This Month’s Inspiring Story
A Fighting Spirit
As a new year begins and many of us resolve to live a healthier lifestyle, Bender JCC member Darryl Weiler is an example to emulate. Since retiring in 2014 after a career as a software quality assurance engineer and systems analyst, three-day-a-week workouts have become an essential part of Darryl’s routine.
Why is the Bender JCC Darryl’s choice of fitness centers? “The staff is nice and they listen to you. The fitness center has the equipment I need and the atmosphere I want,” he remarks. Asked to elaborate, Darryl says that individuals who exercise here are accepted for who they are and for what they can do. “There’s an appreciation that whatever you do, it’s better than doing nothing. Just being here is half the battle.”
As for the other half of the battle, having lost 65 pounds since Darryl started working out here is evidence to the fact that it’s going in his favor.
The Jacksonville, Florida native has been involved in many sports — karate, judo, fencing, soccer and baseball among them. But boxing is the one that is in Darryl’s blood. His father, grandfather and uncle were boxers. Darryl fought Golden Gloves (annual competitions for amateur boxing) in high school, and he sparred with pros in college.
The best part of working out, according to Darryl, is how much better he feels when he’s finished. “After I start warming up, my aches and pains are gone.” Asked if he has days when he just doesn’t feel like exercising, he says that that happens all the time. How does he handle it? “I just do it. I don’t quit.”
An illness in June — during which he spent a considerable amount of time in the hospital and at a rehabilitation facility — only strengthened Darryl’s determination to get back on the bike, literally. By September, Darryl had returned to the Bender JCC health & fitness center, going through his usual circuit which includes riding the recumbent bike, hitting the punching bag and doing reps on many of the strength-training machines. By December, he had climbed back almost to the level he had reached prior to becoming ill.
What does Darryl consider the worst part of working out? After all he’s been through, he says there is no worst part; he’s just glad to be here. “If I had to choose a worst part, it would be the traffic on the way.”
For information on starting your journey to health and wellness at the Bender JCC, please contact Dahhia Smith-Johnson at 301.348.3894 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior Satellite Program Offers Winter Warmth
The winter months can be an isolating time, which is one of the reasons that the Bender JCC’s Selma Sweetbaum Senior Satellite Program is such a vital asset for senior adults in our community. Offering opportunities for nutrition, socialization, entertainment, exercise and education, the program meets in Rockville at the Bender JCC and Ring House, in Wheaton at Har Tzeon Agudath Achim, and in Silver Spring at Young Israel Shomrei Emunah Congregation. Results from a recent survey indicate that we are meeting our goals of providing better nutrition, socialization and quality of life for seniors.
90% said that the program has significantly improved their quality of life
80% said they were eating better
92% rated the social environment as good or very good.
The Bender JCC collaborates with community partners to fill critical gaps in needed services for seniors. Partners include: The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington; Meals on Wheels of America; Montgomery County Health & Human Services and Recreation; Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy and Charles E. Smith Life Communities; Leisure World; and Jewish Council for the Aging’s Senior Community Service Employment Program.
We also partner with local hospitals and healthcare professionals to offer free wellness programs and health screenings— including blood pressure, bone density and glaucoma testing—to Montgomery County seniors year-round. Partners include Adventist Healthcare; National Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence at Georgetown University Hospital; and Shady Grove Adventist Hospital.