We are only as great as our members!
Every month we recognize one or two of the many unique, friendly, and hard-working individuals who are choosing to make their wellness a priority at the Duke Center for Living at Fearrington.
December 2018- Kate White
Kate was born and spent life in Augusta, GA until age 16, when her family moved to NC. She received her medical education at the UNC School of Medicine, but professional life took her to other parts of the country. About 8 months ago she and her husband happily retired back home, to NC.
Kate has been an active and athletic person since childhood, via ballet and swimming. In her thirties she discovered the joys of running and weight lifting. She has continued to enjoy weight lifting and swimming into her late sixties.
When Kate and her husband returned to NC, she was recovering from two surgeries and had received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. Unfortunately, due to these difficulties, she had become far too sedentary. Luckily, DCFL was in their new backyard! Kate and her husband could not be happier to have such a high quality facility with such a well-trained and caring staff. DCFL, she says, adds so much to their enjoyment and quality of life!
Exercise helps Kate in multiple ways. When she doesn’t exercise, she quickly begins to feel a decline in physical, emotional, cognitive, and psychosocial health and well-being. The gym has been unexpectedly good medicine.
Kate usually exerts herself for 30-60 minutes most days of the week. She concentrates on weight lifting, which is so important to healthy aging and maintaining function. Some days she works with a trainer who keeps her on track, challenged, and always evolving. Kate says the DCFL Exercise Physiologists are trained to evaluate and work with an older population, and were able to address her specific deficits and needs, and incorporate her personal goals. The skills of the Exercise Physiologists coupled with Kate’s determination to return to her previous state of health and well-being have been a match made in heaven. Reconditioning has been a challenge but after eight months of slow and steady progress, she feels remarkably better with improved energy, strength, balance, and mood.
Kate would absolutely recommend DCFL to others. DCFL could not be a more convenient facility for the many folks who live around it and she finds it very well priced for a retired person or couple, especially when compared to similar facilities.
November 2018- June Keicher
June was born in North Carolina and raised in Atlanta. Her parents are from Chatham County and her grandparents owned Chester’s General Store in Pittsboro. She visited often and has always felt at home in Pittsboro.
June left Atlanta for St. Andrew’s College in 1973 and has been in NC ever since. She attended UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Greensboro, and Appalachian State for her BA and MA in Dance and Art. She taught high school art for 27 years in Siler City, and was top ten in the nation as a professional shag dancer! Dancing runs in the family. June’s parents were ballroom dancers and her daughter owns the 7 Dance Centre in Pittsboro.
June joined DCFL in 2017 when she found out she had breast cancer. She says DCFL saved her! During treatment, June’s doctors said she was their healthiest patient and attribute her successful recovery to her exercise regimen.
June does mostly weight-bearing exercises to keep her bones strong. Her workout consists of 1-2 miles on the indoor track and fun exercises with Taylor, her personal trainer. Exercising has provided June with the stamina to help her daughter with Princess and Fairy Camps and keep up with her grandchildren. Through exercise, she has more energy and is able to stay toned, look and feel good! While her favorite part of her workout is leaving, she appreciates walking into Justin’s smile (and others at Member Services) each day and that her workouts keep her emotionally stable and happy! She recommends DCFL whenever she can.
October 2018- Kay Little
Kay is originally from Pennsylvania. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Penn State and taught high school French for a few years. She then went on to earn her accounting degree from Slippery Rock University. an participation.
Kay has lived in Chapel Hill since 1984. She decided to join DCFL after retiring as Vice President of Finances from the American Board of Pediatrics in 2010. She joined to get in shape after spending her life sitting at a desk!
Kay exercises five to six days per week, for over an hour each day. She does 40 minutes on the elliptical, 15 minutes on the bicycle, and spends the rest of her time on the Keiser strength machines and stretching. She says it has all been helpful in strengthening her core and increasing her energy levels. Aging makes her fitness goals a moving target, but she continues to work hard each week! In her free time when she is not exercising hard at DCFL, Kay likes to travel, relax at the beach, and spend time with her family.
Kay enjoys coming to DCFL because of the super friendly and helpful staff, the cleanliness of the facility, and their many programs, which she says she needs to take more advantage of!
September 2018- Ruth Ann Burk
Ruth Ann grew up in Binghamton, NY. She went to SUNY Stony Brook for her Bachelor’s in Nursing and Master’s in Healthcare Administration. During her time as a nurse, she cared for HIV and oncology patients residing in the hospital. After her hospital days, she spent 30+ years as a Project Manager working on clinical research in the pharmaceutical industry. She continues to stay involved in clinical research as a member of an Institutional Review Board (IRB). IRBs are required by US law to review all research involving humans and ensure Federal guidelines are met prior to human participation.
Ruth Ann left NY for NC in 2009 so she could be close to her children who live in Apex. Presently, she and Jeremy Wainwright, who she says is the nicest man ever, reside in Fearrington Village along with 3 cats, a dog and a 25 year old African Grey parrot. Life in their home is never dull!
Ruth Ann loves to have fun. In her free time, she likes to garden, knit, tap dance, cook, and bake. She has a great recipe for a German plum tart.
Ruth and Jeremy joined DCFL last summer after years of training at a different gym. They joined to be a part of a very clean, well-equipped, and friendly fitness facility located close to home. DCFL offers a full program and hosts a caring community. The opportunity to learn, stay healthy, and be with friends is a bonus. She would definitely recommend DCFL to others!
For her workout routine, Ruth Ann completes 30 minute work-outs twice weekly with Heather and takes additional classes in Barre once or twice weekly. Barre is a rigorous class with great people, and loads of fun coupled with a lot of BURNING! Ruth Ann says that having scheduled classes and training keeps her returning, despite the desire on some days to play hooky.
After being diagnosed with osteoporosis 10 years ago, Ruth Ann has been motivated to continue exercising as a treatment for her condition and she no longer needs medication! Since working out with weights, her results have alternated between improving or remaining stable. Her positive results drive her to continue working out and stay off medication as long as she possibly can.
August 2018-Susan and Kevin Wolf
Susan was born in Columbus, OH, and grew up in Charlotte, NC. She attended UNC Charlotte, where she earned her Communications degree. She worked several broadcasting and marketing jobs in the area. Her last and favorite position was Communications Director for UNC Chapel Hill Student Stores.
Kevin was born and raised near Gettysburg, PA, and graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a Journalism degree. He worked 33 years at WUNC Radio (including 17 years as the local Morning Edition host) as well as several decades as the anonymous voice between programs on the statewide UNC-TV network. He retired 10 years ago to become Susan’s primary caregiver (chauffeur, wheelchair wrangler, “comic relief,” etc.). Susan and Kevin have been married 38 years.
Susan was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) in her mid-20s. Her first rheumatologist told her, “Find an exercise you can do for the rest of your life, and start doing it!” She chose lap swimming and has been hooked on it for over 30 years.
Susan joined DCFL in 2010 because the facilities are first class and safe for people with mobility issues. Also, the staff truly seem to care about the members. Susan tries to work out three times per week, doing a combination of walking, various exercises and laps in the pool.
Susan credits her pool time with “keeping her going,” physically and emotionally, through the pain and limitations of RA. Plus, she’s developed several close friendships over the years with fellow pool lovers. Her pool time lifts her spirits and keeps her attitude positive. After 20-plus surgeries over the years, she says she may be knocked down from time to time, but always gets up again.
Susan and Kevin both say DCFL is by far the best sports center/pool she’s belonged to. It’s clean, pleasant, safe and accessible, and has an attentive staff. You can’t find a better group of exercise enthusiasts to work out with!
July 2018-Robert Popchak
Robert is originally from Clairton, PA, and joined the U.S. Navy shortly after high school. He served 10 years on the surface and 10 years on submarines. After he retired from the Navy he lived in Naples, Italy. It was there that he met his lovely English lady, Amanda, who was teaching at the British Council.
Robert was a police officer at the Naval Submarine Base in Kings Bay, GA, until 1990, when he was accepted into the Foreign Service. During this time, Robert and Amanda lived in 10 different countries. While in Frankfurt, Germany, Bob conducted Operational Reviews in 70 countries over two years.
Bob describes his most challenging assignments as also the most rewarding. One was during the First Gulf War, when he worked with the Kuwaiti government-in-exile in the mountains of Saudi Arabia. Two years after the Soviet Union fell, he worked in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, as an Overseas Project Manager. He also worked on Secretary Colin Powell’s initiative to provide cryptographically covered internet access to our embassies and consulates worldwide. Bob usually chose the hard-to-fill, and dangerous posts, enjoying the mental and physical challenges.
Bob retired from the service in 2014. Bob and Amanda moved to Pittsboro almost four years ago. They love retirement on their small farm with their two horses and dog. The couple tried two other gyms but found DCFL the best overall gym in the area, by far. Bob says DCFL has everything they’ve ever wanted in a gym, from the very latest equipment and the fantastic salt-water pool and hot tub to professional, knowledgeable and caring exercise physiologists and staff. Amanda takes part in an open water 3.5 mile swim for charity every year and uses the pool for her training.
Bob especially enjoys the new Precor machines, which are amazing for high intensity, easy-on-the-joints workouts. He is no longer able to run, and says that the new AMTs are the closest he has come to running in years! In the last four months he has lost 25 lbs, and attributes this to advice from the fitness staff and to the new machines.
Amanda and Bob love challenges and learning new things. DCFL offers both, as well as the opportunity to interact socially with so many others. DCFL has become an active part of their lives, and they would highly recommend it to others who want to continue to challenge themselves mentally and physically for a successful and healthy lifestyle.
June 2018-Steve Barrett
Steve Barrett, 84, is a retired psychiatrist, medical editor, and consumer-protection activist. He has co-authored and/or edited 52 books and thousands of articles. He and his wife (Judy) moved here eleven years ago to be closer to their daughter and her family, who live in Chapel Hill.
Steve had been swimming laps and using a treadmill for many years. Around the time he moved to Chapel Hill, he noticed that it was hard for him to get up from sitting positions. He then joined DFCL and added strength-training to his fitness program. When he learned that the Chatham County Senior Games swim competition would take place in our pool, he registered. Being the only person in his age group, he won four of the five events he entered. (He got a toe cramp in the 200-meter freestyle.) His DFCL strength-training program and lessons from a coach at UNC improved his time enough to win two
breaststroke events at the 2008 North Carolina Senior Games finals. Inspired still further, he got more training and began competing regularly in both senior games and U. S. Masters Swimming events.
In April 2018, he won his 100th state championship title. He has also won 42 medals in national and international events. During the 2013 season, he became a world champion, winning his age group in the men’s 50-meter butterfly at the Huntsman World Senior Games. His current workout program includes swimming 30 minutes three or four-times a week, strength-training exercises twice a week, and
walking 3/4 mile around the track twice a week. He says the staff at DCFL are friendly and knowledgeable. He appreciates that the Keiser machines can be adjusted one air-pressure unit at a time, making them safer than machines at other gyms.
May 2018-Chris and Kara Bell
Chris was born in Ottowa, Canada and grew up in New York. He attended both College of Wooster and
Clark University before obtaining his law degree from Antioch School of Law in DC. During his career as an attorney, Chris was a member of the team that helped write the Americans with Disabilities Act. He has lived in various locations throughout the United States, including Florida and most recently Minnesota. The cold weather in Minnesota and the fact that his father and other family live here helped influence his decision to move to North Carolina in November.
Kara is a four-year-old yellow lab and a graduate of Guiding Eyes for the Blind’s special needs program. Kara and Chris have been together for two years.
In his spare time, Chris enjoys reading three newspapers every day and the occasional mystery or thriller novel. Kara loves to chew on Nylabo-nes and play with her cousin Sophie, who is a guide dog for Chris’ wife.
Chris joined DCFL at the beginning of January, after searching for a place that would meet his needs. He works out three times per week, mostly with Jamie. He spends a lot of time on the NuStep and on various weight machines. His favorite is the leg press, because he can push a lot of weight and it makes him feel really strong! Kara spends her time at DCFL hanging out behind the Fitness Desk and being admired by all who pass her by. Kara appreciates that the Fitness Staff have given her a blanket that is all hers! She also enjoys the occasional belly rub and head scratch the exercise physiologists hand out from time to time.
Chris is motivated to workout by his 96-year-old father, who has always exercised, and because he always feels better when he does. He would recommend DCFL to others because it is important to work on cardio and strength to live a longer and healthier life. Also, the trainers here really know how to work with older adults and prescribe exercises to keep them healthy and safe.
April 2018-Ellen May Moore
Ellen May, or “Ellemay,” grew up on the island of Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands, surrounded by beautiful crystal blue waters. Always swimming, she describes herself as an aquatic soul and part fish!
Her father was a rocket scientist on Kwajalein for 17 years before they moved to Massachusetts, where she finished high school and attended the University of Massachusetts for college. She continued to swim throughout college, then began swimming in outdoor pools during the summers. Ellemay is currently a medical scribe for an orthopedic surgeon. On weekends she is a contemporary worship leader who plays guitar and ukulele and sings.
After many years of mixed success with exercise and dieting, in February 2017 everything changed. Ellemay says she stopped focusing on the numbers and just went for it, swimming almost daily at the beginning and keeping to a vegetarian diet. Swimming laps turned into miles and she swam away her high numbers!
She considers her workouts a part-time job, coming five days per week and taking weekends off. On three of those days, she swims two miles each day. The other two days of the week she does her “land battle,” which includes a combination of cardiovascular equipment: the Airdyne, rowing machine, arm bike and NuStep. She also does some light weight strength training.
While she is now close to her goal numbers, Ellemay is continuously motivated by the smiling faces and encouragement from fellow members and staff at DCFL! DCFL is not just a place to workout, but a home away from home. The thoughtfulness of the staff makes her feel so welcome and makes it feel like we are all a team! Being surrounded by others who are supportive allows her to focus on getting through her workout. Ellemay describes DCFL as a top notch facility where the staff is knowledgeable, helpful, encouraging and supportive. They provide excellent communication and allow those in battle an arena to get the job done. Ellemay says that if you see her, please stop, say hello and share your story! “We are all on the same team,” she says, and “to battle we go together!”
March 2018-Jeff Derecki and Eileen McCorry
Jeff was born in New Jersey and went to Duke for his Bachelor’s. He was the Art Director at Scholastic, Inc until his retirement. Eileen was born in Queens, and earned two post-graduate degrees, an MAT from Brown University which led her to teach high school English for 7 years, and an MBA from Columbia University. With the latter, she spent 30 years in pharmaceutical marketing and education. The two met over Memorial Day weekend of 1988 in the Hamptons at a cocktail party. They hit it off and in 1993 got married in New York City.
During their remaining years in NY, they enjoyed a second home in the northern Catskills where they could ski and snowshoe in the winter, and hike, bike and garden throughout the rest of the year. Jeff was previously a long-distance competitive runner, competing in the 1978 NYC marathon, 18 other marathons, and 150 shorter races. Eileen has participated in exercise programs at various gyms over the years, and has always remained active.
Jeff and Eileen moved to Fearrington in early 2017 and shortly after joined DCFL. Jeff wanted to continue his rehab from spine surgery a few years back and Eileen wanted a facility that met their needs as aging adults. For cardio, they both walk either outside on the trails or on the treadmill, and also use the bikes. They both use the Keiser machines for strength training. Jeff also likes to do kickboard laps and water running in the pool. He has found exercise beneficial in building strength in the left leg that experienced nerve damage, and he is motivated by increased confidence while performing recreational activities such as walking and golfing. Eileen finds benefit from stronger bones and an improved metabolism, and is motivated to maintain her fitness level as she ages.
They would recommend DCFL to others for various reasons. Jeff would recommend DCFL to increase physical self confidence in the later years. Eileen recommends DCFL for the professional qualifications of the staff. The staff understands the needs and limitations of an older population and can specifically design programs for them. DCFL also has great equipment and overall ambience– no clanking of heavy weights, grunts or groans here!
January 2018-Gloria Scheiner
Gloria raised her children Jac, Adam and Elana on Shongum Lake in NJ. Those days were busy with her career as a Learning Consultant and degree in Counseling. Gloria and her family were well known in the community because of their children’s orchestra participation. All of her children now have careers in medicine. She is very proud of them!
Gloria was never physically active growing up, and did not learn to swim or ride a bike until she was 22 years old. Once she experienced how exercise made such a difference in her life, it became her best friend. Gloria became a member of DCFL when she moved to Galloway with her fiancé Leo in August 2017. She comes to DCFL every morning by 9am to walk on the treadmill and get ready to meet the day. She comes again around 7pm to promise her a good night’s sleep. She usually brings some reading with her and gets that done during her 2 mile treadmill walks. At almost 82 years old, she has also found that swimming has been the gift that keeps giving in terms of using the entire body.
What motivates her to continue? At one time she was bedridden by Arthritis. Once in remission, she was determined to do whatever it took to keep her body moving. She knows what it is like to be stiff and tired every day, and knows what it feels like to have energy. Feeling energized and sleeping well are what motivates her.
DCFL has motivated Gloria to expand her exercise regimen to include classes she never would have tried. They are fun with great instructors! DCFL is a very happy place that she would recommend to those who want to keep up with their regular routines and those looking for something new.
Her advice? Don’t wait– Later is now! This is the perfect place to use your time wisely in 2018.