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Walk a mile in your shoes

Created date

April 27th, 2010
MI_0510_mile walk fitness
MI_0510_mile walk fitness

On May 21, don your walking shoes and step out in the biannual Get Fit at Fox Run walk down Meadowbrook Road. [caption id="attachment_11390" align="alignright" width="280" caption="A handful of Fox Run residents set the pace during the community's last fitness walk."][/caption] This is the third time we re doing this, says Fox Run s Director of Marketing, Fred Moschetta. When it began in 2006, We wanted to bring a greater awareness of how fit the people are who live at Fox Run, and we wanted to involve the local community. Invitations go out to all Fox Run residents, prospective residents, and staff; the Novi Chamber of Commerce; neighbors Franklin Road Christian and Meadowbrook Elementary Schools; and folks who live nearby. In 2008, despite the foggy morning, 400 people showed up. The residents, as well as participating schoolchildren, wore chartreuse T-shirts emblazoned with Follow me to Fox Run on the back. As it turned out, that made them easy to spot through the fog. The route was a familiar one to Roy Birmingham, who takes it daily in good weather, walking from his apartment home to the University of Michigan s Tollgate Farm and back. He needed no prodding to sign up. Birmingham s athletic involvement started ten years ago when his wife told him to find something to do. So, he joined the fitness facility at Schoolcraft College, formed friendships there, and still returns five days a week for water exercise classes and to use the weight room. I m going to see people who are expecting me to be there, so I just do it, he says. It s something I look forward to, not something to dread. At Fox Run, he s always up for a game of water volleyball. I play it for fun a couple of times a week, he says. Fellow Fox Run resident Arlon Quigley can also be found taking a dip. If he s not leading water aerobics classes in the community s all-season swimming pool, he s taking them. Nearby, he trains with weights and uses the treadmill and elliptical machines in Fox Run s fitness center. He also competes in Senior Olympics activities including table tennis and badminton, and sometimes swimming and field events.

Doing and teaching

Bob Sullivan missed out on the 2008 walk because he and his wife only moved toFox Runlast September. But he might take part this year because he, too, is hooked on fitness. He s done aerobics and strength training for 20 years. First thing each morning, seven days a week, Sullivan trains for two hours inFox Run sfitness center. He does ten minutes each on the treadmill and two recumbent bikes, moves to the weight machines, and ends with free weights a full circuit. His arthritis keeps him motivated. The daily exercise makes a difference, he says. Otherwise, I get stiff. Because he knows the benefits of movement firsthand, early last winter he started teaching a strength-and-balance class for residents of Renaissance Gardens, Fox Run s extended-care neighborhood. The class, part of Fox Run s very successful fall-prevention program, is offered every weekday. Wellness Coordinator Alice Hixson oversees the program, and Sullivan instructs once a week. He s one of two resident volunteers and a handful of staff Hixson trained to teach the class. When he started [working out] in the fitness center, Bob asked if he could get involved teaching, Hixson says. As she began organizing the new program, I thought of him immediately. Sullivan says he finds himself alternately coaxing and cheering on his class members. People will say they can t do [a certain] exercise, he says, when actually, they re already doing it. And doing it is the key to health, says Quigley: You don t have to be competitive. Just keep yourself in shape, and keep going.