Health Success Stories
By Kari Richie, Springmoor Health and Fitness Director
What does it mean to have a health success story? The health and fitness industry often relates success to weight loss. One of my objectives as the Health & Fitness Director is to help the residents and staff members at Springmoor understand they can have health successes no matter their age or what physical obstacle may be in their way. One definition of success is “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” Nowhere in the definition of success does it mention perfection or accomplishing everything at once. Someone can be living with a chronic disease such as diabetes or heart disease and celebrate health success stories when they accomplish a goal like managing blood sugar or cholesterol.
A perfect example is 84-year old Carlton “CP” Minnick. He was evaluated by one of our fitness specialists and started a regular exercise routine in the Wellness Center, which included using the elliptical machine and upper back strengthening machine. He also began walking for 35 minutes every day. CP recently reported to the wellness center staff that his cardiologist’s office was singing his praises for starting an exercise routine – all because of the wonders it has done for his cholesterol and blood sugar. CP’s doctor even took him off of a medication because of the improvements in his overall health. CP reports that he feels young again, stating, “Once you get yourself into a routine, it’s like something is missing when you can’t do it. The day isn’t complete without exercise!”
Another recent success story is retired minister JP Johnson. He was experiencing tremendous foot pain but, after a few sessions in the new Wellness Center pool, his legs and feet feel “better than ever!”
It’s easy to let a physical limitation or obstacle get in the way of our health success story. When I hear about these obstacles, I often share my brother’s story. He was an active young man who loved sports. At the age of 18 he was in a car accident and became a quadriplegic. My brother is physically incapable of exercising, so his health success goal is focused on eating healthily, and in that goal, he is successful. His quality of life is better because of the choices he makes.
My health success message is – set a goal and have a purpose that will motivate you. Your goals shouldn’t be dictated by the goals others are chasing. You must define your goals and your success. After all, when you strive to be successful, no matter what age, your mental and physical health will reap the benefits!