Lake Norman & Mooresville

Seniors have fun at fitness day at Jetton Park, Cornelius

From left, Steve "Biggie" Small, 69, spins a hoop around his arm as Howard Younger, 67, watches his wife, Ruth Younger, 67, spin a hoop around her arm at the BrightStar Care station.
From left, Steve "Biggie" Small, 69, spins a hoop around his arm as Howard Younger, 67, watches his wife, Ruth Younger, 67, spin a hoop around her arm at the BrightStar Care station. MARTY PRICE

After eight straight days of rain, sunshine greeted more than 140 adults, 55 and older, who participated in the Ninth Annual Lake Norman Senior Fun and Fitness Day on April 21.

Seniors played exercise games like hula hoop, basketball dribbling and even corn hole, at 20 health services vendor stations that lined the fitness trail in Jetton Park. The vendors offered services targeted for senior citizens.

At one of the picnic areas along the trail, Julia Rozzelle, 75, was enjoying a back and neck massage by Tammy Shulenberger of Stonehaven Massage & Spa of Mooresville. Her friends teased her about getting a massage in the woods.

“I thought that was fantastic,” she said when she was done, “it makes me feel like I’m 28 again,” drawing laughter from those around her. In the spirit of the day, when she and her four girlfriends came to a fork in the trail, with one being a shorter, half-mile mile route, they decided to stay on the 1.5-mile walking trail instead.

Joanne Ahern, director of the North Mecklenburg Senior Center, which held the event in partnership with the Parks and Recreation Departments of Davidson, Huntersville, Cornelius and Mecklenburg County encouraged the vendors to make this a fun event for the seniors.

“Every vendor is expected to have a fun, silly game to get people in action and moving,” Ahern said.

As Ruth Younger, 67, and her husband Howard Younger, 67, walked up to the Transition Tamers station, she called out “we’re game.” The couple burst into laughter when they found out that the game was to race each other, moving a stack of boxes.

“We have been moving boxes since the last of March, when we moved here (Cornelius) from Pennsylvania,” she said between laughs. As the two were racing, Ruth had a slight lead when Howard decided to move two boxes at once. Everyone joined in laughing as some called out “cheater.”

“This event was very well-organized, with a large variety of vendors with fun activities that included everyone,” Ruth Younger said. “It’s a great way to learn about services and activities for seniors in the community.”

The walkers joined those who were less mobile at Waterfront Hall for free health screenings by Novant Health as well as lessons in chair exercises, tai chi and line dancing. Socializing, dancing and lunch completed the fun and fitness filled day.

Marty Price is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marty? Email him at martyprice53@gmail.com

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