May is: Older Americans Month

CommunityCare of Lyme is celebrating Older American Month’s theme of “Communities of Strength” by sharing an uplifting story each week

In a Blog post from Changing the Narrative, Janine Vanderburg states:

“Older adults have built resilience and strength over their lives through successes, failures, joys, and difficulties. Their stories and contributions help to support and inspire others.”

(Vanderburg, 2021)

This week we highlight the inspirational fitness regimes of Ernestine Shepherd and Jacinto Bonilla, both who inspire positivity and grit in their fitness communities. Each of these two fitness phenoms encourages others to workout and challenge what they think is possible.

First we meet Ernestine Shepherd. She travels the country doing motivational speaking on exercise, teaching fitness classes too!

Ernestine began her fitness journey at age 56, and at age 71 she won her first bodybuilding competition. Now she inspires others to get into fitness – whatever their age.

-BBC Three

Next we meet Jacinto. Jacinto celebrates his birthday by completing a challenging cross-fit workout. This work-out, now called the ‘Jacinto Storm’ is done at cross fit gyms all over in honor of his birthday. To celebrate another year, one rep is added to each exercise, all which need to be completed within a given time limit. That’s one way to earn your birthday cake!

Please enjoy these videos we are sharing this week from Barcroft Media and BBC Three.

Works Cited:

Barcroftmedia, et al. The 80-Year-Old CrossFitter | TRULY. YouTube, YouTube, Barcroft TV, 8 July 2019,

BBC Three . The 81-Year-Old Bodybuilder Who Inspires Others To Get Fit. Performance by Ernestine Shepherd, YouTube, YouTube, 17 Mar. 2018,

If you have an inspirational story you’d like us to share, please reach out to 

Shelby Wood
Manager of Program Development
CommunityCare of Lyme