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July 24, 2018
This paid piece is sponsored by GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness.
As soon as Sharlene Nelson walks in the door at GreatLIFE Woodlake Athletic Club, people start to call her by name. They ask how her day is. There’s usually a hug or two involved.
“At my age, I’m old enough to be almost everybody’s grandmother,” she said. “The hugging is fine.”
When she first started coming to GreatLIFE a few years ago, she was feeling “achy and slow,” she explained.
“I started with water aerobics. I thought that would be relatively easy.”
She has stuck with it for four days a week. But along with increased physical fitness, she also has found a new group of friends.
“We cover the gamut of life with the ages,” she said. “We’ve gone through deaths and births and marriages and graduation and divorces, illness; you name it, we covered it. We don’t need to be with therapists because we have an hour afterward to discuss these things.”
The group takes care of one another, she continued.
“We’re not neighbors. Sometimes, we don’t see each other at any other basis other than being here at Woodlake. We have a camaraderie that we’ll never forget. And it makes your day. You can come and be frowning and cross, and you can go home and feel entirely different. Plus you’ve had exercise!”
She also has broadened her routine beyond the pool. She did floor aerobics until vertigo made it difficult and then transitioned to walking the track twice a week.
“If you want to, you can be completely by yourself here even though you are surrounded by people, and you can become part of the group of people if you want,” she said.
“I think it’s a real good time to talk to God when I walk around the track. I don’t have to fold my hands or bow my head, but I can be talking to God. And I can in my own mind develop a satisfaction by having that time on the track all by myself. You can shut out everything. I think it’s therapy. The exercise is therapy. The people are therapy.”
While she acknowledges there are days she might rather sit home having coffee with her husband, the benefits of her GreatLIFE membership provide motivation to stay active.
“I would recommend GreatLIFE to other people. First of all, there’s a tremendous amount offered, and I think everybody has to make their exercise time a priority in their lives. Nobody else is going to do it for you. To be perfectly honest, I’m afraid to quit exercising. If I want to keep on living, and I do, I’ll be here.”
This GreatLIFE grandma started working out to stay active. In the process, she found a new group of friends and love of fitness.