George C. Anderson

He was getting older, and George Anderson was starting to feel his age.  He had already made one positive step for his health, quitting smoking two years earlier in 1998, but since then he had gained weight and was up to 215 lbs. George’s physical conditioning, or lack thereof, was affecting his work as a self-employed professional photographer.  A job that involves a lot of physical activity, lifting heavy equipment and moving at awkward angles was getting harder, and it was taking longer and getting harder to recover after shoots.  He knew something had to change.  So George decided to come to the McConnell Heart Health Center.

George had never been especially active.  His parents were not active, and though George had played tennis in high school (“I lost all the time!”) and enjoyed outdoor pursuits, such as fishing and canoeing, he had never engaged in a regular exercise routine.  Coming to the McConnell Center would change all that.

He started off swimming and was immediately impressed by the expertise of the aquatics staff.  He took advantage of his orientation appointments with long-time McConnell associates Cindy Martin and Dave Mechling, started seeing positive results and realized the McConnell Center was a perfect fit.  In the fifteen-plus years since he joined, George has lost 20 pounds and kept it off.  His blood pressure and cholesterol numbers are all down, and he is no longer sore after photo shoots.

During his regular, frequent visits, George is motivated by utilizing the staff, by “asking questions and getting clear, relevant answers without any B.S.”  He also enjoys the social component, interacting with numerous fellow members.  “I’m a talker” he says, “and there are no contests here.”

George has now become a strong advocate of health responsibility.  “You don’t have to do anything, you don’t have to bother, and you can die young” he says bluntly.  “It’s up to you, you can’t get healthy by taking a pill.  You can talk about being fit, or you can be fit.”

By taking full advantage of the many services offered by the McConnell Center, George has made real, positive changes to his health and his quality of life.  “Once you get going, once you see results, you miss it when you don’t get here.”