SilverSneakers competition winner logs more than 1,000 miles
Dorothy Straub is a fierce competitor. As the oldest of six children and the mother
of three boys, she quickly learned to dust herself off and keep going when faced
with a challenge. So when the SilverSneakers® 100 Miles, 100 Days Challenge kicked
off, she said, "I can do that," and she did. When her grown sons shared their doubts
that she could log more (1,000 miles in 100 days), she didn’t quit until she had
logged 1,145 miles — winning the statewide contest.
For Dorothy, the contest wasn’t just a race against her buddies at the Adult Wellness
Center in Rogers, Ark., it was also a way to get her out of the house after losing
her loving husband, Donald Straub, to Alzheimer’s disease in April.
"It’s easy to sit and feel sorry for yourself, and I did that for awhile," Dorothy
remembered, but after a few weeks she said she started looking for things to do
— about the same time flyers showed up at the Wellness Center advertising
the contest. Dorothy decided, "why not," and proceeded to log in five miles at a
time, several times a day.
After the first month, Dorothy already had logged 300 miles, so she made it her
goal to reach 1,000 miles, putting off a trip to Florida until after the contest,
and working in extra sessions on the stationary bike or on the track if she had
to miss a day.
Lucky for Dorothy, the Adult Wellness Center in Rogers has state-of-the-art exercise
equipment and a beautiful walking trail that wraps around a waterfall and fishpond
and includes several exercise stations. As Dorothy got closer and closer to her
goal, she realized that the walking and biking did wonders for her blood pressure.
"It has gone down tremendously," she said.
In May 2008, Dorothy retired to spend more time with Don and joined the Adult Wellness
Center, a benefit provided to her through Medi-Pak Advantage (PFFS) as part of the
To enroll in SilverSneakers, Medi-Pak and Medi-Pak Advantage (PFFS) members can
go to a participating fitness center near them and show their ID card. Fitness center
staff will assist with enrollment and provide tours of the locations. Because new
fitness centers are being added to the program regularly, members can go online
to silversneakers.com to find all participating locations in Arkansas.
Even though Don has passed away, Dorothy continues to visit the nursing home where
he stayed because she has developed so many friendships there. She even has become
a volunteer ombudsman for the home through the Arkansas Area Agencies on Aging.
She still volunteers one day a week at the prosecutor’s office. And she still logs
her miles on the track and the stationary bikes at the Adult Wellness Center. Because
Dorothy Straub doesn’t give up.