Two of the most amazing people I know — my in-laws Shep (96) and Mary Ann (90) Bryan — are featured in today's Florida Times-Union, No New Year’s Resolution Needed: In Their 90s, Couple Still Hitting the Gym Each Week:
Already wavering on your New Year’s resolution to exercise more? Yes, it can happen that fast.
Then consider the example of Shep and Mary Ann Bryan, 96 and 90 years old respectively, who hit the gym several times a week and have been doing so faithfully, through various health challenges, for more than four years.
“Keep going. Don’t ever stop,” Mary Ann said, at the gym on the day after Christmas. Then she chuckled: They’re the only customers who use the handicapped parking space out front, and Shep uses a walker to get inside the gym. But they keep coming.
They work with their trainer, Stan Gorman, who is 70, at the Bailey’s Gym on Atlantic Boulevard, just west of Hodges Boulevard. He figures that about three-quarters of his clients are seniors — exercising can help them with bone density, strength, coordination and balance — but he especially likes to brag about the Bryans.
“They’ve gone through issues, but they don’t quit,” he said. “This could encourage a lot of people to exercise. Just do something.”
Bryan is an Annapolis grad who was an officer on a destroyer in the Pacific during World War II. He became a civic leader and attorney in Jacksonville, including 35 years as general counsel for Winn-Dixie. Mary Ann Bryan was an artist for decades. They’ve been married 68 years and have five children, 15 grandchildren and a great-grandchild, with another on the way.