Today we’d like to introduce you to Vickie Aigner, Sophie Aigner.
Vickie, Sophie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Definitely! I think to tell you how Alive, Fit & Free has come about is to tell you a little bit about where I come from, so here goes. I have been a passionate health advocate my whole life, adopting a natural lifestyle at a young age and healing myself naturally from cervical cancer at the age of 25. After being widowed at the age of 47 with 5 kids still at home, I turned my passion into a career as a health and wellness professional. I became an ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer and have worked over the last 15 years with various senior residence facilities, corporations, and individuals as a Personal Trainer, Health and Wellness Coach, and Nutritional Coach.
During this time, I realized how few accessible fitness options are available for seniors and became passionate about creating widely-accessible wellness classes for ALL people that help them live their best life full of health, vim, and vigor – no matter what age they are or what their physical abilities may be. In November 2019, I partnered with my daughter Sophie Aigner to evolve Alive, Fit & Free into a full-service adaptive wellness community, offering a judgement-free community and a diverse range of classes for individuals of any age or ability, whether confined to a chair or with the freedom to use their whole bodies – and that’s what we’re building now!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Definitely not! I don’t know if you would find any business owner that hasn’t seen a struggle! For Alive, Fit & Free, the biggest struggle was going from one-person consultant to implementing a much bigger, scaleable vision. In fact, the process is still ongoing and there is still a lot to do, but it’s a good struggle – one that keeps us excited to keep moving forward every day.
Please tell us about Alive, Fit & Free.
Alive, Fit & Free is an adaptive wellness community for any age or ability and we host classes and events that keep you connected and energized.
With our adaptive wellness community, our aim is to provide you with an affordable, supportive community where you can feel completely free to be yourself and live your life alive, fit & free. We don’t believe that people should be confined only to the local physical resources they have around them in their local neighborhood, which is why our community is a virtual community. Social isolation and loneliness have tormented seniors and those with unique abilities for decades. We believe that this should not be the case – in the 21st century, there should be a way to use technology to build a thriving virtual community which brings social engagement and human interaction as well as learning options and engaging classes made specifically for YOU! That’s exactly what we offer at Alive, Fit & Free – you can meet like-minded people, connect with other people all around the world, while participating in engaging classes of all types – all from the comfort of your own home. We now host live virtual classes for individuals looking for a place to connect in a judgement-free community, senior residences looking to get their residents energized and engaged, and communities with unique abilities looking for classes that are impactful and effective for them.
All of our classes and events are uniquely tailored to our community. All of our classes contribute to building a strong healthy foundation & mindset to help you live the lifestyle you want, without limitations, and we believe that a supportive community is a key piece of that, so all of our classes highlight social engagement as a key feature. All of our classes are adaptive, which means we offer both seated and standing variations.
A few examples of our most popular weekly classes are:
Energy Up Adaptive Fitness – Our energy up system is a specialized combination of moves drawing from Naam 5, which comes from Naam Yoga, and regular fitness and aerobic moves. It is an upbeat cardiovascular workout that helps to maintain a healthy heart rate, good circulation, and enhance overall energy levels. It helps to relieve stress, depression and anxiety, improve your health, and gives you a beautiful glow. It is great for all levels and is by far our most popular class!
Memory Muscle Flex – This specialized 30-minute class is full of movement patterns and music that stimulate the brain, body-mind connection, and balance and coordination to awaken various aspects of our memory and thought processes. This class is designed to specifically target those with memory loss or brain injuries, although we can all benefit from it! The music and patterns are fun and upbeat and adaptable for all abilities.
Easy Tai Chi – Qigong – This is a stationary style of Tai Chi for all ages that incorporates breathing with gentle simple movement to promote relaxation, improve circulation, stimulate neural pathways in the brain, strengthen core muscles, and build muscle stamina. Easy Tai Chi was developed specifically for Parkinson’s patients. Because the moves are stationary, it is an ideal form of exercise for anyone that has balance issues. This class is a great way to get introduced to tai chi.
We also offer various non-movement classes, such as Fire Up Your Brain – a fun hour of games you play with other participants, and Creative Writing – a new workshop we are starting led by an experienced author, and we will be constantly adding new classes for the foreseeable future!
We are also VERY excited for the launch of our Explore & Experience Series, which definitely sets us apart from anything currently being offered in the market. In Explore & Experience, we partner with guest hosts to bring you the tastes, sights, traditions, and intricacies of cultures around the world – which can be experienced from the comfort of your own home as an online workshop. We created Explore & Experience because we believe that in this day & age, we shouldn’t have to get on an airplane to explore other countries & cultures & connect with amazing people around the world.
We had our first Explore & Experience workshop on August 22nd and it was so amazing – we explored Indonesian culture through one of the country’s oldest art forms – traditional dance, with our guest host Mbak Tika. We discovered the country’s natural wonders, learned a few dance moves ourselves, and saw a live performance from our host before ending with a live Q&A. What stood out the most was how impactful it was for participants to be able to connect directly with our Indonesian guest host throughout the workshop. I think that people don’t realize that the magic of a place comes from its people and that we can actually recreate the magic of travel by connecting with people from that place. That’s what we have created with Explore & Experience and we are so excited to continue growing this series.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I believe that every step you have taken, whether “right” or “wrong”, led you to exactly where you are today. There is no sense in having regrets – only learning from past experiences and using those learnings to inform your future.
That being said, the only thing I would have done differently is to have had the confidence and belief in myself to do those things which I envisioned earlier – it took a while for me to jump off the cliff, so to speak, but you just have to take the leap and get things moving!
- For individuals: Any individual can join any of our live classes for $5 a class! Just go to https://alivefitandfree.com/class-schedule/, pick a class, and sign up! We are also piloting a subscription model, where individuals can pay for our monthly subscription and receive unlimited access to all classes. If you are interested in joining the pilot, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are in the process of building a proprietary platform where we can host a much larger community even outside of classes, so stay tuned for this!
- For senior residences and communities: Senior residences can sign up on a per class basis or choose any of the class packages we offer: 2 class package 4 class package Unlimited package – we are really excited about this new offering, where a senior residence can offer unlimited to access to all of our classes to ALL of their residents, completely personalizing their activities program Senior residences can email us at email@example.com for free demos and pricing information!
- Address: 125 E Guadalupe Rd. #255
Gilbert Az. 85234
- Website: Website: https://alivefitandfree.com/
- Phone: 4804587497
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Instagram: www.instagram.com/alivefitandfree/
- Facebook: Facebook: www.facebook.com/alivefitandfree/
- Other: Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_M-_ZY_RdacJwfX4aioDpw/featured
Joanne West Photography