Bouncing back

Penelope Lane shows the over 50s how it’s done

COVID shattered her dream of owning her own fitness studio, but in typical Penelope Lane-fashion she bounced back and is now running exercise classes for the over 50s in Beaconsfield.

Aged 63, Lane realised her lifelong dream when she opened ‘Make My Health’ on Hampton Road in March – unfortunately the same week WA went into lockdown.

She was quickly forced to shut the business for good. 

But Lane is a tough cookie and drew on the mental and physical strength she developed while training with an ex-SAS soldier.

“I was fortunate to be part of the genesis of boot camps here in Perth,” she says.

“I reached the elite squad, of which I’m very proud. Particularly as I was an unfit mum of two small children at that time.

“I was invited to train as a gym instructor and then a group fitness instructor; all under the watchful and supportive eye of the boot camp’s head trainer, an ex-SAS soldier.

“At the peak of my time as a trainer, I was running circuit training and boot camps for up to 50 participants.”

A qualified fitness/personal trainer for 33 years, stretching back to the days of bright leotards and headbands, Lane is now specialising in Fit Tone Flex classes for the over 50s.

She says her workouts are fun and easy-to-follow with body cardio, strength, flexibility and balance/brain exercises.

“Exercise is essential at any age and even more so as we age,” she says.

“I would say that it’s one of the most important things as we get older. We can struggle with our weight due to sitting more and moving less, and there’s significant muscle tissue and bone density loss.”

Penelope Lane after completing her first half marathon, aged 61.

Lane says exercise has been an integral part of her life and she has never stopped looking at new ways to keep fit.

“I started swimming when I was two months pregnant with my first child – that was 33 years ago,” she says.

“I haven’t stopped exercising since then, and a few years ago at the age of 61, I trained and ran my first half marathon – that’s 22km.”

She’s currently completing certificates in Functional Exercise Training for over 50’s, Brain Health Training and Individual Exercise Prescription.

The South Freo local, who has previously worked as a clinical psychologist, says mental health is as important as physical health – something she realised when her dream of owning a fitness studio imploded.

“Resilience is both a physical and mental/emotional strength. Equally important for navigating the stuff of life,” she says.

“Resilience is strength in vulnerability. And vulnerability is something I felt big time when the business I created crashed and burned.

“I am so excited to be starting the classes again as I know how important exercise is.

“I can’t state that enough – it has the potential to radically transform your physical and mental health. 

“As someone commented: I am a good example of what I teach.”

Lane will be holding exercise classes at St Paul’s Church Hall in Beaconsfield. 

To find out more and book go to fittoneflex.com.

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