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Even with Climate Change...ya need wood!

Catharine Rose, at 99, keeping active outdoors this summer


Hi there, Leigh Graham here. I thought it was time for you to see what inspiration lies in my day-to-day interfaces as a personal exercise coach.

I’ve started a ‘client feature’ interview series to bring you in to an amazing world of fitness in all its forms. You’ll see new clients featured in my blog at regular intervals throughout the year. Maybe YOU will soon be one…!

I enjoy training people of all ages and stages, and wanted to share a special person with you that has been training with me for over a year.
Meet Catharine Rose. Having recently turned 99, Catharine is an enigma. Let’s find out some of the secrets to her success….

L: Cal, what motivates you to keep moving and stay active every day?
C: I like to keep busy and execute tasks, get out and see family, enjoy the outdoors, and go shopping.

L: What would you say is your greatest achievement through exercise?
C: Living on my own, and having my independence.

L: How did you manage to stay fit all of these years?
C: I have been active in all sports~ especially swimming and curling. I have also enjoyed golf and walking.

L: Last year you broke a hip then rehabilitated it in a third of the time the doctors expected. How?
C: When they told me it would take 3 months, I told them I had to be out in a month and that I would take all the physiotherapy they would give me. I did exercise 2-3 times per day.

L: What advice would you give to those who are having difficulty starting a fitness regime?
C: Take it slow at first, and then increase the exercises. Also, don’t compete with anyone but yourself; do the best you can for now, then gradually just a little bit better.

L: What are you most proud of being able to do at this stage of life?
C: Being able to do things for myself.

L: What are you grateful for?
C: My health, my family, and my love of music.

L: What are you looking forward to?
C: My 100th Birthday!

L: Tell me about the wisdom and necessity of having a Plan B.
C: Sometimes things do not go as planned, but always have a second plan so that you can achieve what you wanted to do.

L: Tell me about your practice of never judging others but always listening.
C: When speaking with someone, always let them finish. Then, if you have some comment, speak up. This way, you can have a real conversation.

L: Tell me about one of your favourite expressions: ‘Do more of what works….do less of what doesn’t’.
C: This way you get things done. Simple as that.

As you can see, I am blessed to not only be the teacher and coach, but also to bask in the wisdom and inspiration of my clients, working hard to achieve new milestones every day, regardless of age or ability. I hope you’ve been inspired too!


Cal Rose 2

Catharine ‘Cal’ Rose sporting her favourite drink!


  • December 9, 2015 Reply

    Kim McDonald

    Cal is my gram and we have met at her place. This a beautiful piece and captures every essence of my gram. I admire and love her endlessly. I aspire to keep her drive as a part of me forever. She is an inspiration to all to remember to live life very day to its fullest. Thank you for your words.

    • December 9, 2015 Reply

      Leigh Graham

      Thanks Kim! We can definitely all learn from her approach to life. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t! Start slow and increase gradually from there. Last but not least….LISTEN and learn always. 🙂

  • December 9, 2015 Reply

    Patricia Sands

    Truly inspirational! Having begun a career as a published author in my sixties, Cal is an inspiration to me as I plan to keep writing for at least thirty more years. Thanks for this post!

    • December 9, 2015 Reply

      Leigh Graham

      Thanks. That’s terrific. Yes! We can shoot for things we may never have dreamed of without trailblazers such as Cal. 🙂

  • December 24, 2015 Reply


    Cal has been a role model and a friend for over 50 years.
    I love you Cal

  • January 18, 2018 Reply

    Leigh Graham

    We lost our beautiful Catharine late last year. I wrote this little piece about her following her peaceful passing.

    The earth lost a phenomenal one yesterday. Cal Rose was the most inspirational person I have ever met. Though I started off teaching her fitness when she was 98 years old (and continued until two months ago, just shy of her 101st birthday), she taught me more about life in return; how to live it purposefully, with integrity, kindness, a listening ear, and always laughter. She was so elegant, dignified, strong, determined, smart, real, down-to-earth, funny and insightful. Everything one could hope to be. Funny, I always forgot she was older. And not by just a little bit either. One day, after years of knowing Cal and developing a close friendship, I came over before she had a chance to get her teeth (dentures) in. I burst out laughing. ‘You look old” I blurted out. She burst out laughing too. “Oh shush” she said. Truth be told, she just didn’t seem old in any way. What an unbelievable example she was of what is possible for us. I will always treasure the friendship Catharine and I had. We were real buds. Though I will really miss seeing her, I am so grateful to have known this beautiful, incredible woman.

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