Meet Sam, Your SilverSneakers Ambassador

By Hayley Townsend |

Member of the Steadfast Turtles Walking Group and Advocate for Fitness for All.

SilverSneakers Ambassador, Sam, says that SilverSneakers is so much more than just a fitness benefit. She found a community of encouraging friends and ways to stay active that fit her fitness level.

Xiomara Olazagasti, or Sam as she prefers to be called, felt lonely after retiring and SilverSneakers offered her a chance to meet new people. When she went into work every day, Sam was able to share her life with co-workers, but once she retired, that comradery disappeared. SilverSneakers offered her an opportunity to get it back.

“Every day was the same [when I retired], but now with SilverSneakers, not every day is the same,” she says. “[SilverSneakers] has helped me to go and reach different people than what I was used to. I was used to my job. I’d go in and talk to the people there. The way I dealt with people is totally different than how I talk to them now.”

Sam has lots of friends and sees them throughout the week. From SilverSneakers classes to group events, she stays quite busy.

“We can exercise and have a sense of community,” she says. “We worry about someone if they’ve missed two classes. I think that’s really what I enjoy the most out of my classes.”

Sam participates in a walking group called the Steadfast Turtles. The group has all levels of walkers, she describes as the parts of a turtle. The fast-paced walkers are the head. The middle-of-the-road walkers are the shell and the slower-paced walkers bring up the tail.

“One of the best things about being there, it doesn’t matter [what fitness level you are]. You don’t have to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his heyday and work out all the time,” she says. “There are all different types. People have come in with their canes, with their walkers, with their home health aide to help them participate, which is great.”

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That is something Sam loves about SilverSneakers – it is truly for all fitness levels.

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