Barb and Tony Bresina started with Hotova CrossFit’s Active program in the fall. They are going strong, growing in consistency, and staying committed. 69-year-old Tony and 68-year-old Barb are actually neighbors of the Tonev family, owner-coaches at Hotova CrossFit. “We met over the fence and got to talking,” Barb explained. From there, the relationship and the new fitness plan took off.
The Bresinas are both retired from careers in education. Tony worked 32 years in maintenance for St. Michael-Albertville Schools and Barb was a special education paraprofessional for two decades in the Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose school district. They have two grown daughters; one lives in Denver and the other is in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. The Bresinas are proud grandparents to their three-year-old grandson and are getting ready to welcome two more grandbabies in late spring of 2018. “When we don’t make it to class, it’s because we have to go out of town to help with our daughter’s doctor’s appointments and the help she needs getting ready for the babies,” Barb said.
Love of children may have been the real hook for the Bresinas to Hotova. CrossFit kiddo Mikko has become a close buddy of Tony’s. “I’ll give you one guess how we ended up at Hotova,” Barb laughed. “I think those two down there dangled Mikko in front of my husband!” Tony doesn’t deny it. He admits Dean really encouraged Tony, asking him if he could do a squat and discovering he barely could.
Joining Hotova CrossFit’s Active program was a huge change for Tony who had “never exercised other than basic training.” Barb, on the other hand, had been a member of Curves for years, and, after it closed, she joined Anytime Fitness, but said she did not enjoy it. “Everyone was plugged into their little earbuds and there wasn’t much social interaction to it,” Barb complained. “I was just at loose ends and I knew I needed that social impact.
“We like the camaraderie and the positive environment,” Barb went on. “We get strokes from the other members, the ‘come on, come on, you can do it!’” The couple agrees there is strength in the group, and they enjoy working out together. Tony and Barb typically attend the 7:30 p.m. Active class on Mondays and Wednesdays, and they shoot for Fridays, too. Barb says her primary motivation is just to stay in shape and be flexible, “to be able to get up and down from the floor!” Tony agrees flexibility is huge. He is also working to build core strength and balance. Another goal for him is to consistently eat breakfast. It may seem small, but Tony said it’s a habit he never developed, and he knows it will help how he feels and performs.
“We mostly have Melissa as our coach, and she is very, very good,” Barb said. “If you can’t, say, you are unable to do a burpee or get down to the floor, then she gets a box and makes accommodations. I like that it’s geared to each individual ability.” Melissa said, “Tony and Barb persevere in improving and conquering new movements. They never give up. They don’t let age hold them back.” (She also said they’re both very stubborn, Tony in particular, and Melissa often has to reign them in. But it’s fun to witness their drive and enthusiasm!)
Barb is aware she and Tony are more senior members of the gym, but she embraces it. She said it’s easy to feel like they belong, because, at the box, “I like that everyone there doesn’t look like they’ve stepped out of a fashion magazine!”
In print or not, Barb and Tony are models for anyone considering a new fitness routine. “In the beginning, we were so sore, so sore!” Barb confessed. And who hasn’t felt that way? “While exercising, we think, ‘Oh, my God, I’m dying,’ but, on the way home in the car, you don’t feel like your tongue is hanging out,” she said. Their coach agreed. “They have come a long way in improving their range of motion and mobility,” Melissa encouraged.
Barb is proud to tell others what she’s doing now for fitness. “We’re getting the word out– we like it!” The coaches and community at Hotova CrossFit love having the Bresinas, too.