Date: 2/16/2004 8:00:00 AM
PROFILE: SHE BEATS BACK AGE BY GOING ON STAGE
Fifty-year-old grandmother Jacqueline Chapel-Hardy, a 1978 fashion design graduate living and
The idea of the series is to help participants feel, look and think ten years younger in just ten weeks – all by reshaping their daily lives and posing both individual and group challenges. Throughout, Jackie was the one who beat back the clock by remaining upbeat.
Chosen to participate in the show – now airing in North America, South America and Europe – after she called the producers and passed a screen test, Jackie found her life upended. Every week day started with a 6 a.m. workout with a trainer for two hours and ended with a 7 p.m. yoga session. On Mondays and Fridays, she took up Latin dance. She had two medical procedures – for the removal of moles and varicose veins. Then, there were group challenges that meant rock climbing, roller coasters, and canoeing in the Everglades, with the paddles just out of reach of alligators’ snouts poking from the murky water. “In one spot where the water was too low for the canoes, we had to wade shin deep in the muck,” says Jackie. “That made me nervous considering the alligators, and we saw panther prints in the mud too.” Along with all that, Jackie also had voice lessons, meetings with a nutritionist and with a psychiatrist. It would be enough to drive anyone crazy, she laughs.
Cutting back on sweets was very hard to control, according to Jackie. There could be no cheating – without getting caught that is. A cameraman would come in the evenings to Jackie’s home and follow her movements. “Yes, I’m on TV squirting whipped cream into my mouth. The nutritionist would allow me only one squirt for the carbohydrates I’d receive.”
She laughs again, “I was so bad about eating sweets that one time I fell asleep with candy in my mouth and woke up with it on my forehead…. The cameraman was always there, at home, in the grocery store.”
A native of the West End and a graduate of Seton High School, Jackie faced one very public challenge that helped her master her biggest fear: Performing or speaking in front of a crowd. To conquer that fear, she sang before a cruise-ship audience.
To ready herself for her shipboard singing sensation, Jackie says she had to memorize the lyrics and then practice, practice, practice. “The director would call me to make sure I was practicing and memorizing the lyrics…. I sang in the car, in the shower, at work and while walking the dogs. The morning of the performance, I was awakened by someone on the show’s team wrapping my fingers around the microphone saying very gently, ‘Are you ready to go over the song now?’ I started singing without opening my eyes. It was a blast!”
In all, the Discovery Health Channel first aired a five-part series on the “age-busters” in December 2003. The hour-long programs are now re-airing. For instance, two different episodes will air at 8 and 11 p.m. on Feb. 23, and then again at 10 and 11 a.m. on Feb. 28. To check other listings for the show, visit http://health.discovery.com
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