janet talks about that experience and the gained perspective that resulted from the painful and, to her mind, humbling incident. She recounts those early days of shame stemming from the thought of a teacher of so many finding herself a victim of an accidental fall, but also remarkable resilience she saw in herself and the importance of her friends and support network that made it possible to come back stronger and more confident.
This video is approximately four minutes in length. Janet Pfeffer is back at work at the YMCA. For more information about her classes please go here.