Member Spotlight: Fran and Don Stillwell
Fran Stillwell is 100 years strong and doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. Born and raised in Exeter, Fran majored in music, taught modern dance for many years and has always been physically active. She even performed in an L.J. Williams dance recital at 85 years old!
Four years ago, Fran had a series of falls that resulted in some fractures and a broken collar bone. It was a period of serious physical challenges for Fran but she recovered well and is now in good health. At 100 years old she has no serious medical concerns. Fran’s son Don Stillwell credits his Mom’s good health to her lifestyle and routine. “The key to her success is that she has regular habits. My dad was a Doctor and taught us all from an early age to create regular healthy habits. Mom has always been conscientious about her nutrition, does not have vices and keeps a steady active routine.”
Until recently, Fran enjoyed going for walks in her neighborhood but with the warmer weather and bad air quality, this has become increasingly difficult. Don, who has been a member since 1996 and attended the Stroke and Turn Clinics in the pool regularly, finally decided to take the advice of a good friend and TLC instructor and enroll his Mom in a membership to walk the indoor track. Since enrolling, Fran has become an inspiration to many!
Fran comes to the facility almost every weekday. She started with walking three laps around the track and is already up to 5 laps (1/2 mile). She attends the Healthy Heart class three times per week and has made many friends in the process. “The Healthy Heart class is a wonderful class. The participants have formed a close knit group and are a great mutual support system” said Don. “Exercise and The Lifestyle Center have been great mentally for my Mom. After class she spends time in the café meeting new friends and re-connecting with old friends.”
Fran’s goal is to “keep going” and wants everyone to know that you are never too old! Her advice for those just starting their health and fitness journey is to get going and keep at it!
Member Spotlight: Ronald Walker
Approximately 7 years ago, Ron attended a Jazz concert at the Fox Theatre with his son. When he dropped his ticket on the sidewalk and couldn’t bend down to pick up the ticket he knew he needed to make a change.
Fast forward to today where Ron’s daily fitness routine consists of climbing the Jacob’s Ladder, performing sled push and pulls, medicine ball throws, using the power plate, assisted weights, free weights, abdominal work, climbing the Versa Climber and more. Ron’s smile, positive nature and persistence are truly an inspiration to all! By the way, did we mention that Ron is 89 years young?
“It’s never too late to start” says Ron, who began regularly working out in his 80’s and now comes to The Lifestyle Center 5 days per week. “Start slow and don’t give up. Do what you can. Keep pushing yourself to do a little bit more or a little better.”
At 89 years old, Ron can touch his toes; pick things up off of the floor and squat down. One of his biggest accomplishments however is bench pressing 100 lbs! TLC Member and friend Greg Moore has a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for Ron. “For his age, I don’t believe there is anyone else in the Central Valley that can do what Ron does! He inspires and encourages others to still be working out when we are in our 90’s. He is an inspiration to all of us to reach our goals. I stand in awe of what Ron can do. His conditioning is that of a 60 year old. Ron is showing us that 90 is the new 60!”
What motivates Ron? To be at all three of his grandson’s College graduations. “That means that I will need to keep going for at least the next 10 years!” said Ron.
Member Spotlight: Michelle Medeiros
Michelle Medeiros of Visalia joined The Lifestyle Center in 2015. “I was tinkering with the thought, and figured January was a good time to start,” she said. “My goal was to have a better life. Period. To better myself and build confidence.”
Michelle had tried other gyms, but without success. “It’s hard to go in a public place and exercise,” she said. “But I have coworkers who told me to try The Lifestyle Center.”
Michelle established a routine and set goals. “I work a 13-hour shift, and I sleep a lot better if I exercise,” she said. “My goal over the past year has been to go every day after work and I’ve been doing that.” Her longer-term goals have not yet been reached. “I want to bench press 100 pounds, and my long, long-term goal is to pick myself up off the ground if I fall when I get old.” Michelle laughs a strong, confident laugh.
Michelle took action, which changed the way she feels about exercising in public. “Joining The Lifestyle Center is the best choice I’ve made.”
Member Spotlight: Robert Casarez Sr.
Robert Casarez Sr. is staring pain in the face and winning. He has suﬀered from severe joint pain, back pain and psoriasis. Robert was also recently diagnosed with interstitial lung disease, pulmonary ﬁbrosis and ﬁbromyalgia. However, the 60-year-old is working through it and reaping the beneﬁts of exercise at The Lifestyle Center.
“I go to The Lifestyle Center because I feel better. I’m exercising more, I’m pushing myself more, I’m getting my breath more, everything is just better. Sometimes the thought of working out seems impossible, but I push through the pain and afterward I am so glad,” said Robert, who hopes others who suﬀer from chronic and progressive diseases will push beyond their limits at The Lifestyle Center. “It’s working for me, so it can work for them. Working out has been my best therapy, both physically and emotionally.”
Member Spotlight: Denise Sisco
Like many people my weight has been up and down. Like most it’s usually more up than down. I tried dieting and the weight always came back so I decided to take a weight management class locally. In that class I learned how to eat, without dieting, and about portion sizes. Portion sizes and eating regularly was a game changer. I never ate breakfast and rarely lunch, so my only meal was dinner, which was usually fast food. I started eating healthy meals at regular times and the weight started coming off.
In February of 2015 I started coming to The Lifestyle Center regularly. I began coming 3 days a week and now I’m coming almost every day. I go at 4:30 in the morning and have 55 minutes to complete my workout before I have to go to work. I feel so much better after I’ve exercised!
When I started, I got together with an exercise physiologist at The Lifestyle Center and he got me going. Every 2 to 3 months I went back and was set up on another exercise routine. Then I injured my back at work and the exercise physiology staff helped me modify my routine so I could continue exercising without injuring it further. It took about 3 months to get over. I was able to exercise regularly for about a month then I hurt my knee at work. The exercise physiology staff helped me modify my routine again. I’m going on my 4th month with this injury. If you get hurt, don’t just quit, modify your routine until you get better. Being healthy has been my biggest motivator on this journey!
Since I’ve started my journey, I’ve lost 60 pounds and went from size 36 men’s shorts to a size 2 women’s. The key has been diet and exercise. Not just a diet. It is important to learn how to eat healthy so you can live with it the rest of your life. You need both diet and exercise to be healthy. The Lifestyle Center has so much help to offer, so take advantage of it. If I can do it, so can you!