This month, we’re highlighting Senior Planet trainer Debbie Peebles! Debbie is a scuba diving and tap dancing enthusiast based in Colorado, who re-entered the workforce with Senior Planet from AARP after realizing that retirement wasn’t the right fit for her.
What led you down the path to becoming a Senior Planet trainer?
I retired from my job as the manager of the customer training group for a major healthcare software company at the end of 2019 and went on my “dream” scuba diving vacation to Indonesia.
Shortly thereafter, the COVID pandemic arrived and I found myself restless and feeling like I wasn’t “done” yet. I decided that if I was going to go back to work, it had to be doing something I truly enjoyed and felt passionate about. OATS – Senior Planet was the perfect opportunity! I’ve loved meeting class participants from all walks of life and learning their stories.
Do you have any advice your find yourself sharing with class participants often?
I tell my participants I understand how they feel. The trepidation, the embarrassment, and the fear when you don’t understand the technology. I have been in their shoes. I didn’t study computers in school – My degree is in Interior Design. PC’s were a complete mystery to me! But I am also proof, that anyone can learn and figure it out.
My advice is #1 – YouTube is an amazing resource of “How To” videos. You can learn almost anything! And – of course – Senior Planet is a fantastic place to learn amongst people just like you! #2 – Go easy on yourself!! Remember that you didn’t grow up with an iPad (or smartphone, or laptop, etc.) in your hand like your children and grandchildren have. #3 – Don’t be afraid to click & explore. You won’t break it!
What are some of your passions outside of work?
Scuba diving! I’ve been a diver since the mid 80’s and I absolutely love it. I also took up tap dancing after I retired. It’s great exercise (both mentally and physically) and super fun!
What does Aging with Attitude mean to you?
Going for the Gusto! I am now at an age and in the circumstance where I have the time to enjoy all the activities that bring me joy. I’m not going to hold back!
Do you have a favorite trainer you’d like to know more about? Let us know who – and why – in the comments!
Pam Hugi is Senior Planet’s Community and Advocacy Manager. Based in Brooklyn, she is a contributing writer for this site.