At 92, Audrey Bales is fit for life

Mar. 19, 2013 @ 09:42 PM

Audrey Bales has a typical post-retirement life, traveling and volunteering at her church. She is also a fitness enthusiast, completing her 700th workout this week. That is a big accomplishment for a person at any age.

Audrey is 92. But you would never guess her age because she still drives and visits with friends. Her eyes are bright and her wit is sharp. And she is likely in better shape than most women 30 years younger.

Two or three times a week, you can find Audrey pumping iron at Curves in Monroe.

“I started coming here in 2003. A friend of mine started talking about coming here and she really liked it,” Audrey said. “My daughter made me start coming with her.”

She liked the people there. They were friendly and welcoming. She made a few friends with the other

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patrons. And the instructors were sweet and helpful.

The people there liked her.

“I can be having a bad day and Ms. Audrey will come in happy, smiling and it will pick me right up,” gym owner Nancy King said.

And the more she went to Curves, the better she felt. While her doctor has never bragged on her over taking excellent care of herself, she is healthy.

“Except for the things that usually happen to people when they get old. Some aches and pains,” Audrey said.

While she makes light of it in conversation, her daughter, Susan Bales, said her mother does not take her strong constitution for granted.

“There are plenty of people younger than her that are in much worse shape,” Susan said. “She’s 92 and she still drives, she still gets out and walks. I think she’s a great inspiration.”

Audrey and her husband moved to Monroe in 1961. She was the Sun Valley High School librarian from the first day the doors opened. Her husband taught science. Before she retired, she was the media director for the Union County school district when it was still separate from the city school district.

She has taken care of her health, but has never made a fuss over it.

“I’d always walked a lot but I’ve not deliberately exercised before I came here,” she said.

While exercise is great, some of her luck might also come from good genetics. Her aunt lived to be 99.

“I’m going to do that, too,” she said with a smile.

So the next time you talk yourself out of exercise because you feel tired or too old, remember what Audrey tells people who asks how she does it.

“I just to tell them they can if they want to,” she said.