WCW - Christie Thomas

I met Christie for the first time at the WMC Project in North Carolina in September 2017.  She instantly impressed me.  Christie is from the DC area and is a little ball of positive energy.  She is an amazing mover and celebrates her age (she's in her 50's) by honoring her mind, body and strength.   Christie is a parkour enthusiast, yoga instructor, gentle hearted, strong woman with an open mind, who also seems to some solid love for hip hop and Kendrick Lamar.  

Christie may be tiny, but her strength, power, and fierceness should not be underestimated... actually, no woman (or person) should be underestimated, but seriously... Christie though....  See her move and check out why she is our #wcw of the week!

Get to know Christie!

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What do you do?

I'm a certified yoga instructor and I teach a fitness class called Smart Moves designed to help seniors with their fitness goals by working on their balance, cognitive skills, and proprioception where they are encouraged to bring these functional movements to their everyday lives.

What else do you do?

I just finished the ADAPT Level 1 parkour certification.

 

How do you define the word 'strength'?

Strength has many meanings to me. It could mean being strong enough to force out a smile even if you're having a bad day, to conquering a physical feat.

Depending on what situations/circumstances  come up in your daily life and how you react to them. To me, it basically means to move forward whatever life may throw at you and to try to react to it in a positive way as best you can.

 

How did you discover your passion?

I was doing a workout that had yoga as part of the program and remembered how flexible I used to be growing up. Thinking it would be fairly easy for me, but was wrong. So I made it a goal to try to practice everyday until I was comfortable doing it without being sore the next day.

Then one day a friend of mine told me she just completed her Yoga Teacher Training and that one of my neighbors was opening up a studio and doing a Yoga Teacher Training program. The rest is history.

As for parkour. I made it a point for my sons to try it after I was handed a brochure by one of the instructors. It took about a year before I had a go at it. I've been hooked ever since.

 

How do you incorporate movement into your daily lifestyle?

My schedule is pretty sporadic and since I've always been into movement, I make sure I make time to squeeze any kind of movement in my day.  It's important to me.

Be it doing my yoga practice, getting a little run/trot with the dog (I'm not much of a runner), or making a point to do parkour every Wednesday with the local meet up group and one of the days over the weekend... I just find a way to do it.

 

What do you recommend for someone starting out?

Look at your schedule for the week. There has to be between 10-30 min free time. If you can only do 10 min of sun salutations to get the heart rate up and a good stretch, do that.

You can do that while you have something simmering over the stove or while you're watching tv. Who ever said you had to sit and stay still while doing that?

If you want to do parkour, you can either find a gym/meet up group and start there or just go outside and observe what you have around you. Some people may not want to start outside so look at what you have in your house.

Ask yourself, can I do a little hop or quick step up on that curb or step? Can I balance on the edge of this step with the balls of my feet for a minute?...2 min?...challenge yourself on how long you can do that. How long can I stay in a quadrapedal (both hands and feet) position.

One of the reasons why I love parkour is that it is an individualistic and creative practice. We all have to start somewhere so baby steps are always acceptable.

 

How do you define 'fitness'?

At the WMC event Julie Angel mentioned that we are all able.   That stuck with me.

Fitness to me would be strong enough and able enough to do functional movements in your everyday life.

 

Where do you see the future of the fitness?

I hope the future of fitness will be featuring more people ages 45+ and beyond.

Working with people in that demographic has made me realize that there are a good amount of them (us) out there that are kicking butt, have so much to give to our community and are just as great and driven as the younger folks..... And I'm not saying that just because I'm in that demographic. ;)

 

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Does movement increase your self-confidence? If yes, how?

I believe it does.

For me, I think the more I move, the more I feel better about myself. The more I feel better about myself, the more I want to challenge myself. And if I conquer those challenges it boosts my self confidence even more.

I not only see it in myself but for those that have not been active until they were in their 60s.

Something as simple as putting on their pants while standing or walking up a flight of stairs with ease has really boosted their self confidence since they've started moving regularly.

 

How do you define 'fitness'?

At the WMC event Julie Angel mentioned that we are all able.   That stuck with me.

Fitness to me would be strong enough and able enough to do functional movements in your everyday life.

 

Where do you see the future of the fitness?

I hope the future of fitness will be featuring more people ages 45+ and beyond.

Working with people in that demographic has made me realize that there are a good amount of them (us) out there that are kicking butt, have so much to give to our community and are just as great and driven as the younger folks..... And I'm not saying that just because I'm in that demographic. ;)

 

Does movement increase your self-confidence? If yes, how?

I believe it does.

For me, I think the more I move, the more I feel better about myself. The more I feel better about myself, the more I want to challenge myself. And if I conquer those challenges it boosts my self confidence even more.

I not only see it in myself but for those that have not been active until they were in their 60s.

Something as simple as putting on their pants while standing or walking up a flight of stairs with ease has really boosted their self confidence since they've started moving regularly.

 

What advice do you wish you could have given your former self?

Listen to your body and warm up first.  Don't wait for Christmas or any special occasion to give yourself a gift of movement. Start today.

 

 

What motivates the crap out of you? (quote, music, people, sport, etc)

Music has always motivated me to move. Not one song in particular though.

I also like to surround myself with positive people that generate good energy and are easily able to motivate me by simply saying "You can do it or just try." Usually if I think it looks fun or a bit challenging, I'll go for it.

I also made up my own motto that movement has no age limit so start moving and keep moving.

 

Dani Almeyda

Women's Movement Collaborative, 101 South Main Street, Suite 221, Fuquay Varina, NC, 27526