Julie Story

Mother-daughter duo bringing fitness motivation to Tulsa for decades

TULSA, Okla. — If you’re looking for some fitness motivation, one family at Hicks Park Community Center may inspire you to get moving.

“I just enjoy it,” says Lisa Brown, who has been getting hearts pumping for more than two decades. A few times a week, she leads low-impact aerobics at the east Tulsa Community Center.

“I just love the women, I love the community, I love the camaraderie that we have,” Brown says.

Brown’s love for fitness started early, around the age of 9.

“My mom started teaching, so I started going to her classes in the summer when school was out,” she says.

Brown was inspired to follow in her mother’s footsteps, which she still does today. You see, 50 years later, her mother, 90-year-old Ann Deeter, teaches here, too, in the class just after Brown.

Deeter doesn’t let age slow her down. She may be Oklahoma’s oldest fitness instructor.

“I started before aerobics, there was no aerobics — I was doing calisthenics,” Deeter says.

Decades later, she has now moved on to senior practice.

“We do strengthening, we do flexibility and balance all that stuff,” she says.

She holds an hour-long class three days a week for ages 55 and older.

“Oh, you just feel so good. It makes you feel good, not just physically, but mentally. For that hour you forget all your worries. You just work out and feel good.”

Theresa Underwood (99) says she always tries to attend every class. She told 2 News Oklahoma the workouts are fun.

“I enjoy every minute of it — it’s exercise that’s kept me going all these years because I’ve done it a lot, I don’t sit still, and I’m very active,” Underwood says.

Deeter and Brown have made it their mission to get Green Country in shape. Deeter has been teaching for 50 years and Brown for 24, so together it’s almost 75 years.

The mother-daughter duo say no matter your fitness level or your age, it’s never too late to start.

“There’s no time like the present, so this would be a good time to stand up just a little bit,” says Brown.

And the classmates say that once you’re on the move, don’t stop.

“It is sometimes difficult to get here, but to make an effort, but after you get here, you are grateful that you came,” says Joan Lawson, one of the regular classmates.

Hicks Park Community Center offers about a dozen programs and activities for all ages. This includes the classes of this fitness family, which inspires us all to take a step in the right direction.

The ladies teach every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning. For more information, check the city’s website.


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