Tribune Print Share Text

Fitness superstars

Ashby Ponds 100 Milestone Club celebrates healthy, active lifestyle

Created date

August 25th, 2017
Some of the more than 125 members of the Ashby Ponds 100 Milestone Club proudly show off their t-shirts—a reward for completing 100 workouts.

Some of the more than 125 members of the Ashby Ponds 100 Milestone Club proudly show off their t-shirts—a reward for completing 100 workouts. 


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, performed on a regular basis, can slow the loss of muscle mass, strengthen bones, and reduce joint and muscle pain.

This is especially good news for the more than 125 members of the 100 Milestone Club at Ashby Ponds, an Erickson Living community in Ashburn, Va. The group, recognized for logging workouts in increments of 100, are prime examples of the benefits of daily physical activity.

“The good news is that you don’t need to be a gym rat to compete,” says community member Jack Nevitt. “While the fitness center is available to anyone who wishes to use the equipment, there are many groups that promote physical fitness, including daily Ping-Pong competitions, tennis, pickleball, bocce, Wii bowling, and cornhole.”

Fitness enthusiasts

Earlier this year, Ashby Ponds wellness staff developed the 100 Milestone Club as a way of encouraging and celebrating community members as they strive to meet their fitness goals. Participants are given a log sheet with a list of qualifying activities. 

“We encourage the residents to log up to two 30-minute activities a day,” says Wellness Coordinator MaryBeth Arroyo. “The residents really motivate and push each other toward their goals. They enjoy competing with each other to earn the 100-workout milestones.”

Community members may choose to work out in the fitness center, take an exercise class, or participate in a wide range of activities from gardening to karate. Once they’ve reached their 100-workout goal, they receive a t-shirt and are given a new log sheet to begin the climb to their 200-workout goal.   

“The enthusiasm is contagious, and the t-shirts, when worn on campus, create a buzz,” says Arroyo. “We have quite a few residents already working toward their 300th workout.”

“I began logging workouts thanks to the encouragement I receive from my granddaughter,” says Ellie Herman. “She competes as a body builder and texts me almost every day asking, ‘What did you do today, Granny?’” 

Ellie enjoys getting up early and starting her day with yoga. She attends yoga class in the fitness center three times a week and spends the rest of the week following yoga classes that she streams on her Roku streaming media device.

Connie Bubon logs her workouts on the fitness center’s many cardiovascular machines. A trained nurse, she prides herself on remaining up to date on the latest trends in fitness and health. 

“I would work out even without the 100 Milestone program, but this makes it so much more fun,” she says. “The friendly competition is wonderful, and there are so many ways to keep active and healthy.”

Connie’s neighbor and fellow competitor Roy Murphy agrees.

“The best part of the 100-Milestone program is that I receive credit for doing what I would be doing anyway,” he says. “But now I get a shirt and bragging rights.”

For community member Gail Workman, her 100 Milestone program began shortly after she received a Fitbit (a wireless activity tracking device) from her daughter. She now logs a minimum of 7,800 steps a day.

“The timing was perfect,” she says. “I receive credit for my walks, which, because of my busy schedule, I often complete at night. In fact, the Ashby Ponds security staff know me on a first name basis because I’m often walking around campus well into the evening hours.”

Fountain of youth

In addition to receiving recognition for their efforts, members of the Ashby Ponds 100 Milestone Club reap many long-term benefits as a result of their commitment to fitness.

“I believe strongly that staying active and physically fit contributes to longevity,” says Connie. “I witnessed this firsthand with my mother, who, once she stopped being physically active, found her health declining rapidly.”

Ellie learned the same lesson watching her father.

“He was always active and, as a result, continued to walk a mile a day well into his 90s,” she says. 

After suffering from both hip and back pain, community member Ben FitzGerald feels like a new man after his almost daily workouts. 

“I walk for an hour about five times a week,” he says. “I don’t always want to go and work out, but I love how I feel once I’ve done it. It has made such a difference with my hips and back. I feel so much better, and I’ve avoided surgical intervention.”

Ellie also suffered from back pain prior to discovering yoga more than 15 years ago. 

“Yoga has erased the pain, and I feel better than ever,” she says. 

“By staying physically fit, we know that we will get well more quickly should the time come when we need a medical procedure,” says Gail.

Looking forward

This month, many of the 100 Milestone competitors will take part in the Northern Virginia Senior Olympics and compete in many of the same activities they enjoy year-round at Ashby Ponds. In addition, most will reach their 300-workout goal.

“The dedication and commitment of the residents to their health through physical fitness is an inspiration to all of us,” says Arroyo. “Just the other day, a group of residents were talking about reaching the 1,000 milestone. I have no doubt that day will be here before we know it.”