Don and Jenifer Pichinson are two of MRC Mirador’s many active & agile residents. They faithfully practice Tai Chi and yoga, along with other activities. As a young girl, Jenifer Pichinson lived an active lifestyle spontaneously, as children do. Playing red rover with the neighborhood kids, swimming and dancing… movement was easy and natural.
As Jenifer grew older and went off to college, she had other things on her mind. While Jenifer attended swim club and took a modern dance class or two, she and her peers headed in a new direction. Their focus shifted toward things like home, family, and children. These topics brought many other concerns and excitement, so fitness wasn’t much of a priority.
“In my forties, I looked in the mirror and I thought ‘Gee whiz, I am out of shape!’” Jenifer explained.
Her husband Don Pichinson was conscious of himself as well, and together they both started exercising.
“We did local classes in aerobics at the time, and yoga, and this lasted for a good long while. Then Tai Chi came to town, and boy that was terrific!”
As far as a philosophy of fitness is concerned, the Pichinsons practice intuitive feeling and centering themselves. This goes along with mindfulness in a fitness practice and holistic wellness.
“We do practice some Tai Chi now just from our memories, but we have other opportunities here at MRC Mirador via Zoom and Skype. I feel like we’re in better shape now, then maybe we were before! Isn’t that odd. But if we don’t use it, we’re going to lose it!”
Mrs. Pichinson makes sure to take account of what she experiences as she exercises. Questions such as “am I forcing things, or am I letting things fall naturally under the guidance of a teacher?” are at the forefront of her mind during a more strenuous stretch.
“I’ve hurt myself several times through forcing,” Jenifer shared.
“I wrote an apology to my body just to remind myself not to take my body for granted,” she continued, holding up an art piece based on the idea of a generous, healthy body. This piece was created by tearing cardboard freehand – with a kiss right on the belly of her dancing cardboard body.
“My body is a really great guide. If I feel something a little bit differently, if I’m hurting, I don’t let it go. I need to figure out what I’m doing and what my body’s doing, and how I can fix it. We have a good friendship, my body and I!”
Don and Jenifer take great enjoyment in the fitness classes offered at Mirador. Between the private gym, heated saltwater pool, and more than 14 fitness classes in Independent Living alone each week, residents have plenty of opportunities to take part in caring for their physical health.
“Since I’ve been at Mirador, I’ve really been aided in following the philosophical understandings that have come to me,” Jenifer paused, marveling at the support she experiences in these endeavors.
“Here we have classes taught by really knowledgeable people. They have a depth of understanding about how the body works, and how to teach you gradually, and they teach from their own experience. They don’t teach from a book; they teach from their heart, and that makes them really exceptional and compassionate teachers. We are privileged at MRC Mirador to have them, and I am grateful.”
Jenifer Pichinson noted that for beginners and the elderly, it’s crucial that Tai Chi is practiced more than once a week. Concluding her wellness journey, Mrs. Pichinson expressed gratitude for those at Mirador who have aided her experiences.
“It’s a happy road, but it’s not a road without obstacles. It’s no small thing. We’re glad we moved here!”
– Jenifer Pichinson, MRC Mirador Independent Living Resident