SOUTH HUNTINGDON, Pa. - Tiny but tough, Alberta Myers, 91, intensely focuses on her morning workouts, missing nary a day since 2007.
She recently surpassed 1,000 exercise sessions at Curves.
“Absolutely no excuses. She uses every machine,” said Anne Bombulie, who owns Curves gyms in New Stanton, Hempfield and Unity. “She wills herself into it. She has a fabulous attitude. She inspires us all.”
This article was written by Rossilynne Skena, who is a staff writer for Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE.
Equal parts “Miss Independent” and “cute as a button,” Myers is the most senior member in New Stanton, Bombulie said.
Each weekday, Myers wakes with the sun, arriving at the gym as the doors open. She has worked out practically every morning since January 2007, when she joined after her niece recommended the gym.
“I go around the machines twice, and that takes about a half-hour or so,” Myers said. “It's real enjoyable to me.”
Myers exercises her legs and arms and completes cardio. She skips one machine because it would affect her pacemaker.
“I'm 91 now. I know I wouldn't get around the way I do if I didn't go to Curves,” Myers said. “Exercise is important.”
On June 20, Myers completed her 1,000th workout, a feat that earned her a purple T-shirt noting that magical number.
“I always kid them, I say that's my bragging shirt,” Myers said.
Even if she feels groggy, Myers said, she rallies her energy to “get up and go.”
She skips on Saturdays — it's her day to sleep in. Curves is closed on Sundays. Only wintry weather can keep the spry nonagenarian from Curves because she doesn't drive in the snow, although other participants pick her up sometimes.
Her devotion doesn't waver even on vacation.
On a weeklong trip this year to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Myers worked out three times at Curves, even though she doesn't speak Portuguese.
Bombulie gave her a T-shirt emblazoned with “America” across the front to wear there.
Myers is a “strong, strong lady” who works out “very seriously” with consistency, Bombulie said. She even pushes others to work harder.
“She's there to work out. She's not there to socialize,” Bombulie said. “During her workout, she is so 100 percent focused.”
Myers said she enjoys meeting new people at the all-female gym, which promotes a 30-minute workout on about a dozen machines.
A mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Myers lives in South Huntingdon, where she worked as bookkeeper at Myers Farm Service. Pink, purple and red flowers sprout outside of her neat stone house.
Myers and her late husband met at a square dance and liked to dance together. Myers stitched their outfits by hand.
To this day, Myers does alterations at her home, preferring to work on gowns.
“I have no trouble threading a needle,” she said.
Myers' creative knack for making clothes look good is helpful for women at the gym, Bombulie said, because “lots of ladies are losing lots of weight.”
Myers keeps a busy schedule: exercise in the morning, tend to flower beds in the afternoon, complete alterations in the evening. She takes time to care for her cat, work on the newspaper crossword puzzle and read the daily paper — all except for the sports section.
For Myers, it's full steam ahead. She's even started dancing in a new Zumba program.
“I hope I don't have to slow down. I just went for my six-month checkup — six-month inspection, I call it,” Myers said. “I'm the oldest one there (at Curves). I'm sure of that. I'm going to keep on going as long as I can.”