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100-Year-Old Fitness Buff a ‘Legend’ at Mount Vernon Gym

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
02/04/16  2:25 PM PST

100-Year-Old Fitness Buff a ‘Legend’ at Mount Vernon Gym – By Aaron Weinberg for The Seattle Times

MOUNT VERNON — As Betty Erickson, who turned 100 in July, sat down at a leg-curl machine at Urban Fitness, she got a few smiles from gym patrons.

“Hey, Betty,” said a woman sitting nearby on Tuesday.

Erickson smiled before adjusting the machine’s resistance and starting her workout.

Erickson is a bit of a celebrity at the gym she’s attended for 20 years. She’s an inspiration, said owner Joy Shamburger.

“It’s pretty motivating that she works out,” Shamburger said. “Everyone is in a bit of awe. She is a legend around here. She doesn’t know that, but she’s a legend.”

Erickson works out 45 minutes a day seven days a week. She spends 30 minutes on a treadmill and 15 on strength training.

And while Erickson said, “It’s nothing vigorous,” she said the workouts have helped her stay independent. That’s one thing for which she’s always been grateful.

“Still having my independence motivates me,” Erickson said. “My youngsters say I’m stubborn and strong-minded for going, but I think it’s my fear of being dependent.”

Erickson moved from Yakima to Mount Vernon in 1989, six years after her husband died. She lives by herself in a condo.

Her four children live in the state, but she mostly does things on her own, including driving to the gym.

When Erickson started at the gym 20 years ago, she had joint pain in her knees. She said the pain is gone thanks to strength exercises on the leg curl machine.

Her good fitness also helped her avoid serious injury when she fell at the age of 94, Shamburger said.

“Normally at that age, if you fall and break something, you are pretty much done,” Shamburger said. “Betty was so strong that she was back in the gym after a couple weeks.”

Read the Full Article at The Seattle Times.