Eileen Broomell and Mark Bryant: Inspiring Seniors to Stay Fit
Eileen Broomell: Still Kicking It Up at 90
She’s going on 91, but that’s not the reason Eileen Broomell of SeaTac continues to inspire others; it is because of her active lifestyle and positive thinking. Eileen is an educator, motivator and instructor.
Eileen teaches health, wellness and exercise classes at both the SeaTac and Burien Senior Centers, but she says the real recognition should go to the seniors who are motivated to keep moving and to stay fit.
“Breaking it down in numbers makes it all come to life,” says Eileen. “In the over 90 age group, there are two. In the exercisers ages 85 to 89 there are 10 and in the 75 to 79 group there are 10. No accommodations are made in expectations and participation for any age group,” she says of her classes, although she will spend time working out specific moves for aches and pains. “The 90-year-old is out there lifting an eight pound weight up to 40 times, as is the 58-year-old.”
Eileen goes on to say how proud she is of her groups. “Observing them morning after morning, I do not see “old people,” but see those with a spring in their step and a gleam in their eye. The give-back from them has kept me anxious to go to class each day.” Ever the motivator, Eileen concludes by saying, “Have you tried exercise and movement to see how much it can do, physically and mentally? Life is good, keep looking up – it’s good for the double chin!”
Eileen was the winner of Senior Services’ 2015 Inspire Positive Aging Award.
Mark Bryant: Certified Senior Fitness Instructor and Powerlifting Hall of Famer
At the age of 57, Mark Bryant has been involved in the sport of powerlifting for over 20 years. On March 5, 2016, he was inducted into the Washington State Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Strength Sport Hall of Fame and the Washington State USA Powerlifting Hall of Fame. Mark was the state’s Powerlifting Hall of Fame inaugural recipient and is the only amateur athlete in the state of Washington awarded both honors.
What is remarkable about his story is that in 2008 Mark had a total hip replacement. In spite of his doctor advising him to be cautious in powerlifting, his passion drove him to train and complete just five months later. Then, when the door opened for him to qualify and compete for the 2015 AAU World Powerlifting Championship in Las Vegas, he was ready. Mark competed in the deadlift. His final lift was 407 pounds, which gave him first place and the world championship.
Mark describes his success as one of faith, courage and discipline.
Mark’s dedication and drive sets an example to others to never give up on what you love. For over ten years he has worked as the Enhance Fitness Coordinator at the Southeast Seattle Senior Center, where he teaches a variety of senior fitness classes. The seniors are very inspired by his accomplishments and his passion for fitness. Mark serves as an inspiration for people of all ages. He coaches boxing and teaches strength training to boys, girls and young adults. He also volunteers at the Union Gospel Mission.
Mark has attracted attention from numerous media outlets, which helps him in his goal of motivating others. “I wish I could reach and inspire more people – the young and the old – on how important it is to be mentally, physically and spiritually balanced,” said Mark.
Bull Stewart, president and founder of the Washington State Hall of Fame and 15 time world powerlifting champion, says, “Mark Bryant is an ambassador for powerlifting in the Pacific Northwest and I am honored to induct him into the AAU Washington State Hall of Fame.”
The AAU Hall of Fame award is only given to those with a highly distinguished career as a drug free competitor on the national and international levels, and to those with “integrity, sportsmanship and character.”