Becoming a Golden Member at the Orthman Community YMCA came just in time for Mitze Leininger of Lexington.
Mitze celebrated her 80th birthday December 17, just as she was finishing her stay at Brookdale assisted living to recuperate from back surgery. Her doctor told her to walk a mile each day to help in her healing, and Mitze listened.
With the cold, icy weather outside, she was glad to have the Y indoor walking track to help her reach her goal.
“I think we are very blessed to have a place like this where you can walk inside safely and the temperate is good,” Mitze said. “We have done a lot of walking at home around the block. But, I am getting a little paranoid about falling. I appreciate the smooth track and the convenience of it.”
And, she was glad that as a Golden Member (anyone 80 or older), she qualified for a free membership at the Orthman Y. She had previously been a Y member (a gift from her daughter), but she wasn’t able to exercise often because of her back problems.
Mitze had back surgery on Nov. 9, and by the first week of January 2017 she was walking a mile around the indoor Y track.
Y Member Service Associate Renee Winter encouraged Mitze to meet her challenge of walking a mile, and when she accomplished that goal Renee rewarded her with a Y t-shirt!
Mitze said her husband, Ron, 84, also joins her in walking at the Y. “He’s been going with me now to walk, so that was a good thing for both of us,” she said
They arrive at the Y around 8 a.m. six days a week to walk their mile around the track.
Mitze said the walking has helped her back, and they both enjoy the social aspect of the Y, too.
“After we walk our mile, we are both out of breath, so we sit down and rest (in the lobby),” Mitze said. “Ron likes to visit with the people who come through.”
Mitze praised the Y staff, who she said are always helpful and encouraging, and the facility.
“It’s a beautiful place,” she said. “We are very fortunate to have it.”