Who is that small woman with the blond curls who works out so hard? She is 66-year-old Center for Health & Fitness (CHF) member Arinna Shelby. She works out seven days a week, for three or more hours a day. But behind her toned figure, Shelby has severe osteoporosis, which is why she joined CHF 10 years ago. Knowing that weight-bearing exercise is key to increasing bone density, her motivation, dedication and commitment to working out hasn’t faltered. She inspires her husband, Andy, to work out too.
A nightmare for anyone with osteoporosis is a fall, and that is what happened to her six years ago. She fell down the stairs in her home, breaking both shoulders and tearing her rotator cuff. A few weeks later, a second fall exacerbated the injuries and caused her non-torn, but still broken, shoulder to freeze. “I spent six months in agonizing pain,” Shelby shuddered. “I couldn’t work, couldn’t drive, and had to wear my husband’s oversized jackets because my own were too tight to maneuver. I went through months of physical therapy in tears because it hurt so badly. But I was determined to heal and get my strength back.”
Slowly she recovered and now never skips a day at the gym. “It’s consistency and persistence that get you to the goal,” she said. Her routine includes daily cardio, strength training, abs and stretches. This year, she started working out with CHF Trainer Stephen to try to further increase her bone density. Stephen gives her specific exercises involving heavy weights to put tension on the bones. Another critical piece of Shelby’s fitness routine is her weekly sessions with CHF’s massage therapist, Jordan. “I couldn’t do what I do without her,” Shelby said. “Jordan keeps the knots at bay and ensures that my muscles are relaxed and able to work. It’s more than feel-good massage, it’s therapeutic.”
Another significant part of Shelby’s motivation is her belief that exercise is the best preventive medicine in the world. Her goal is to be as fit in twenty years as she is now. “I see folks older than myself at the gym, and they truly inspire me,” she smiled. The many friends she’s made here are also a factor in keeping her coming every day. “This is the best gym ever,” she affirmed.
Shelby recently surpassed 300 days at CHF, which will make her a member of CHF's "300 Club" four years in a row. Last year, she was the highest-ranking woman. This year, she is on track to reach 342 days. Her dedication and commitment are truly an inspiration!