Can you believe it?! Avera McKennan Fitness Center is celebrating the 16th Anniversary of providing adult, medically integrated health and fitness programs and services. It’s you, our members, who make Avera McKennan Fitness Center the vibrant community that it is. And we are so thankful for you!
It’s been quite some time now – a generation worth – since the Avera Wellness Program was housed in the hospital’s basement. Jackie Haggar-Tuschen, our AMFC Center Director oversaw the wellness program and also taught group exercise back then. (Are you picturing leg warmers, sweat bands, leotards, white socks and shoes for all?!)
AMFC member, Carol Brown, remembers those classes fondly. In fact, she has happy memories of exercise throughout her life. Exercise is a sanctuary and a recharger for her. “Exercise makes me feel good,” says Carol, “my job work was stressful, so exercise really helped me relieve stress and keep a balance that way, and I used to worry about my weight too.”
Carol was nominated as an AMFC Fitness Hero by personal trainer and group exercise instructor, Glenda Baker. Glenda and Carol spent quite a bit of time in the therapy pool together beginning in 2011 when Carol began having problems with pain in her back. The pain got bad enough that a nerve root block was required and there was talk of surgery, which she very much wanted to avoid. She did avoid surgery for which she gives great credit to consistent therapeutic exercise practice and that passage is history. Now, her goal is to take swimming lessons from Tonya Schoenfelter and become a confident swimmer. Currently, her exercise routine includes Monday, Wednesday & Friday water class in the morning and Tuesday and Thursday, Joni’s “Just Stretch” classes at 10am. Carol likes both water and land mindbody classes like Strength & Balance because “they work muscles I don’t usually work and are great for building balance,” she says.
Carol likes to challenge herself and learn new things in all aspects of her life, including health and fitness. It all works together. So she loves to participate in incentives like Rush to the Heisman as a way to be competitive with herself and rise to a new challenge. She credits her commitment to exercise, health and fitness with enhancing and making possible travel around the world. China, Australia, New Zealand, safaris in Africa (her favorite), have all been possible and enjoyable she says, because of her strength, stamina, endurance, energy and general good health – all fostered by regular exercise and balance in diet and life. She also likes to study new things, learn, socialize, play mahjong and volunteer.
Thank you Carol for sharing your story and for being a shining example of the richness of life that is nurtured by a steady commitment to health and fitness every day.
Give the gift of massage to your loved ones or yourself. The holiday massage special package is available for purchase now at Member Services. Choose 2 one-hour massage sessions or 3 half-hour sessions for only $110.
“We’re looking for a few good groups!”
Studies show that people who work out with others are more committed to an exercise program. We also believe that when you work out with a group, you tend to push yourself more than you would without any good-natured competition J.
So, here’s our plan for you: you form a group (family members, co-workers, friends, etc.) and we’ll give you a deal you can’t pass up!
- Fill out a request form for your new group (2—5 people).
- Our trainer will contact you to establish a schedule. Each member of your group will receive a coupon for 10% off your first group training package.
- Each new group will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a night at the movies together!
We offer many formats and options for group training: TRX, Pilates, Pool workouts, running programs, circuit training, cross training….the sky’s the limit!
Give each-other the gift of a better YOU this holiday season!
It seems over the years, more and more of us know of more and more people who’ve heard their doctor tell them, “Yes, it’s cancer.” And some of us have received that diagnosis ourselves. For those of us who’ve not encountered cancer on a personal level, trying to imagine how we’d feel and how we’d respond to such a diagnosis can leave us bewildered. About a year ago, Evie Brouwer, AMFC member and FitKids staffer heard, “Yes, it’s cancer” and the journey began turning her life inside-out and upside-down.
Along the path of healing, she learned that she needed a fierce resolve about creating boundaries and speaking up for herself. Family and friends didn’t necessarily know what to do to be supportive and she didn’t always have the energy to educate them about it, or the emotional strength to lift them up and calm their fears. She discovered that even when working with the best doctors and care providers, it requires strength, awareness and conficence to say “no” sometimes, to question why, or to lobby for yourself when what you feel you need falls outside standard process.
Also, she rejects the theory that life from here on out should be defined as “before cancer” and “after cancer”. She doesn’t buy the idea that cancer defines who she is or how the rest of her life will unfold. “It’s just another knot in the rope of my life,” explains Evie.
Still, it’s been a guantlet; she’s glad to be past the depths of treatment and into remission, but the transition isn’t yet over and it still presents challenges on multiple levels of life. Evie says that Avera McKennan Fitness Center – expescially Karri Stearns and Glenda Baker with the Cancer Fitness Program – have been and continue to be a bright, healing resource. An active schedule, including a variety of exercise modes, has always been a fundamental part of her day-to-day life. Over this last year, the Fitness Center community, its facilities and the Cancer Fitness Program helped her keep strength, endurance and continuity, to relax and unwind and to feel better.
We’re thankful that Evie is part of the Avera McKennan Fitness Center community, as a member and on staff and glad that the staff, programs and facilities support her personal commitment to health and wellness.
For more information on cancer support through Avera, click here.
For more information on AMFC’s Cancer Fitness Program, click here.