Caty Cook: All Things Are Possible

After a break last year to relocate from Richmond, VA to Pennsylvania to be closer to family, Caty Cook will be competing once again this year in the Adult 50+ Division. Currently retired from her business career, she teaches and trains with Roxanne Janecki at BYB Binghamton, NY studio, and also works part-time in merchandising at Home Depot.

Why is she competing? “It’s important for me to keep setting goals and competition is a good way to do that,” she says.
At age 58, she knows it is important just to keep moving. One of the many benefits of competing is that “you learn from other people that all things are possible and you don’t define yourself by your limitations. You are more accepting of yourself and others.”

Caty was first introduced to yoga in 2003. She was suffering from a variety of ailments, some brought on by work-induced stress, including depression, arthritis and lupus. A concerned friend brought her to Hot Yoga Richmond, and after just one class, Caty was hooked. In 2007, she attended teacher training in order to deepen her practice and bring the benefits to others.

“I felt a sense of accomplishment after the first class so I kept coming back, Caty explains. “There was such a goodness that I could not find anywhere. You have this mutual understanding of peace and serenity. It’s been such a blessing.”

Caty also gets inspiration from renowned yogi Mary Jarvis who taught her to listen to her body and accept it. Caty practices only hot yoga because she needs the heat for pain management and increased flexibility. “The pain just leaves my body with the heat,” she says.

Prior to taking up a dedicated yoga practice, Caty tried a variety of sports: aerobics, weight lifting and circuit training, but found these did not provide the same benefits. Her yoga practice is an active meditation and a discipline that keeps her focused and calm.

When she first tried competition in 2016, she was inspired by her fellow competitors at the Richmond studio. She saw how much fun they had in training and their comradery. She soon found that competition is a way to “lead by example and demonstrate that regardless of your physical or mental situation, the postures that resonate with you that you can do to the best of your ability can inspire others. It’s a good way to set goals, stay healthy, and it doesn’t matter how old you are.”

Like fellow competitor Leslie Heywood, Caty practices intermittent fasting, refraining from food for 12 hours at a time, with no eating after 7:00 or 8:00 pm. She starts her day with bullet coffee, and she kindly shared the recipe:

Caty Cook’s Bullet Coffee Recipe:

In a mug, add one tablespoon coconut oil, one teaspoon of butter, a little maple syrup (optional), ¼ cup coconut milk, cinnamon and nutmeg. Microwave for 30 seconds, then add a bit of coffee and blend using a hand blender or whisk. Then add the rest of your coffee. It is both filling and good for digestion!

Caty finds time for other hobbies as well. She likes to draw, paint, sewing, go fishing and camping, and renovate her Victorian era house. “I love to create,” she says. In addition, she does not shy away from new experiences. She completed the Jedi Fight Club last summer and had a great experience.

Her advice to fellow Adult 50+ competitors?

“Go for it! Life gets better the older you get. Set some goals for yourself. Be an inspiration for others. Share your story and let people know how you got there.”

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