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But there are some Whistler locals who have made do all without any of that. Bunny Hume has been skiing in Whistler for over 40 years. She's been a full-time resident for 17 of these. She skis at least three times a week, and that's a bad week. She no longer takes jumps off the cornices or takes annual heli-skiing trips, but if the snow's good, she's up on that hill.
At 78, she's cackling with energy. The more time one spends with her, the clearer it becomes: she's positivity incarnate. Her husband Dick passed away suddenly in 2006 at age 73 and she decided to stay in Whistler, in the same house they shared in Blueberry, because she loves it. She loves the mountain air. She loves the people. Above all, she loves to stay active.
A fortunate by-product of this, of course, is that she's been able to stay in Whistler. As long as she stays physically and mentally active, she says she can keep renewing her season's ticket.
"That, I think, is the key," she says, sipping a cup of coffee at Burnt Stew Café in Function Junction. "When I go into town, people 10 years younger than me say, 'you should take it easy more.' Well, why, when I feel good? Why? And they don't see it."
Every Thursday (unless she's skiing), Hume takes part in Whistler's other MAC — the Mature Action Class, one of three seniors-oriented exercise classes at Meadow Park.
On a Thursday morning in late April, about 20 people between 55 and 80 turn out for Christine Suter's class. By all accounts, Suter's is the most intense. It's an hour and half of gruelling circuit exercise, the type that will give a moderately active 30-year-old aching glutes and very sweaty armpits. We're talking squats, lunges, sit-ups, spin cycling — you name it. The participants are impressively resolute — and flexible — for a group of any age. No one complains, except about the dance music but even these comments are kept to minimum. Sweat drips by the bucket full.
This class is booked solid every single week.
Suter, a spitfire personality with the biceps of a young triathlete, says that her classes are part of the seniors' weekly training sessions for the sport of the season. In April, the winter is melting away with a torrent of rains and their ski days are over. It's time to get on those bicycles.
"I get on them for not having proper form and they like that," Suter says. "They know that about me now. They can all do it. They're all strong and they can muscle through everything, in order to keep them living their active lifestyle."
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