If there were such a thing as Jazzercise Queen, Joan Bolman would reign over Crescent City.
Bolman began taking part in local classes when Chere Wier offered it 29 years ago. Now, the brand new octogenarian says the combination aerobics-exercise program helps keep her walking and gardening. There's something for everybody in this class, she says.
"This class keeps you in better shape," said Bolman, who celebrated her 80th birthday on April 26. "When I first started I had a big garden and I couldn't stand up when I got done. I started Jazzercise and I could walk out of there. I know it helps."
Bolman moved to Crescent City with her family in 1962. They weathered the tsunami and she graduated from Crescent Elk Middle School and, later, Del Norte High School.
"When we first moved here there were all kinds of lumber mills and logging trucks and now they're all gone," she said.
On Thursday, Bolman celebrated her birthday with her classmates at Sabina Renner's Jazzercise class. There were balloons and a fruit and vegetable platter, and a card proclaiming "We admire bad-ass women."
"You're our favorite," Renner said.
Renner said Bolman talked her into being an instructor more than 17 years ago. Jazzercise is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and is the only ongoing exercise program that's existed in Crescent City for more than 28 years, according to Renner.
Renner has been teaching Jazzercise at its current location on 3rd Street for about 10 years.
"The thing that I've learned about Joan, I hurt myself and she said, 'Sabina, you know you don't have to do high impact,'" Renner said. "'I've been doing low impact.' And look at her. I told her 'I want to be just like her when I grow up.'"
Crescent City Jazzercise is on Facebook. For more information, call (707) 954-7006. Renner says anyone can try it out for free.
For Bolman, who still has a big yard to work in and grows mostly flowers, Jazzercise "does it all."
"It's the best workout you can get," she said.
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