90-year-old Kelowna woman attends more than 4,400 aquafit classes

As long as I’m able, I’ll keep doing it,’ says Beatrice Ingram

Beatrice Ingram, 90, has been called ‘an inspiration’ for attending three aquafit classes a week for 37 years. (YMCA)

Kelowna resident Beatrice Ingram — known to most people as Bea — might put you to shame in your gym class.

The 90-year-old has clocked more than 4,400 aquafit classes at the Rutland YMCA, a hobby she didn’t pick up until the age of 53.

“We retired young … we needed something to do,” Ingram said to Dominika Lirette of CBC’s Daybreak South.

“We were too young to just sit around and do nothing.”

For the last 37 years, Ingram has been a regular fixture on the rowing machine and an active participant in the pool.

She typically attends three classes a week, often upstaging the instructors.

“Sometimes they do it slower than me because I like to put in as much energy as I can,” she said.

“Nothing hurts in the water. It’s just beautiful.”

Worker ‘Bea’

Ingram said the YMCA has approached her about teaching a number of times, but she refused.

“I don’t want to be the centre of attention. I’m a worker ‘Bea,’ not a queen ‘Bea,'” she says.

Ingram credits aquafit with keeping her healthy, active and social.

Ingram says the YMCA has asked her to teach classes but she ‘doesn’t want to be the centre of attention.’ (YMCA)

“Lots of people have told me over the years that I am an inspiration to them. It makes me feel great that they think that,” she said.

March is Embrace Aging Month in the Okanagan.

Ingram said she plans to continue attending classes as along as possible.

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