92-year-old fitness instructor still going strong

June 11, 2013 2:34:14 PM PDT
Inside the Morristown Town Hall they're moving, stretching, and sweating it out with Irene Phelan.

She's a gym teacher who always wears a dress and leads four classes a week for seniors.

"You know what, there's a need for it and I'm glad I can contribute," Phelan said.

Well, Irene's done more than contribute. She's been teaching fitness classes for seniors in Morristown since 1970.

She has the background for it with a degree in physical education.

After her eighth child headed off to elementary school, she began teaching gym at that school and did so for 40 years, until she retired at 90.

All the while she taught these classes and she's got a following.

"1992 I started and I think I'm the oldest one, except for her," an exerciser said.

"If you're feeling down, she'll always lift you up, it's my second year coming here, and I've enjoyed every moment of it," another participant said.

"If you keep busy you are going to keep going and you just feed off of each other," another woman said.

"They're my inspiration. They really are when they respond the way they do, as you can see," Phelan said.

They participants respond to the music, old songs from Irene's record collection.

They are songs that take them back to a time before they were even born. "I'm older than, well I'm older than all of them so," Phelan said.

Indeed. Irene turns 93 on Thursday!

"She is making a difference, and that's what I think everyone wants in their life to make a difference," an exerciser said.

She plans to continue doing so.

"I get such a great response, even if I wanted to stop, I couldn't," Phelan said.