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‘She’s the best’: Redmond trainer nominated nationally for motivating seniors – and gets same in return

(Update: adding video, comments from trainer, member)

Lift from her class helped Teresa Brown in her battle against breast cancer

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Trainer Teresa Brown motivates her members to be their best, and has gratefully received the same treatment in return.

She is the fitness coordinator for the Redmond Area Parks and Recreation District and was nominated for the Silver Sneakers Instructor of the Year award.

She pours her heart and soul into keeping her senior citizen members in good shape -- and she’s done it all while battling breast cancer.

“I enjoy hearing the success stories of everybody who comes,” Brown said.

She runs the Silver Sneakers class at the Redmond Senior Center, and out of 750 instructors nationwide was named a top five finalist for Instructor of the Year.

“I was shocked at the beginning,” Brown said. 

If you ask her members, like Tom McEneany, the nomination wasn’t shocking at all.

“She’s the best!” McEneany said. “She has a wonderful, inviting spirit. She shares from her own personal life.”

Sharon Lanier, another member, agrees.

“She’s our instructor, but I see her as more of a coach,” Lanier said. “Because coaches inspire and motivate, and that is what Teresa is for me.”

Brown’s class works on balance and coordination, with the goal of staying in good enough mental and physical shape to continue to live independently. 

She admits that motivating these seniors is her strength.

“Well, not to toot my own horn or anything, but I love to push them to their full potential,” Brown said. “I like to, by challenging them, it encourages them to go just a little bit further than they did.”

Lanier enjoys the motivation. 

“Teresa does such a good job making sure it's personal and individual and really motivating us,” Lanier said. “Wherever we are is where we need to be.”

McEnamy had a ton of high praise.

 "We don’t only exercise -- she makes it really fun,” McEnamy said. “She is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had in my life.”

In the past year, Brown leaned on the class for her own well-being. 

“I have gained a lot. I mean, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2022, but by continuing to teach classes, helped me to still feel connected,” Brown said. 

She thanks her members for taking care of her as much as she’s taken care of them.

“This group is more than I could have ever asked for in a group of people in a class,” Brown said. “It’s so wonderful to see everybody come together and just be so invested in their health and fitness. It really warms my heart.”

Brown did not win that Instructor of the Year award, but many of her members said she deserves every award and every word of praise that comes her way.

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Noah Chast

Noah Chast is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Noah here.


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