Forget dinner and a movie; Broadway local John Critz and his girlfriend, Gina Palmero, prefer to spend quality time together white water rafting, jumping out of planes and training for triathlons.
It’s hard to imagine, but the couple claims they used to be boring.
“We started doing [adventurous activities] very late in our lives,” said Critz, an employee with Truck Enterprises.
“I was probably the dullest person,” Palmero added. “I’m very practical.”
A few years ago, Palmero’s life started to shift when a coworker convinced her to try sky diving. After her first jump, Palmero says she was hooked.
“It was exciting and terrifying all at the same time,” she recalled.
She posted photos of her jumps on her online dating profile, which attracted attention from Critz, who was then training for his first Iron Man triathlon.
Drawn to the other’s daring spirits, the couple has been together since their first date in 2009.
Since their relationship started, the pair has gone rocking climbing in North Carolina, rappelling in Costa Rica and scuba diving with sharks in the Bahamas.
Hoping to inspire others, they recently created the Five O Adventure Crew, a group aimed at encouraging people to live interesting lives.
“The goal is to get people 50 and over to live the adventurous items on their bucket list,” Critz explains.
For the group’s first activity, they’ve partnered with Gold’s Gym in Harrisonburg, putting together a 16-week program to help others train. The program, which starts Jan. 13, will be led by Emily Sherrill, an instructor at Gold’s Gym.
Discounted memberships are available to participants for the length of the course.
The program ends May 11, when participants will attend a sprint-distance triathlon at Lake Anna.
Critz says he’s looking forward to helping others attain a goal.
“I want to encourage them and share in their excitement,” he remarked.
Critz and Palmero hope their group will one day be a reality show, which they plan to title “Live the List.”
“The first goal is to get people to come and do the course,” he said. “The second goal is to raise some funds, so we can shoot an episode.”
For more information, visit fiveoadventurecrew.com or Gold’s Gym at 381 Lucy Drive in Harrisonburg.
Contact Katie King at (540) 574-6271 or firstname.lastname@example.org.