MAC Member Spotlight: Jan Benson
Magnuson Athletic Club member, Jan Benson, is a committed mountaineer for life. At the young age of 60 years old, her passion for the outdoors and backpacking has lead her to a healthy and adventurous lifestyle. Read on as the MAC digs deeper to find out more about Jan and her life.
Magnuson Athletic Club: Let’s start with the basics… family? Where did you grow up? How did you end up in Seattle? What do you do for a living?
Jan Benson: I am blissfully single with no kids. I was born and raised in Louisiana, moved to Wisconsin to receive my masters from the University of Wisconsin, of which landed me my first job out of school in New Mexico. Learning that New Mexico consisted of a community of married couples, it did not fit my lifestyle. That’s how I ended up in Seattle; I wanted to move to a place where people enjoy the outdoor and will play with me. In doing so, I now work for Alaska Fishery Science Center where I work on Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
MAC: What are you passionate about?
Jan: I work as hard as I play, and play as hard as I work. Whatever I do, I do it 100%. Aside for the passions of working with GIS, I thoroughly enjoy mountaineering, kayaking, and backpacking. In years past, I have hiked the Lone Pine Trails in California, the Washington State Stretch three times, the Big Sandy Trails in Wyoming, the Rocky Mountain Continental Divide, in 2012 I trekked to the base camp of Mount Everest, and this summer I will be backpacking the Continental Divide Trail to Helena – of which all of these were to name a few.
Jan: After I broke my fibula and tibia on a backpacking trip, I was determined to stay active and fit throughout my recovery. Preston Crouser [MAC’s General Manager and Personal Trainer] would always give me a little chuckle and a smile when I would wheel in the front door, but I would roll on over the bike and elliptical to get my heart racing and my muscles moving while I was in recovery with a boot on my leg. After returning to the mountains, I turned to the MAC for more strength training to further my recovery. On a monthly basis, MAC Trainer, Scott Jansen, would work with me to create a new strength routine that consisted of hand weights and the bosu ball. I enjoy the MAC staff and the people that are there. They provide motivation and accountability on my part.