January 19, 2023

Meet Charlene Watson: Director of Fitness

Category: Community

Author: bayview

What excited you about Bayview?

First of all, I was very excited to see a senior community with such a spacious and well-equipped Fitness Center. And the pool is amazing. But what really sealed the deal was meeting the residents and feeling SO welcomed and accepted from day one. I taught an “audition” class before I was hired, and 20+ residents attended! It was definitely the largest class I have taught in a senior living setting. It was so much fun, because the desire to move and be well was apparent in the room. I can always feel the difference between someone who works out because they WANT to vs HAVE to. It has been a blessing to get to know Bayview’s great residents and I’m honored that I can get to be a part of their day!

*Oh, and I didn’t hear that Bayview was non-profit until after I was hired, but that is a bonus for me also. I like knowing I am doing my part to make lives better, not just to make a shareholder or CEO rich. I have worked for both profit and not-for-profit companies, and the non-profits will always have my love.

Tell us about your role and vision for the Bayview community

I want our residents, staff and community members to regard our Fitness Center as the real thing, and not simply an exercise room in a senior living community. This means that the classes will be top-notch and well-prepared, the machines will be clean and well-maintained, and there will be a wide variety of equipment for all modes of exercise. I hope that if residents had a choice between the Thrive Fitness center and the gym down the street, they would choose to take classes with me. I also want to offer the same fun opportunities for staff – staff Zumba and yoga classes, as well as fitness consultations. I see that as a great team-building activity – departments getting fit together!

What does Thrive Fitness mean to you?

I’ve never considered someone’s fitness and wellness defined by just his/her age. Age is just a number. I don’t want anyone thinking just because they are x-years old, that life is over, and they have to give up on the activities they once loved. There is always a way to make what people love doing accessible to them, regardless of age, injury, condition or preference. Thrive is all about having fun, and refusing to let age limit us.

What is something you want our greater community to know about you?

I am a cancer survivor – I had uterine cancer just last year and had a hysterectomy in March.

I have a background in dance, so for me, movement is critical – but it’s also fun and rhythmic. I love music and listen to all genres. Outside of the teaching world, I am actually very shy, and I will keep to myself when I can.

My daughter is my life – I raised her alone from the time she was 4 years old… and she is now 18. I am an animal lover, and residents have been able to meet our pride and joy 4 month old Labrador retriever named Baila. Baila is Spanish for dance. But most of all, I live each day showing gratitude for all I have and all that is given to me. Each day is a blessing, and I am so thankful Bayview and its residents are now a part of my life.

To learn more about Fitness at Bayview, contact Charlene Watson, Director of Fitness, 206.281.5767 or cwatson@bayviewseattle.org

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11 West Aloha Street

Seattle, WA 98119

Phone: (206) 284-7330