Outside in

Winter weather doesn’t have to mean sitting on the couch

Created date

November 19th, 2019
Linda Blake enjoys an active lifestyle at Brooksby Village, where she participates in several group fitness classes and swims every week.

Linda Blake enjoys an active lifestyle at Brooksby Village, where she participates in several group fitness classes and swims every week.

As fall gives way to winter and the hours of sunlight shorten, it can feel like a long season to those who enjoy being active outdoors.

But for community members at Brooksby Village, the Erickson Living community in Peabody, Mass., winter months don’t have to mean deprivation from their favorite activities.

Just ask Linda Blake, who moved to Brooksby from East Kingston, N.H., in August 2018. 

“Brooksby has so much to offer,” says Linda. “I have a life here I wouldn’t have if I still lived in my house.”

Always on the go

Linda participates in several of Brooksby’s group exercise classes, including Get Up and Get Fit, Smooth Moves, Boot Camp, Drum Fit, and Yoga. She swims a mile in the indoor swimming pool every Sunday. And she walks everywhere she can via Brooksby’s climate-controlled walkways, which connect every building on campus.

“When I get up in the morning, I don’t have to worry about rain or snow or ice,” says Linda. “My days are full regardless of what’s happening with the weather.”

Linda’s active lifestyle is a continuation of the life she enjoyed in New Hampshire, where walking and gardening were the mainstays of her exercise routine.

“When my husband passed away, I knew I needed a different situation,” says Linda. “We’d been receiving the Tribune each month, and that’s how I learned of Brooksby. I decided I’d like to look into it.”

After her initial visit, Linda joined the community’s priority list and scheduled a Live the Life overnight stay for late January 2018.

“I recommend the Live the Life experience to anybody who’s thinking about a move to Brooksby,” says Linda. “I spent two nights in one of the guest suites and was able to get a feel for what life is really like at the community. I swam in the pool, I participated in two group exercise classes—Get Up and Get Fit and Mat Stretch, I went to all the restaurants, and I met residents. It was amazing.”

Making the most of every day

Convinced that the lifestyle was one she could enjoy for years to come, Linda reserved a two-bedroom Franklin-style apartment home.

“I had a three-bedroom house on two acres in East Kingston,” says Linda. “It was wonderful, but I knew Brooksby was the right choice for my future. You live the best life you can for the moment. At Brooksby, I’m safe, I have friends, and I can be as active as I want to be. There aren’t a lot of extenuating factors, like repairs on the house or unpredictable weather, that can impact my plans.”

In addition to the group exercise classes, Linda also plays in two women’s billiards leagues, belongs to two cribbage clubs, and plays Scrabble. 

“We have over 100 resident-run clubs and activities at Brooksby Village,” says Barbara Lee, community resources coordinator. “Residents sharing their gifts and talents are the foundation of our rich activity program.”

The active nature of Brooksby’s campus carries on year-round, regardless of changing seasons.

During Linda’s first winter at the Peabody community, she was named the February 2019 fitness center’s member of the month for her consistent workout ethic.

“When I lived in New Hampshire, my siblings would call and I’d always be home,” says Linda. “Now they joke they have to schedule a time to talk with me. I stay busy each day, and I feel good. Brooksby is a great place to call home.”