Beloit fitness instructor doesn’t let age hold her back

Beloit fitness instructor doesn’t let age hold her back

At 88-years-old, Dolores Steil is still going strong.

Positioned at the front of the gym at the Stateline Family YMCA in Beloit, she leads senior citizen fitness classes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning.

“I’ve always been active. I just do!” Steil said. “You put one foot in front of the other and keep going.”

A steady group of around 25 people attend Steil’s fitness classes, and many are much younger than she is.

“I thought, ‘Well, I can do this, and this older person, I can keep up with her,'” Margie Meinzer said. “But I cannot keep up with her. I can only try.”

Fitness students said they enjoy going to Steil’s class because she greets everyone and treats them like family.

“She’s special because she’s concerned about all her students, and I just love her,” 85-year-old Connie Clayton said.

Even though Steil is older, she doesn’t let her students slack.

“Well, no matter what your age is, you’ve got to keep active,” she said.

“It looks easy, but it’s really not. It’s very good,” Meinzer said.

In addition to teaching her fitness class, Steil also works out on her own six days a week.

“I work on the treadmill upstairs, and I do have arthritis in my knees, I do some of the machines that strengthen your knees,” she said.

Even when it gets tough, Steil keeps going.

“I have pain. I just work through it. You can’t just not use your limbs and everything because then you’re going to be stiff and you won’t be able to. You’ve got to keep moving them,” she said. “Sometimes it hurts, but eh. I’m 88, I’ll be 89 in August. I expect to have a little arthritis or something.”

Her hard work and determination inspire others to stay healthy.

“If she’s doing this at 88, I’m going to be doing this at 88,” Meinzer said with a laugh.

But for Steil, the class is about more than fitness.

“When we get older, we need people. Especially if you’ve lost your spouse or any close loved one,” she said. “It is such a big help to be out and among people, and most of them have experienced the same thing you have, and it is a big help. I keep telling them, they’re my life line.”

Steil said she wants to keep teaching fitness classes as long as she can and as long as the YMCA lets her in.