A sprightly 100-year-old Calgarian is proving it is never too late to take on a new challenge as she embarks on a new career path.
Rochelle Evans, born July 15, 1923, is a vibrant grandmother who seems to have discovered the secret to a long and fulfilling life. Evans resides with her granddaughter Madeline Leew and Madeline’s husband, Ian.
What sets Evans apart is her dedication to health, her quick sense of humour and her kindness. Most people who know her call her “Grandma.”
“We have a really special relationship,” said Leew. “We moved in together six years ago.
“I always told her that when I was older, she was going to live with me and here we are.”
Every morning, Evans heads downstairs for her daily exercise ritual.
She does 100 squats, wall push-ups, glute bridges and calf raises. Sometimes, she takes a break halfway through to have a coffee.
She is no stranger to working out, and when asked about her longevity, thinks movement might be a part of it.
“I’m not sure if I have the answer but, for all the years I worked, I walked to work and walked home,” said Evans. “Rain or shine. Or maybe I’m just lucky.”
Not only does she work out, she’s working for a living. At 100-years-old, Evans went back to work in part to restore her feeling of worth. Evans’ ambition impressed business owner Laura Frostad so much she couldn’t resist offering grandma a job.
“She takes the coats for our clients, she visits with them,” said Frostad, who owns Laura Brows. “She’s just bringing light and joy to everyone.
“A lot of the clients are saying they wish their grandma had something like this. As for the staff, they love seeing that she’s here. They enjoy talking with her.
“I’m disappointed that I didn’t think of something like this sooner. We need to acknowledge that you can have new chapters at every moment of your life.”
Currently Evans works up to four days a week at the studio. She’s enjoying the new routine and says it doesn’t feel like a job, but rather a “nice way to spend an afternoon.”
Leew says she looks forward to taking her in and picking her up from her shift.
“It’s just remembering that even as people get older, they still have lots to offer,” said Leew.
“She’s just so lively and I think everyone loves grandma, because she has no idea how amazing she is.”