A UVA Heart & Vascular Center Initiative

What Moves You?

Posted January 30, 2018

Are you inspired by your active parents? Setting your sights on bathing suit season? Determined to set a good example for your kids? What motivates you to stay active?

We asked some of our longtime Club Red members to share their stories about what keeps them moving and why. We hope their stories will inspire you to share your own.

Donna Cooper (pictured above)
Age: 57
Favorite activities: I belong to Planet Fitness, so I walk on the treadmill and use the upper body machines 3 times per week. But I have also tried the Zumba, jump rope and hula hooping classes offered at UVA.
Obstacles: The biggest obstacle I face is that I have a disability that just happened in 2013. A spinal rupture left me paralyzed from the waist down. I’m now walking with two canes and a leg brace. I was really active up until that time, but it really slowed me down. I am still active, but not as much. I have to modify all of my workouts so that is difficult. I could have just said ‘forget it’ and been done with working out altogether. But I did not let this disability get to me. I am going to keep pushing to be the healthiest and most active person I can be.
Motivation: My kids and I want to be able to see my grandson grow up.
Inspiration: Believe in yourself. Every day is a new day, so if you fall get back up and start again.

Diane Townes
Age: 62
Favorite activities: I take cycling and body pump classes at ACAC 3 to 4 days a week.
Obstacles: Finding time and scheduling are hard because often other things take priority. But I try to have a talk with myself and remind myself that fitness is just as important as brushing your teeth, eating a proper meal or getting enough rest.
Motivation: My elderly parents. Caring for them, I have realized you can do something different than the previous generation. You may have genetic concerns like high blood pressure, but there are things you can do to change your fate. I want to be mindful of my health and pass that mindset on to future generations.
Inspiration: Our bodies are primarily comprised of fluid, like a river flowing through us. That water needs to circulate. We don’t want it to remain stagnant. We need to move to maintain good health.

Heidi Flanagan
Age: 58
Favorite activities: I love skiing and hiking with my three daughters. They are all very active. But I also enjoy dancing and other exercise classes like Afri-Cardio at ACAC.
Obstacles: My biggest obstacle is balancing home and work life. I love both, but sometimes I forget about taking care of me. Being around others who are active and who encourage me – and having someone that I can plan an activity with – helps keep me accountable and on track.
Motivation: My daughters. I am determined to keep up their pace and set a good example for them. Cardiovascular disease runs in my family so I have an added incentive to take care of myself. So far, I’m not on any medication. I have happily worked hard for many years and I want to be as healthy and active and smiling as I near retirement and transition to more “me” time.
Inspiration: Shine some light and love (in whatever form) on yourself first, then you will be more likely to share that light and love with others.


What moves you? Visit us on Facebook to share your motivation for staying active with #MoveMoreUVA. You will be entered to win a Club Red prize!