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“When I’m old I’ll stop”

Jean Bailey is 102 years old and teaches fitness classes four times a week. She does it at the Elk Ridge Village Senior Living home for adults, in Omaha, United States, and all of her students (there are usually ten of them) are her classmates from the center.

Bailey has been doing it for three years and has no plans to stop. “When I’m old I’ll stop”, he ironically told The Washington Post.

At Elk Ridge, residents can participate in many different physical activities, and their classes are one of many offerings. The authorities of the residence affirm that they all prefer her for her “remarkable” vision of life.

Bailey teaches classes four times a week. They last 30 minutes. Photo: video capture Elk Ridge Village Senior Living / The Washington Post

How did you start teaching?

Bailey started teaching gymnastics in 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic started and everyone was in lockdown. At that time, she summoned her neighbors to take her chairs out into the corridors to do exercises with her.

he did it because wanted to stay active and because she was always good at motivating people, she told the Post. “I really think if you’re not keeping your mind and body busy, why are you here?” Bailey said.

The residents liked his classes so much that they wanted to have one after another. They started at 9.45 in the morning so that everyone could have breakfast.

How are your lessons?

Bailey teaches for 30 minutes on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. All his classes begin with a prayer.

He does about 20 stretches per session. Photo: video capture Elk Ridge Village Senior Living / The Washington Post

According to the Post, Jean makes her students do 20 types of stretches for the upper and lower part of the body, with different push-ups of the feet and arms. “He moves absolutely every part of his body, from his hands to his toes,” Bailey explains in one of his sessions.

The woman affirms that her classes strengthened ties within the home. “We became very good friends in our apartment,” said the teacher, adding: “Each of us would do something for anyone. We really keep in touch with each other.”

In fact, his lessons aren’t just about fitness. They are also moments to share with friends. Jean, when she finishes her classes or someone’s birthday, often offers meals to her students.

Bailey is the favorite of the women of the home. They all want to exercise with her because of her good predisposition. Photo: video capture Elk Ridge Village Senior Living / The Washington Post

Who is she?

Bailey has lived in Elk Ridge for 14 years, where about 145 people currently reside.

He was born in 1921, in Wyoming, and grew up in a context of extreme poverty. Because of this, her biological mother handed her over to another family when she was just 3 years old.

Bailey states that she will stop “when she’s old.” Photo: video capture Elk Ridge Village Senior Living / The Washington Post

Raised as an only child, she lived in Iowa and then in Nebraska, where she spent most of her life.

After a brief job as a model, in 1942 she married her husband Loren, who died in 1989. For many years she worked as a florist and was a homemaker.

With Loren they had three children, Bruce, Pennyrae and Patty, who died at 55 after a severe illness. Currently, Ella Jean has five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Today, in addition to teaching ad honorem, buy artificial flowers and make bouquets for a retirement home.

The woman explained that a healthy diet and physical activity were probably the keys to its longevity: “I think it’s the fact that God is not ready for me. I have to keep busy. I don’t think it’s enough to sit and watch TV.”

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