Social Fitness-Creating Community Through Exercise

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October 2019 Fitness & Wellness Corner
Member Spotlight on Mike Adams
Maegen C. Stoner, Director, Fitness & Wellness

Yates gets me at my best and worst, and still accepts me for who I am. Early mornings when I’m still half asleep, gym hair don’t care vibes, and my socks may or may not match. When I’m teaching, there are days that I conquer a workout and days that a workout conquers me -where are all my Cardio Strength/Spinning people at, you know what I’m talking about ;-). It happens, even to us “fitness professionals.” What keeps me going? My fitness community! They hold me accountable, encourage and challenge me, and keep me going when I feel like throwing in the towel-quite literally some days!

Community through fitness provides us with a healthy connection to dedicated individuals who rally and support us to knock out that last rep, sprint, or dreaded last core exercise. They are the people who sweat it out with us, genuinely care about our well-being, and are invested in more than just whether or not we made it to the gym that day. This month, I want to use this opportunity to share a feel-good member story that iterates just how important a connection and community across fitness can be during a time of need.

Mike is a devoted attendee of our Group Fitness program and Older Adult Tone class that takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 8:00 am. I’ve watched this crew over my five years here, and they constantly amaze me. They are a truly uplifting, inspirational, and welcoming group that has positively defined community through exercise. In this transient DMV area, I will say that this is a rare find and it brings me great joy to know that Yates is such an integral and inspirational part of each members life.

I hope you enjoy this read!

Fit for Life

Mike & Sharon Adams behind a sign saying "Mount Mitchell Highest Peak East of Mississippi River Elevation 6684 FT."

As a devotee to the Yates Field House, I’ve been attending the “Older Adult Tone” group fitness class for several years. Class participants range from the 50’s to 80’s in age, both women and men.

For this 68 year old male, fitness became an important component to recovery, when on July 25th of this summer, I had open heart surgery. I was born with a defective aortic valve that finally needed replacement. To my surprise, I also learned that an aorta repair was in order. All along, I was expecting to have just the valve replacement and go the same route as say Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones who had that same procedure. A valve replacement procedure is rather common and does not require a long recovery period. In Mick Jagger’s case, his surgery was in April of this year and by June, he was performing on stage.

Mike & Sharon Adams with their dog. A view from the mountain they're on is in the background.

For me, the valve and aorta procedure lasted 6.5 hours. A day later, while in the cardiac recovery area, the staff member remarked that I tested exceptionally well and as a result was up and walking! I was discharged 4 days after surgery, 2 full days earlier than most cardiac patients. An in-home follow-up nurse added that I was progressing faster than most. Further good news came when a Physical Therapist remarked that I didn’t need her help based on some strength tests she put me through. All of this great news was due to my level of fitness conditioning.

It’s clear to me and certainly health experts that while a fitness regimen is important for a better quality of life, it’s also a major benefit if one is recovering from an injury, or in my case, major surgery.

I am grateful for the membership that Yates Field House provides and to the Group Fitness program and participants, to which I owe my speedy recovery.

Mike & Sharon Adams posing for a picture on a bike trail with their bikes.

Mike Adams

I’d personally like to thank Mike for sharing this story not only with me, but now with our Yates community! If you are interested in joining our Group Fitness program, please visit our website to purchase a pass and view our schedule. Please note that all participants must be a Yates Field House member in order to attend classes.


This blog post was written to provide educational information only. This article should not be used as a substitute or a replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions or concerns about your personal health, you should always consult with your physician. It is recommended that you consult with your physician or health care professional before beginning any fitness regimen to determine if it is suitable for your needs. The use of any information provided by this article is solely at your risk.