This New Year’s Eve, resolve to add more life to your years

Long-time CMC fitness instructor sets example for her students every day

Studies on the importance of exercise abound. Just browse the Mayo Clinic online, WebMD, or the latest health articles in The New York Times.

We all know exercise is good for our bodies and minds, but few relish the idea of actually doing it. Too often, our New Year’s resolutions melt away long before the spring thaw arrives.

Enter Colorado Mountain College instructor and exercise enthusiast Marty Thompson. A passionate disciple for an active lifestyle, she urges her students, and everyone else she knows, to keep moving year-round. And her enthusiasm is contagious.

Thompson has been teaching fitness classes for CMC for 27 years. During that time, she’s earned an array of certifications and a diploma. But it’s her passion for fitness and her connection to her students that keep her coming back to teach. Over the years, she’s worked with people of all ages, from 19-year-olds to veterans in their 90s.

Long-time student and Battlement Mesa resident Pat Oakley has been coming to Thompson’s fitness classes for 10 years. Motivated to begin working out at age 60, she says there’s a price to pay when she lets her routine slide. “Oh boy, does your core need those exercises,” she said. “Marty knows what’s good for you. In her classes, you just get stronger and feel better.”

At 75, Thompson rides her bicycle whenever she can and has completed the Ride for the Rockies 14 years running. She credits her hard-working parents for her abiding belief in the importance of fitness. “My mother was a feisty little lady, who was lifting weights up until 6 months before dying at the age of almost 94,” she said.

There’s no quick fix, but little changes can make big difference

Thompson’s no-nonsense approach to staying fit, even when the weather is brutal and the tables are loaded with comfort food, is rooted in common sense. “My theory is: We have a body,” she said. “We have to work it every day. If you don’t, it’s bound to get rusty.”

When students come to her classes for help in achieving their health goals, she doesn’t mince words. “I tell them the facts,” she said. “If you want a good life, you need to eat properly and move the body. I’m proud, not of myself, but of my students and the changes they make.”

The advice to eat better and work out more may be something we’ve all heard before. But from Thompson, the words carry the weight of personal conviction and inspirational example. “She’s a really motivated, and motivating, person,” said Oakley. “I just can’t say enough good things about her.”

For anyone who wants to learn how to stay fit all year, Thompson offers several CMC exercise classes in Parachute. To learn more about her upcoming spring schedule, contact Robin Dove at Colorado Mountain College’s campus in Rifle, at rdove@coloradomtn.edu or 625-6926.

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