The folks at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell want to make sure there is nothing stopping folks from getting in to the gym. Nancy Naeve Brown found out how members of the Wellness Center got their around-the-clock access pass to fitness.
85 year old Don Culhane is a man with a mission, a man with a schedule, and I don't mind telling you, a man with muscles. That's why this Mitchell man was as pleased as punch when Avera Queen of Peace changed the hours of it's Wellness Center to allow 24/7 access. Now if Don wants to work out at 3:00 in the morning or 3:00 in the afternoon on a Sunday he can and he will.
Don says, "I do all 13 machines. First I stretch for 5 to 10 minutes then I work out on all the machines and end on the Schwinn bike. I don't use the treadmill partly because I have an artificial knee and I had an aortic valve put in by heart back in '03. My blood pressure, well I'm not on any medication, but I do have a rather rapid and irregular heart beat so I figure I don't need a treadmill to run it up. I keep my muscles tone."
Personal Trainer and Wellness Center Coordinator Sam Laufmann says, "We made it so our clients could have assessable hours 24/7 365 days a year. One of the reasons behind that is all the wellness surveys that have been done over the years requested that. We had one member who wanted us to open at 5:30 AM to 9:00 PM Monday through Sunday but that just wasn't feasible so this is the next best thing."
When the hours of the Wellness Center changed so did the members accessories. Everyone has a badge now to get in to the building. Inside the door is a scanner that signs them in. It really couldn't be easier."
Sam says, "It makes it a lot easier for my clientele that don't like to use computers or keyboards. It's been a good thing."
When Don was 31 he collapsed, lifeless and not responding after he came back to life he vowed to himself to exercise and stay in shape. I'd say at 85 he made good on his promise.
Don says, "I'd say I'm above average on that part. I'm a little senile, but otherwise I'm okay."
His sense of humor and his drive to stay in shape are both strongly in tact and now thanks to Avera Queen of Peace's 24 hour access to wellness, nothing will stands in the way of this man and these machines. Although, if Don decides he wants help from his personal trainer, Sam Laufmann will gladly stand-by to lend a hand.