Peggy Robles has paved her path through Ahwatukee Foothills in more ways than one. Yes, she walks the same three-mile course through the Warner-Elliot Loop area six days a week, but she has also touched many other lives for years through her poetry, painting, yoga classes and water volleyball team. "Some people think I'm kind of radical," Robles said. "But that's me. We all have our own paths." The 71-year-old mother of five, grandmother of 14 and great-grandmother of four has always had the ambition to be involved in self-improvement. While juggling her "business" of being a mother to five, Robles began teaching yoga, which she learned simply by reading a book, out of her Boise Valley home in 1968. "I was never certified, but I had a house full of women paying 50 cents to take my yoga class," Robles said. After remarrying in 1972, Robles ended up in Ahwatukee Foothills by 1979. "It was a very small community of about 5,000 people and we saw it boom," she said. Robles began working part-time jobs here and there but, ultimately, ended up teaching yoga at the Ahwatukee Recreation Center by 1990, a job many adored her for up until two years ago. "They wanted me to get certified, and I'm not much of a student," Robles said. The enthusiastic yogi has also been involved in the Ahwatukee Recreation Center's water volleyball team for 17 years. After friend Dave Gates convinced her to join the team, Robles says the sport is now the base of her fitness routine. "We are the most active group at the center," she said. "And although 10 people have passed away over the years, we are still very active and practice five days a week." It is Robles' exercise regimen that brings out her artistic side. In 1980 she picked up painting and has become a fan of Thomas Kinkade over the years. She also writes poetry that comes from the thoughts that fill her mind during daily walks. "I have a very accomplished daughter, and this summer she said, 'Mom, let's get together all your poems,'" Robles said. "And she put together 22 of my poems for my birthday." On Nov. 3 Robles set up a booth at the Ahwatukee Recreation Center's art exhibit to promote her poetry book, Reflections in Rhyme, which she hopes will also touch the community. "I have a true love for people," Robles said. "I'm not happy if I'm not out there helping people." For a copy of Reflections in Rhyme, contact Robles at (480) 893-3581. Corinne Frayer can be reached at (480) 898-7917 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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