Mike McCormick was a bit surprised when he saw his name attached to a poster at Coleman Care Centre under the heading Athlete of the Month. “It’s not something I set out to achieve,” he says, and yet kinesiologist Megan Colwell says Mike is a great example of what’s possible when residents take advantage of the Program for Active Living (PAL) within the villages.
Mike was always an active man; right up until the point that his health took a bad turn requiring the use of a wheelchair, he was happily taking regular walks around the block every day. Eventually he made the move to long-term care but he chose to have a positive outlook on life in his new home. Despite the fact that his ability to walk is compromised for the time being, he remains active.
He’s usually the first to arrive for daily exercise classes, Megan says, and he’s often the last to leave. Even an infection a few months ago that landed him in hospital for three weeks didn’t slow him down. He got right back into his exercise regimen upon his return and the PAL team is proud to watch him grow stronger every day.
“I’m getting a bit older and time is flying by,” Mike says, quite simply, which is why he thinks regular exercise is important. He feels better mentally when his strength is up and he says exercise is the key to living longer.
Mike’s goal is to eventually walk again and if at all possible return home to his wife. In the meantime, though, he’s happy at Coleman Care Centre and his humour and positive outlook are greatly appreciated by both the team and his neighbours.
“Mentally I said to myself I’m just going to accept this as one of life’s little trials that we all have to deal with,” Mike says, thinking back to the decision to move to Coleman Care Centre. “I didn’t let it get me down at all.”
Mike carries that spirit of resiliency and optimism into his daily life, including the Program for Active Living, and that’s why Megan chose to recognize his efforts. He’s a great example for others to follow.
“We can help people regain some of their independence,” Megan says, “and that gain in independence can give them a bit of a boost and they become happier overall.”
“Mike is his same old self, coming in and joking around with us,” she points out, thinking back to when he returned from the hospital. “He bounced right back,” and she was proud to put his name under the Athlete of the Month header.
He and the others who’ve been named in the past inspire their fellow residents to want to be the best that they can be.