CRC Appreciation

CRC Appreciation

Joe Werner Weighs In

By Steven Thompson, CRC Volunteer
CRC Volunteer Joe Werner feels much better now that he has lost 95 pounds since his stay in a Rochester hospital last fall. Joe, who had been active at the CRC Aquatic Center, needed three individuals to help him out of the pool last October. The next day, he visited with a local doctor who had him hospitalized in Osage. 
Later, Joe was transferred to Rochester for testing and treatment. Though Joe was not born with the condition, he does suffer from curvature of the spine, and also has one large lung and one small lung. It was also discovered that Joe’s body was retaining large amounts of water and he was placed on a diet and medication to improve the condition. 

 After a week in Rochester, Joe returned home and began his diet and also set up a rigorous exercise program for himself. Seven months have passed and Joe has reduced his weight from 311 to 216 pounds, and has reduced his 48 pants size to a size 40 and, he adds, “I hope to get to a place where these will be too big.” 

Joe states that his exercise program at the CRC includes shooting baskets, walking, swimming laps in the pool, walking against the current in the lazy river, using the equipment on the fitness floor, and riding the exercise bike. Joe also walks several blocks a day outside when the weather permits. He says he likes to put in at least three miles a day walking. He also states he has to be very conscious of his daily salt intake to maintain his health and weight. 

Joe is enthusiastic about his association with the CRC facility saying, “Lots of friends come down here and people are quite friendly.” Joe has even signed on as a volunteer four afternoons a week. 

After his weight loss, Joe says he, “feels lots better, and is more mobile.” Currently, Joe’s goal is to lose another 26 pounds and be down to 180 pounds by November. 

– Steven Thompson is a member of the Osage Alpha Writers and a CRC Volunteer.

Partnering For Progress 

By Steven Thompson, CRC Volunteer
It was mid-April and friends, Dwight Onken and Dick Dahley, were exercising at the Cedar River Complex; these two men had beaten the odds. They had begun their regular exercise regimen early in January like many Americans, but they were still dedicated to their goal of better health and weight loss. Only about four or five percent of Americans who make a New Year’s resolution stick to their goal for more than three months. What was these two men’s secret to success.

Part of their success is due to partnering. Both men agree that coming to the CRC together helps them individually keep up their regular workouts. Because they have committed themselves to this partnership Dick states, “It’s a lot easier to have someone to come and visit with. You have to be here because they are here.” Dwight adds, “The hard part of exercise is getting here. But what is even harder, if you have to call your workout partner and tell them you are not coming. Partnering motivates you to come.”
Their partnership came after both men, who were once co-workers at Osage Utilities, decided they needed better health. They formed a pact to exercise together and have been regularly attending the CRC for more than four months.

Phelps and Linda Kirk and their children, Sarah and Garet, from St Ansgar have been partnering as a family for nearly three and a half years. Though the Kirks participate in different activities at the center after they arrive, it’s their partnering to come together as a family that brings them to the CRC several times a week. Linda states, “It really helps to have someone to come with.” Phelps adds, “Exercise is just a routine, and to get two or three to come with you makes you feel like coming.” Phelps says they often bring Sarah’s friends so she can socialize with classmates as she works out.

Bill and Darlene Demro partnering came as a result of a health crisis. They come every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to help improve Bill’s health after he suffered a severe stroke in 2010. While Bill swims laps in the pool, Darlene often circles the track with friends. Bill comments about his partner, “Without her helping me, I’d be in bad shape.”

Don Pitzen, Ken Krebsbach, and Les Brych from Stacyville partner in getting to the CRC. The men alternate driving to cut costs and also to build relationships. Don spoke of the first few times he came to the CRC. He admitted it was intimidating coming alone until he got better acquainted. Kenny adds, “Everyone is a little timid when they first come.” Partnering with others not only can cut driving costs and build relationships, but it also can help overcome one’s anxieties.

Like many retired couples, Norma and Dave Brunner (pictured above) walk together as a couple several mornings a week. “Walking gives us a little time to talk and discuss what is going to happen for the rest of the day. It’s good to be walking with somebody else and not walking alone,” said Norma.

I wanted to know how partnering in a class structure profited individuals so I visited with CRC member, Amanda Johnson, to ask about her experiences while attending fitness classes. Amanda reports that, “Signing up for a class is a way of getting some accountability so you work out. You can talk yourself out of working out if you don’t have a class.”

Amanda points out that if an individual wants to find a class to partner with they can drop into most classes to see if the class would fit one’s fitness goals. Dropping in on a class does not constitute any further commitment. defines partnering as, “A person who shares or is associated with another in some action or endeavor.” As I visited with these various partners, it became clear their first goal was to improve their health. To achieve this they discovered other individuals with that same desire. The ongoing partnerships then reaped benefits beyond their health. Relationships were built, costs were shared, exercising became enjoyable rather than a boring routine, accountability helped improve regularity, encouragement and sharing a common cause translated into loss of weight and better health.

The final question is how does one get started in partnering? First find a person who is serious about becoming more fit. As Dwight Onken states, “You have to realize you need exercise first, and you can build the relationship later.” Dwight put it well. Once the common goal of better health is established, most of the other elements of cost sharing, accountability, encouragement and relationship building will follow.

– Steven Thompson is a member of the Osage Alpha Writers and a CRC Volunteer.
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