YMCA pool helps Rubink stay flexible [UPDATED]Published 4:02am Monday, November 4, 2013 Updated 6:08am Monday, November 4, 2013
Mobility and flexibility are two words that were probably on the far edges of Mary Rubink’s vocabulary just over a year ago.
But now they’re words that are treasured by the 1964 graduate of Ashby High School, who now resides in Underwood, MN.
She was diagnosed with arthritis at the age of 30 following back surgery, and was basically okay for the next two decades. For the past 15 years or so, she has had to rely on a cane to help her walk.
The arthritis has forced her into physical therapy because last year she found it really difficult to walk. But nothing has been quite as soothing for her as four trips a week to the swimming pool and aquatic fitness program at the Fergus Falls Family YMCA.
“I was okay until I was about 50,” Mary says. “I’ve got the cane now and I’ve tumbled a couple times, but the water keeps me flexible and helps my balance. It has been wonderful for me. The water has saved me.”
Mary says her time and effort at the YMCA pool has gradually made her better and when she misses a day or two, she can immediately notice it. The water has a soothing, positive impact on her sore joints.
She’s undergone replacement surgeries on both of her knees and elbows, but admits she still carries a substantial amount of pain. The water instructors like Katie, Inga, Rose and Sue, as well as Aquatics Director Amber Bartholomew have all been awesome and extremely helpful, she says.
Years ago Mary was a medical secretary at the hospital for home health care. The family still farms and Mary has a grandson who plays football for Underwood. That helps keep Mary active and constantly on the go as well.
Mary’s trips to the YMCA started years ago, she says – as often as she was able. At times, the surgeries and medical problems have gotten in the way. She says when she was more physically fit, she was able to move better and do more.
“I don’t always do what I should do or as much as I should do,” Mary admits. “But I’ve always loved to exercise and the instructors are so good, they just keep me motivated to keep coming back to increase my range of motion.”
Herm is Mary’s husband and they’re the parents of three children, who have all been extremely helpful since her health has been deteriorating. They have six grandchildren.
By Mike Bellmore
For the Journal