By: AMFC Staff
Nominated by her daughter, AMFC member Jennifer Soule
At 91, my mother, Leone Kayl, may be the oldest active member at Avera McKennan Fitness Center; she was a charter member even before the center was built. Yet age does not definer her – health and wellness do!
My mother has long been my fitness hero and I have often heard that she is an inspiration to many others. I am the oldest of six. An early memory of mine is of Mom, pregnant, and still insisting on a daily walk with me trailing behind. Walking was what you did, even if you’d been working on your feet all day. She quite naturally modeled wholeness of body, mind and spirit for us before such practices were popular in mainstream culture.
Mom has fun with fitness, meeting her friends in Senior Circuit and celebrating birthdays after class. She embodies joyful, healthy living through her devotion to exercise and willingness to change with the decades, accommodating physical changes. She believes in moderation; she’s the master of “two bites”, and avoids processed foods, eating across all food groups with nary a fruit or vegetable that she doesn’t like.
Maintaining an active mind is vital to Mom. She’s passed her love of reading and learning on to her children and continues to inspire us through her love of her book club, Ollie classes and willingness to learn new technologies – just to name a few. She loves and embraces new experiences – meeting new people, travel, and trying new recipes, colors, wines or flowers in her garden.
Leone knows how to downshift and relax with friends and family. Her willingness to listen and be there for others is a rare gift. Her soul is fed by a faith which is big enough and loving enough for her to be receptive to other’s beliefs too. She cherishes her decades-long church home of Augustana Lutheran and her mother’s devotional book begins Leone’s day.
A well-rounded, healthy woman for all seasons, Mom continues to enjoy life and inspire people of all ages to live the good life she relishes every day at the Fitness Center, in her neighborhood, reading a book, attending a church, or feeding her family – the secret ingredient in all her endeavors is love of all.
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