Rutland senior training group resumes operations


RUTLAND, Vermont (WCAX) – When pandemic closures shut down seniors’ centers, Vermont’s aging population struggled to find human interaction. A training group in Rutland is now back and reaping the benefits of physical and emotional health.

Every Wednesday at 9:30 am, Marilyn Sheldon teaches the Fit and Fun class. “A lot of people who come to these classes are very active and know it’s important,” said Sheldon.

She doesn’t remember exactly when she started teaching this class, but says it must have been at least 25 years ago. One of those years was lost to COVID. “It was horrible. I hated it. I love moving around and I love interacting with all of these wonderful old people,” said Sheldon.

Mary Crowley used to belong to a local gym before the pandemic, she now attends Fit and Fun, Bone Builders and yoga class at Godnick Adult Center. “During COVID, everything stopped. It was terrible. I used to go shopping at 6 or 6:30 in the morning. Oh my gracious, it was awful! Crowley said. She says exercise is important, but the social aspect is just as beneficial. “We talk to people. There’s Roberta, she’s fun to talk to … It’s coming out.

“It’s a social event,” added Roberta Maltese. She looks after her husband at home and walks her dog, but says being active and being with others makes her feel better physically and mentally. “It really gave me new energy and it’s just nice to hang out with people you know and laugh.”

The center offers other exercise classes, games, workshops and crafts – something all older people can enjoy with others. “Sounds like you’re part of a family group,” Sheldon said.

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