She called us on Monday morning from her home in Louisiana to express her eagerness to be featured in the STAR as a fitness buff who was doing quite well for her age. At first there was a brief back and forth as to why she hadn’t contacted us while on vacation here during the Christmas holidays, perchance to also grace our studios for a photo shoot. Then the conversation lightened up to how much she missed home, in spite of her successes in the United States. Ground provisions and Looshan bananas were what she missed most.
And so this week the STAR features a woman of style, colour, beauty, brains and fitness who just happens to be over the forty age mark. But you couldn’t tell, judging by her joie de vivre and her playful youthfulness that oozed even over my smart phone. Theodora Henry, who was born in Saint Lucia, tells us that she has always had a zeal for physical activity and fitness.
“Later in life when I became a teacher at the La Croix Maingot School I made a move towards physical education and health,” she told the STAR. Henry, after becoming a qualified teacher here, migrated to the United States for University studies. From 2010 she majored in physical education for her first degree and a year later graduated with a Masters. And after teaching for a year at university as a fitness director, she graduated with a second Masters, this time in administration.
Henry now holds a Masters degree in Kinesiology, which is the scientific study of human movement, another in Sport Administration and is currently pursing a doctoral degree in Psychology in the area of Health and Fitness. At the moment she lectures at her university.
For Henry her fitness raison d’etre is to “live long and healthy”. “I run a lot, I use my own body weight for exercise and fitness routines and I sometimes use dumbbells”, she said. When asked about her eating habits she revealed that she had no secret dietary regime: “I do my best to eat healthily and I don’t do fast foods or carbonated drinks. But other than that I eat just about everything including meats.
The trick is to burn as many calories as you put in and to be constantly active,” she stated. “I am not a nutritionist so I tell people I cannot advise on that and what works for me may not work for you. I can advise on workouts and fitness routines, however,” Henry explained. Asked about her message to women, in particular, in maintaining a healthy lifestyle she replied: “Be aware that your body is like a machine. If you keep oiling its parts with plenty of physical activities and exercise, and on top of that a proper dieting programme, it will take you places.”
Henry wants people to be aware that age is just number, and that if they do not start taking care of themselves at an early age, with time will come a natural wear and tear and added health problems. “The body is adaptable. If you train it and give it the things it needs, it will respond accordingly. At forty-plus, with my physical prowess, I can still provide some form of serious athletic competition to people who are half my age. My purpose is to remain fit and healthy and I am not backing down for anything.”