The New 70

By Carol Marr

It used to be pretty easy to describe a typical 70-year-old grandmother, even without seeing her. But if you rely on the old quilt-and-rocking-chair stereotypes these days, there’s a good chance you’re mental image is going to be pretty sketchy.

There’s also a good chance you don’t know Carol Marr. The Dalles resident is a great example of the “new70,” an active senior not content to let the inevitable aging process and the old expectations that once accompanied it dictate her lifestyle.

Marr still sells men’s clothing at Penny’s three days a week, and she is a regular participant in the yoga and spin cycling classes at Water’s Edge Fitness Center. Now and then she even lifts some weights, and she is vowing to learn to swim this summer in the Water’s Edge Aquatic Center.

“I love going to the gym,” Marr says. “Every time I go I feel 100 percent better the rest of the day. It makes my day.”

Marr is no stranger to physical activity. Her late husband Larry, whom she met in junior high, got her into serious cycling when they lived in Sun Valley. She didn’t race like he did, but they once rode 100 miles one way, spent the night, then turned around and rode the 100 miles back home.

“It was so inspiring that I could even do that,” she says.

Marr became an avid skier in her Sun Valley days as well. “I’ve just always loved exercise,” she says.

So much so that when she and Larry moved to The Dalles a few years ago to be near her son, daughter and grandchildren, one of the first things they did was join Water’s Edge.

“We walked in and immediately loved it. It’s a beautiful facility and sits right on the water. Larry liked to swim laps in the pool, and I am determined to take lessons this summer. I’ve met so many nice people here in my yoga and cycling classes, and the entire staff is incredible.”

Marr’s focus on fitness, as well as healthy eating, has kept her looking and feeling much younger than her years. She overcame a breast cancer diagnosis in her younger years and is now living with diabetes.

“I don’t have to take insulin though, and I think my exercise and healthy eating habits help with that,” she says.

Marr adds that going to the fitness center also helps her maintain her healthy diet. “It inspires me in a lot of ways,” she says. “I eat a lot of veggies, chicken and fish and rarely eat red meat. When I eat poorly it feels like I am ‘undoing’ all the gains I make by going to the gym.”

Besides the great setting and personalities Water’s Edge provides, Marr says she also likes mingling with such a diverse group of health-minded individuals — from fitness enthusiasts of all ages to patients recovering from illnesses or injuries to active young grandmothers like herself.

Water’s Edge Fitness Center offers several different membership options.

Call 541.506.5779 or visit Water’s Edge at 551 Lone Pine Blvd.