Phenomenal Fitness in Your 40s and 50s!

Guest post by Nicole Avery 
Owner, Zone 3 Fitness

If you think that just because you are middle-aged your best years of fitness and fun are behind you … think again! Here are some stories about people who are finding their “inner athlete” and using their middle years to get into the best shape of their lives and having fun doing it!  They all work out at Zone 3 Fitness and recently participated in the Tough Mountain Challenge at Sunday River.

Picture of Fred and Linda Wade,Sunday River Tough Mountain ChallengeLinda, 52, and Fred Wade, 56, recently completed the Tough Mountain Challenge, a 3-mile race up and down Sunday River Mountain that included some audacious obstacles — crawling through mud under barbed wire, jumping over trenches of water and mud, hiking up a VERY STEEP trail, climbing walls, and more. Two years ago, if you had told Linda, an ICU nurse at Mercy Hospital, that she was going to compete in a race like this, she would have said you were crazy. But she and her husband Fred did just that, finishing strong and with huge smiles on their faces. Linda has lost over 50 pounds since starting to work out at Zone 3 Fitness and taken on bigger and bigger challenges as her health has improved and her confidence has grown. She ran her first 5K race, climbed Mt. Katahdin and now completed the Tough Mountain Challenge.

Melissa Cookson, 48, and a four-year survivor of breast cancer, has been a member of Zone 3 Fitness since May of 2012. In that time, she’s lost over 25 pounds, run her first 5K race and finished the Tough Mountain Challenge in 1:45:00. Most importantly, she dropped her health risk indicators from the high-risk range to the low-risk range. Her health has improved so much that last winter her employer, Norway Savings Bank, gave her an Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of her healthy living habits.

Marlene Costa, 49, an employee at Unum, is another shining example of not letting conventional wisdom dictate what you can and can’t do in your late 40s. This soon-to-be first time grandmother plays on a women’s hockey team, runs or work outs five days a week, and recently finished the Tough Mountain Challenge side-by-side with her daughter Kristin Crockett, 27, in 1:28.

Here they are leading the charge through the first of many mud pits in the race.

Jennifer Caron, operations manager at Marshwood Imaging Center in Scarborough, also proves that you can find time to make fitness a priority, even with a very busy life. Mother of three, Jen makes working out a priority and sets a great example for her daughters, who also work out at Zone 3 Fitness. Jen put her limits to the test by competing in the Tough Mountain Challenge on one day and participating in the Tri for a Cure the next, completing the swim AND the bike portion of the race.

Nicole Avery (#249), personal trainer and owner of Zone 3 Fitness in Scarborough, was beaming with pride at the end of the Tough Mountain Challenge, not just for her own strong finish, but also for the great efforts of all her members who raced and succeeded. “It is so much fun to see someone cross that finish line having done something they never thought they could do. So many times, we don’t try something because we think we’ll fail or we have failed in the past.“

Nicole and her business partner, Monica Swan (#271) both competed in the Tough Mountain Challenge. It was Monica’s first year. She finished in the top 3% of women competitors.

Congratulations to everyone who competed in the Tough Mountain Challenge and who work hard to stay in shape! What fun things are you doing to improve your fitness? 

If you’d like more information about Zone 3 Fitness, visit the website or send Nicole an email.


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Diane Atwood

About Diane Atwood

For more than 20 years, Diane was the health reporter on WCSH 6. Before that, a radiation therapist at Maine Medical Center and after, Manager of Marketing/PR at Mercy Hospital. She now hosts and produces the Catching Health podcast and writes the award-winning blog Catching Health with Diane Atwood.