For some, fitness is the thing

Jan. 01, 2014 @ 02:24 PM

The new year is typically a time for resolutions and without fail, fitness is high on the list.

So it was no surprise this week Vance County’s busiest facility for such pledges, the Henderson Family YMCA, was doing a brisk business.

On Tuesday, one lonely person could be seen walking the outdoor track to take advantage of the mild, sunny weather. Inside was a different story.

Members came and went in a steady stream. A group of three visitors came in to look over the facilities before making a decision about membership.

The reasons people gave for devoting holiday time to physical activities varied. A few may have been there simply because of the extra calories they took in during the Christmas holidays. But most were long-time fitness advocates and users of the YMCA.

Orlando Gurule of Macon had done seven miles on the treadmill.

“I work out almost every day,” he said.

In addition to the treadmill, he does weight training.

“I run the track when it’s warm enough,” he added.

In response to a question about how long he has been into fitness, he replied, “A lifetime.”

Lucy Williams, 75, said she uses the treadmill, bicycle and weights.

“On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I do water aerobics,” she said.

Jerry Edmonds, age 70, has a private tennis school but was at the YMCA with his grandson.

Bonnie Ray lives in Henderson but works in Raleigh as an X-ray technician at Rex Hospital. Her employer offers an incentive for healthful living.

“We get a discount on health insurance if we work out,” she said. But there’s another incentive: “I feel better about myself.”

Reggie Hicks was working out during his lunch break from the banking business.

Darryl Foster played football, basketball and baseball at Northern Vance High School. He served in the U.S. Army, including a deployment in Afghanistan.

As he prepared to use one of the machines at the YMCA, he said, “I’ve finished my cardio. Now I’m going to work on my abs. I do some upper body and lower body. I take weekends off.”

Carol Harris spent part of Tuesday working on her quads. She lived in Raleigh until she and her husband retired to his father’s farm in Granville County.

“This is my fourth time here,” she said, “but I’ve been doing this since I was 55, and I’m 66.

“What got me into this is Blue Cross Blue Shield offered people 55 and over an opportunity to improve their health.”

The program included diet, workouts and coaching by a personal trainer.

“In my class, I’m the only one left,” Harris said.

The others dropped by the wayside, she said. “There’s got to be something inside of you that wants to do this.”

While she was participating in the wellness program, Harris was able to overcome a fear of water. She almost drowned in a sailboat accident in 1966, she said. Since that time, “I wouldn’t put my toe in water.”

During water aerobics she asked her trainer to teach her to swim.

“I told her my story,” Harris said. “The lesson I learned from that is you’ve got to let go of this negative experience.”

Tony Tart is on leave from the Marine Corps and visiting with his parents, Sandra and Jimmy Tart.

“I’m mainly working on my legs, my lower body,” he said.

But physical conditioning is part of the routine in the Corps, he said. There are workouts every morning.

“And we hit the ground when we get off,” he added.

The YMCA has posted notices about offerings for the new year, including programs from A to Z. In fitness land, that means “Abs conditioning to Zumba.”

And residents don’t have to wait for holiday calories to give them an incentive to get active. The opportunity is there all year long.

 

Contact the writer at dirvine@hendersondispatch.com.