The Unmatched Resilience of Angie Manheim

featured-angie-manheimAt age 36, Angie Manheim, a mother of five from New Lenox, was diagnosed with arthritis. Year by year, her condition worsened, and by age 50, her mobility had decreased significantly. Her kids, Angie recalled, had to take care of her.

“I couldn’t do anything for myself,” she said. “It’s been a long, hard ride, believe me.”

While on a family vacation in the Lake of the Ozarks, Angie made a life-changing discovery: Swimming relieved the pain. Suddenly, her joints were no longer stiff.

Luckily, back home, a brand new YMCA had just been built—the Smith Family YMCA on Briggs Street—complete with a swimming pool. When she returned, signing up was a no-brainer. Angie began using the pool regularly and her health steadily improved.

“After about eight months, the staff saw how it helped me and asked me if I’d run a class,” Angie said.

Despite having any prior experience teaching, she agreed.

“My first group had 12 people,” she said. “I would just go through the motions I had gone through, and before you know it I had over 60 people.”

That was 37 years ago. Today, the class, now known as Rusty Hinges, remains an incredibly popular program among seniors who have arthritis and other ailments. Angie, at 87-years-old, still leads class three days a week. Read More

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