98-year old attributes longevity to a healthy routine

Marion Mitchell in the Northern Neck YMCA YES class.Marion Mitchell drives a 1984 Toyota Celica GT, which bears the license plate, IMANTQ (I’m an antique). She explains the tag describes both the car and the driver. On December 28, Mitchell celebrated her ninety-eighth birthday.

Offering assurances that both she and the car are still in good working order, Mitchell attributes this to proper care and maintenance. This dedication to fitness is also evident in her exercise routine. Every Monday and Friday, she is in the front row of the YES (Young Energetic Seniors) class at the Northern Neck Family YMCA.

Mitchell humbly attributes her longevity to a good upbringing and a wholesome lifestyle. She had wonderful, supportive parents and a good education. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics from Washington State University. She has travelled around the world and incorporated her love of hiking into many of these trips. One of which included a climbing a New Zealand volcano crater at the age of eighty.

Even so, she believes the secret to staying healthy is having a routine. She walks every day and faithfully attends the YES class twice a week. The class is designed to help seniors perform daily activities by improving their cardiovascular health, strength, flexibility, and endurance.

Attending the YES class also provides Mitchell with the opportunity for social interaction. Since moving to the Northern Neck in 2006, Mitchell has found camaraderie at the Y. She is thankful for her instructors and class mate’s encouragement as well as their support during life’s challenges.

When she fell and endured months of recovery, her Y-family supported her rehabilitation. The instructors tailored classes and her physical therapy to fit her needs. Her classmates provided comfort and friendship.

Mitchell’s active lifestyle keeps her fit. She would, however, give as much credit to her faith. She trusts that she is looked over and offered help and guidance in her daily life. She is a member of the Light of Christ Anglican Church in Heathsville.

Three years ago, Mitchell published a memoir, “Ninety-five and Still Alive.” The book tells how her life, filled with adventure and reward was derailed by tragedy, how she coped with it, and then found the strength to move on.

A member of the YES class said of Mitchell, “She’s our inspiration.”





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