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Our monthly health series is authored by Patrice Cahill – Fitness Manager at Aviv Centers for Living
As most people may know, the WILLOWS WALKERS are a group of Woodbridge Residents that go to Salem Willows regularly in the summer on Mondays (if the weather cooperates) to live by the “spirit” and “body” portion of the Mind, Body, Spirit Mantra I instruct my Seniors to live by. However, once in a blue moon, even when doing something very normal, little surprises can wait around any curve, in our case, the curve around the back of Salem Willows which is where The Salem Willows Yacht Club Is located.
During one recent trip ( I was doing my thing, walking the perimeter of the Willows checking up on the seniors walking) John Regan, a launch operator for the SWYC, approached me and we started talking. I told him what I was doing there and he was very surprised that our little group had been doing the Willows Walk for a long time. I also told him that we plan, once a month, to have a walk/ lunch, enjoy the local faire (pizza, chop suey sandwiches, etc.).
This year, however we hadn’t been able to have one lunch all summer long (rain and storms.. ugg)! It was then that he asked me if the group would like to have their lunch in the yacht club! I was surprised and very happy that offer was made, since the beauty of that yacht club was truly a scene to be had, beautiful views of the water, lovely flowers surrounding the eating area and an indoor facility that was also very well kept which would allow, even if the dreaded rain came, us to dine and have our last lunch of the year.
Before we could do this however, John had to clear it with the proper channels at the Club. They approved the visit! On August 20th, without the seniors knowing by the way, we headed out for our surprise trip! When we got there, I told them what the surprise was and they were thrilled!
We walked around that corner and met John who had the Yacht Club all ready for us. (He even put out some lovely rocking chairs with views of the water, and made sure everything was in place for us to enjoy our meal). Colleen and I took the lunch orders, and while we were getting the orders filled, John had wonderful conversations with the Seniors, told them the history of the Yacht Club and made sure they were comfortable and happy!
We brought the food back to the group and all of us enjoyed dining in that beautiful place, feeling and being treated like royalty! (Which is exactly how I wanted them to feel and rightfully so!) That August day, the Yacht Club opened its’ doors and it’s hospitality to our group and for that we all are truly thankful and grateful.
This wasn’t something that I asked for, it wasn’t anything I had thought of ahead of time, it simply was an act of kindness by John who in my opinion, was a ray of light that allowed us to enjoy one of those situations that may only happen once in a lifetime but yes readers, it did happen!
The Yacht Club I was told has been around for a very long time and prides itself (rightfully so) with strong community service. We had that experience firsthand! This surprise was one of those things that just happened, right place at the right time kind of thing and thus this was just another example of something that proves, without a doubt, that there is no end to what can happen when people exercise (what else would I say!?) I never thought in a million years that it would lead to having lunch in a private yacht club but it did. It wasn’t me that thought of it, it was the inspiration of the Woodbridge Walkers, the effect of that inspiration that John felt when he heard about this wonderful group of people that I believe made him think of offering this unique gift. There always can be surprises just around the corner! Try it and you’ll see, you may or may not get a lunch at a yacht club , but you never know – stranger things have happened but what you will get is more fit and YOU will inspire good deeds in people that you touch when you do exercise. Patrice