Ron and Carolyn are a couple in their late seventies who participate in the senior fitness program at KCP Physical Therapy.
For Carolyn, joining the program was a natural extension to her rehab to stay strong and conditioned. For Ron, it has been an opportunity to focus on his personal health and development. Both are regular attenders and say that they never want to miss a session.
Carolyn’s Story: Recovery from Total Hip Replacement
Carolyn had been suffering from back and hip pain for years without relief. In 2007, her daughter was working alongside a pediatric physical therapist who recommended that Carolyn visit KCP. She took the suggestion and began seeing therapist Joy Pfuhl.
“She helped me with some exercises and different modalities, like deep tissue massage and electrical stimulation,” Carolyn says. “After a while, Joy said ‘I think you’re going to need surgery on that left hip.’ She gave me suggestions for surgeons, and I had a wonderful experience.”
After completing post-surgical rehab, Carolyn says she was “doing quite well.” Joy invited her to join the personal training program to continue her progress. She accepted the invitation and began working out regularly in the mornings. She says that the program helps her to concentrate on strengthening her core and improving her balance.
Ron’s Story: Focusing on Personal Health after Prostate Cancer
Ron says that having prostate cancer (from which he recovered) made him think more deeply about his health. “I thought it might be a good idea to give some attention to my personal physique,” he says.
Carolyn was already a member of the personal training program and suggested that he try it with her.
Ron agreed and began by focusing on core development, balance, and muscle tone. Before long, he says that he was learning all about muscles and techniques. “I’ve learned what biceps, triceps, and quadriceps are! I didn’t know I had those before I started with Joy,” he says.
Competition, Camaraderie, and Chick-Fil-A
The fitness classes are available both in-person and virtually. Ron & Carolyn prefer coming to the KCP clinic for several reasons.
“To be around others that are going through the same routines…adds an element of competition,” Ron says. “But there’s also a bit of camaraderie that develops as you get introduced to other folks that are there. It adds an element of enjoyment.”
Carolyn says it has also become a part of their weekly routine. “We feel like this is our Thursday routine. We don’t want to miss,” she says.
Ron agrees. “We just make a morning of it,” he says. “It’s a morning out for me because we get to stop at Chick-Fil-A and get a nice biscuit and a hot cup of coffee afterward. That’s my treat for following her over to Joy’s!”
As a result of staying more physically fit, Ron and Carolyn can participate in more activities that they enjoy. In addition to gardening and walking in the neighborhood, they also like spending time with their 13-year-old grandson.
“He loves to play kickball,” Carolyn says. “We try to keep up with him!”
Speaking of Competition…
At 78, Ron may be the oldest member in the training classes.
He’s not about to be out-planked, though.
When he first began coming to the classes, he had difficulty with the plank. “I think the first time I made it for fifteen seconds!” he recalls. The standard interval to hold a plank in the classes is one minute.
Ron set out not only to achieve the one-minute mark with his plank but also to triple that number. He increased gradually, hitting his personal benchmark at a class recently.
Why three minutes?
“My motivation was to catch up with (instructor) Joy and what she’s doing with the plank. I’d like to get it up a little higher, but that was a nice benchmark for me to reach… I got a gold star on my chart that day!”
Caring and Educational Approach at KCP
Carolyn notes her appreciation for the education that she receives at KCP. “They always explain the things they do before they do them,” she says. “They explain why. And if you have questions, they help you understand the anatomy involved and the procedures.”
The education goes beyond the walls of the clinic, too.
Carolyn recalls a time when they were discussing techniques to protect her back from strain and stress. “Joy said, ‘Let’s go outside. I want to see how you get in and out of your car.’” She appreciated the extra gesture and education.
Both say that they are grateful for the caring nature that they experience at KCP.
Carolyn still needs the occasional PT session to address aches or pain caused by arthritis. “Whenever something needs attention, she’s available…She just works her magic…It’s been amazing and I’m grateful,” she says.
Ron adds, “If Carolyn needs to get work done, Joy always accommodates her into her busy schedule. That to me says a lot. That says volumes.”
“That’s her caring approach,” says Carolyn. “She really cares about you.”
Bringing Energy and Dedication to KCP
Joy says that she has been happy to be a part of the progress that Ron and Carolyn have made in their personal health journeys.
“Carolyn has such a strong work ethic,” she says. “As a retired nurse, she knows she is in charge of doing the best things she can for her health. “
“I was excited when she convinced Ron to join her in fitness,” she says. “Once Ron started, he has never missed a session unless he is out of town. How great to be seventy-eight and able to do a 3-minute plank! When he started, he could barely do 20 seconds. KCP loves the energy and dedication that Carolyn and Ron bring to our office!”