The Roanoker - January/February 2018 - 38
< BONNIE PRICHETT
"I wanted to get my body and my
heart in shape, but I joined partly
for the mental part."
ing," she says, "I worked 6:30 a.m.
to 9:30 p.m. every day for 35 years.
I never married or had children and I had
no life outside work. When I retired, I discovered
Green Ridge [Recreation Center in Roanoke County]
and I'm there now five days a week, 8 a.m.-noon working out and taking classes. I wanted to get my body and
my heart in shape,
but I joined partly
for the mental part.
I meet people who
become my friends
and it is social for
me. We have lunch
and sometimes travel together. I try to
meet two or three
people a day."
Mike Hamlar, a
home executive who
has a TV show and is
involved in mergersacquisitions, is a former college football
player who saw his
waistline expanding and got back to work. "After football [at Wake Forest]," he says, "I didn't get to bench
press 460 pounds or squat 600 any more." When
his weight began climbing, he started walking.
"I didn't realize how much impact that simple
exercise could have," he says. A year ago, he ran
for Virginia State Senate and "lost 20 pounds
knocking on doors. There's a lot of walking involved in that. I get the same feeling walking as I did working out, though
I still enjoy lifting occasionally. Muscle
memory is very real, so it's not like starting over."
His walking involves a 10,000-steps-aday minimum, usually in his neighborhood.
"The big thing," he says, "is eating. I have to
stop when I'm full. I got up to 250 a few years ago [from
playing weight at linebacker of 225] and I concentrated
on getting down to where I should be. I grew up in a
diabetic family, so I know what healthy eating is."
Exercising with his wife and three children is an additional plus, since it helps to put a priority where it
needs to be.
Vivian de los Santos, a sales exec at Optical Cable Corporation,
has never had a weight
problem in her 47 years,
but she wasn't a trained
athlete, either. She began
exercising regularly "so
I could sleep. I went to
classes after work to rest
my mind. It was easier
when I was single [she's
married and has two
young boys now]. When
I moved here [from Panama], I got no exercise. I
got married and divorced
and exercise took my
mind off it. It has always
been mental for me."
Her exercise routine changes "to what I want"
occasionally and lately it has meant
being a member of the Roanoke
Valley's roller derby team, the
oldest woman on the team.
"I'm competitive with myself," she emphasizes. "I want
to see how far I can go with
this body. I need to have some
doubt about whether I can do
it" and then she attacks. "Derby
The gym is not the only
way to stay in shape,
but memberships often
announce to the world,
"I'm shaping up." Gym or
no gym, Roanokers who
have been successful in
their efforts go about it in
a variety of ways.
> VIVIAN DE LOS SANTOS & PAT LEONARD
"I want to see how far I can go with this body.
I need to have some doubt about whether I
can do it."
If you visit a Roanoke gym during
January-February, you're going to
think, "My goodness, this city is in
shape!" and you'll be dead wrong,
according to a recent Gallup-Sharecare
State of America Well-being survey.
180 of 189
localities in exercise, with
less than half
of our citizens (47.5%) exercising
three times a week
for 30 minutes each day. -DS