The Roanoker - January/February 2018 - 39
S T AY I N G I N S H A P E
VICTOR & JO CARDWELL
"If I didn't have a partner, it would be
easy to walk away."
"Dancing in the house to music
was always an ongoing exercise:
Clean, dance, cook, dance. Music
makes life easier."
was hard for me," but she's been a tri-athlete ("I was so
scared") and has run half marathons. "I need a goal and
I ask myself, 'Is it true that hard work pays off?'"
She combines yoga and swimming with all the other
activities, using "what I have to the max" and even takes
advice from Pat Lemon, OCC's certified trainer. Lemon,
who is 47, sees the "No. 1 issue" in exercising "is a lack of
time. Many people simply don't make time, though it's
interesting what they have time for. I try to be a good
example here" and she uses the cafe area at the company
to demonstrate good food choices.
Being in shape, she says, "has to be about lifestyle
and not a 'diet.' About 80 percent [of weight problems]
are about what goes through your lips. Food should not
be a substitute for pleasure because what it does to the
body is not pleasurable." Lemon weighed 200 pounds
when she finally got the message. She's a tall trim woman
now with a scale in the workout room at OCC. Taking
control "is like addiction recovery," she says. "You gotta
be willing ... It's total lifestyle."
Woods-Rogers attorney Victor Cardwell and his wife,
Jo, work out regularly together. He's 56 and a former
defensive back at the University of Virginia and she is
44 and an RN and former high school soccer player,
who has run a marathon and several half marathons. She
regularly runs 10-15 miles a week and together they "do
a lot of walking." On a recent beach trip, they walked
abut 10 miles a day for a week.
"I want us to walk when we retire," says Victor. They
do spin classes at the Roanoke Athletic Club and they
lift and walk the stairs. "All aging bodies slow down," says
Jo. "Metabolism slows and you have to fight through it."
"I like to work out," says Victor, "and I've never
stopped doing it. I keep two gym bags in the back of
my car." He also notices changes with age. "Five to 10
pounds is not so easy to drop now," he says.
Victor learned early on, as a young lawyer at Woods
Rogers, that working out was a priority. Former WR
partner Bill Poff "told me to put workouts on my calendar and stick to it," he says. Jo says that working out
together is a solid incentive. "If I didn't have a partner,
it would be easy to walk away."
On those days when full workouts are simply impossible, says Jo, "it is important to do something. If you
have 15 or 20 minutes, you can do 30 flights of stairs or
run on the treadmill. I like the small successes. It starts
with a single lap around the track and works up to multiple times."
"When I met Jo," says Victor, "she was running 10
miles regularly" and that "sold me on her." If love is not
an incentive, what is?
Anne Lavery is a tiny 69-year-old trainer who homeschooled seven children and held a regular job for many
years. "We were always on a budget, so walking was my
go-to exercise, usually with kids in tow," she says. "Of
course, dancing in the house to music was always an ongoing exercise: Clean, dance, cook, dance. Music makes
She joined a gym 23 years ago and became an instructor a decade ago, incorporating "cardio exercise and
weight-bearing exercise into my weekly routine." One
of her classes involves 1,000 weight-lifting repetitions
in an hour.
It is, she says, "important to set aside a time for exercise. It is important for your physical and emotional
well-being. Start slowly" with the advice of your physician. If you use a gym, "start with a beginner or low impact class. If you can only do 10 or 15 minutes, that is
fine. Eventually, you will be able to exercise for a longer
period of time as you become stronger."
As you get older, she says, "Always remember, age is
a state of mind ... Put on that music from when you
were younger and rejuvenate yourself. Exercise is good
for body, mind, and soul." I