Staying on Top of His Game

February 18, 2019
Categories: Wellness | Lifestyle

So how does he stay on top of his game? Jim responds, “I like being able to do different exercise routines in our Wellness Center at Sterling. The variety really helps my golf and keeps it fun for me.”

This Ironman isn’t some comic series character, Jim is the Ironman of Sterling Estates Senior Living Community in East Cobb where he utilizes a combination of individual strength and aerobic training taking full advantage of the treadmill, recumbent bikes, and upper/lower body equipment in the wellness center as part of his daily exercise routine. He is faithful to his weekend yoga class every Saturday. Wellness Director, Laura Kelly, says “Jim would be the first to agree that his physical fitness has improved significantly since moving into Sterling. He’s been participating recently with the recreation therapy basketball and golf programs we have started at Sterling and, on top of all that, he seems to be able to throw in an occasional water aerobics class or group cross-training/boxing class. He is, indisputably, Sterling’s Ironman.”

Born in the same year as Arnold Palmer and Popeye, Ironman Jim Gillen, has always been driven in one way or another. As a young boy during World War II, he mowed lawns to earn money. Living in a golf community, it didn’t take long for Jim to learn that more money could be made by being a caddy. Beginning at age ten he carried bags through the hilly course, sometimes carrying four at a time. Learning to play golf fell into place from there. After college and the Korean War, Jim met his future wife, Ann, on a blind date to play golf. Jim moved into a cottage at Sterling Estates just over five years ago. Partner, Marshall Gill, says “It’s been fun and rewarding for us, and him, to watch him maintain his physical fitness.”

Golfing served Jim well throughout his professional career, and still enjoys the game after taking a couple of years off to care for his beloved wife! Celebrating his 90th birthday this month, Jim plays with a handicap of 18 but says he is working on regaining his previous handicap. Asking this Ironman what his goals are for the new year, he responds “My 2019 goal is to improve my balance, and with the versatility of my individual wellness program we’ve developed at Sterling, I feel this goal can be accomplished.”

Jim’s advice to older adults? He doesn’t beat around the bush with his reply. “Don’t sit on your butt and play Bingo!”

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