Charleston woman celebrates 100th birthday at the gym
Charleston resident Caroline Christian recently celebrated her 100th birthday with a party at the gym she attends three times a week.
“It’s good for my health and it gets me out,” she said.
Christian participates in exercise programs offered through Sarah Bush Lincoln’s Monitored Exercise Testing Services (METS).
“She’s an inspiration to everyone at the gym,” METS instructor Paula Enstrom said.
METS and EIU staff members honored Christian with an early birthday party, in which they gave her a special shirt that read “Made in 1916 – All original parts – Made to perfection.” She wore it to the gym during her next workout session.
"When I was small, I said I wanted to live to be 100 and my father said, ‘that’s a long time,’” Christian said. “As I grew older, I still wanted to live to be 100, but I qualified it -- only if I could think and do for myself. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next.”
Christian joined the Adult Fitness Program at EIU nearly 30 years ago, when she moved to Charleston to be nearer to her daughter and grandchildren. She even delivered newspapers for several years while in her 80s, until she had a heart attack. After recovery, she enrolled in cardiac rehabilitation classes and returned to her morning workout routines as soon as possible.
Now, even though she has a condition that makes walking difficult, she rides an exercise bike and lifts hand weights to stay in shape.
“Everyone is amazed by her dedication,” Christian's daughter, Jayne Bardsely, said. “It’s terrific. It keeps her moving. I’m very proud of my mom.”