Growing Bolder means embracing what’s possible as we age. We try to inspire everyone, of every age, to know that more is possible. While there are definitely age-related struggles with every age, it is possible to live a fun, exciting, rewarding, meaningful life into our 80s, 90s, and even 100s.
We’ve found the very best way to convince people that it is possible is through the examples of ordinary people who are doing it. Which is why we seek out and share the stories of those we call our “Rock Stars of Aging.”
At Growing Bolder Day, presented by the Senior Resource Alliance, we brought together four Rock Stars of Aging at the Center for Health and Wellbeing to form a panel and inspire a live audience to pursue their passions, lean into life and get the most out of their later years.
Learn about all four of our Central Florida Rock Stars of Aging below and get inspired to make the rest of your life the best of your life!
Stephanie Walsh, better known online as “Ms. Stephanie”, is a social-media-sensation thanks to her dance videos on Instagram and TikTok. Some of her videos have more than 10 million views!
She’s been featured on Growing Bolder, Upworthy, ESPN, Newsweek, and many other national media outlets and says she’s used dance to overcome hard times and continue embracing life as she’s aged.
Now 75 years old, Ms Stephanie dances weekly at Fusion Fitness Dance Club with an eclectic mix of people of all ages, ethnicities, sizes, shapes and abilities.
Jumpin’ Joe Johnston
Jumpin’ Joe Johnston is one of the greatest masters pole vaulters in history. He has held multiple age world records and won dozens of national and world championships.
Now 78, after numerous injuries and joint replacements, he’s still winning National Championships. And he doesn’t just pole vault, he is a multi-event athlete. A world-ranked hurdler and high jumper and a national champion in the 7-event heptathlon.
Pole Vaulting is so important to his daily life that he built, pretty much by himself, “The Joe Dome” — his own backyard pole vaulting facility. And when that wasn’t enough, he and his wife Janet recently added a 6,000 square foot indoor pole vaulting addition to their home which they share, along with Joe’s coaching, free of charge with anyone that wants to pole vault.
Jean Banas, is 92-year-old renowned artist — an abstract expressionist, whose provocative work covers topics like war, slavery, civil rights, sexual abuse, human injustice and more. Her work is in museums, galleries, and private collections worldwide.
Jean recently lost her beloved husband Raymond but continues to paint with passion:
Working, experimenting, and evolving in her studio daily.
Sara Van Arsdel
Sara Van Arsdel is the embodiment of determination. In fact, she has a tattoo of Chinese characters that represent that very word on her left shoulder. It is through determination that she has learned to not just survive but also thrive in the aftermath of challenge including the death of her beloved husband Bob, who contracted COVID during the pandemic which led to pneumonia and a rapid decline.
Through her grieving process, Sara came to the Crosby Wellness Center at the Center for Health and Wellbeing, in Winter Park, FL, more than 4 days a week. She was in her 60s and had never really worked out before. But found a positive outlet in strength training, and cardio programs like rowing and boxing.
She lost 20 pounds and found not just the physical strength but the emotional strength to move forward and continue extracting JOY from her daily life.