Club member wins national award!
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Priscilla Farrell had only two major goals when she set out to improve her health back in 2008. She wanted to rely less on oxygen (24/7 use was the norm) and to walk on the beach with her granddaughter. The 69-year-old’s tenacity paid off and she got much more than she bargained for, shedding 74 pounds, getting her diabetes under control and eliminating numerous aches and pains she had previously been experiencing.
Anyone who knows Priscilla and her story sees her as a true inspiration. In fact, she is so inspiring to others that she was recently chosen as the 2010 Richard L. Swanson Inspiration Award recipient. In its sixth year, the Richard L. Swanson Inspiration Award was designed to honor a member of the Healthways SilverSneakers® Fitness Program whose healthy behavior has made a difference in his or her own life and also inspired others. Priscilla was one of nearly 200 nominees. Healthways flew Priscilla and her husband Dick to Phoenix to share her story in person and receive her award at the company’s annual Spring Training awards ceremony.
“I trudged down to Saco Sport and Fitness with my portable oxygen; I couldn’t climb the stairs so I took the elevator … and walked into that first SilverSneakers class short of breath.” The rest, as they say, is history. “Still wearing my oxygen, I started training with Don Bouchard. The exercises were designed to strengthen my core and my arms and legs. I also got nutrition training from the gym and became more responsible with my food choices.”
The following year, the determined grandmother of 10 received positive news during a follow-up visit with her pulmonologist, who not only encouraged her to continue on this healthy path, but also reduced her oxygen to nighttime use only. With the help and support of her family, SilverSneakers’ instructor Heather Nutting, trainer Don Bouchard and all the other knowledgeable staff at Saco Sport and Fitness, she continues to make strides in numerous areas. “I have developed more energy, have better posture and improved my balance, and the wonderful people participating with me are now my SilverSneakers® family.”
Inspiring others to take control of their health comes very easily for Priscilla, who had to learn to change her own way of thinking. It’s evident from the progress she has made that she not only talks the talk; she truly walks the walk. “You are responsible for your own life choices, and joining a program like SilverSneakers is a life-saving choice,” she offers. “You can do it! All you need to do is go at your own pace surrounded by wonderful, supportive people.”
Come to SILVERSNEAKERS® 1 - MUSCULAR STRENGTH & RANGE OF MOVEMENT -for active older adults, as well as those who are sedentary and/or unfamiliar with exercise.
Tuesdays and Thursday at 10:30am- Have fun and move to the music with exercises designed to increase strength, range of movement, and activity for daily living skills. Hand-held weights, elastic tubing with handles, and a ball are offered for resistance and a chair is used for seated and/or standing support.