13 is ON YOUR SIDE of Town in Walker inside a popular hangout where longtime members say they find fitness, friendship and everything in between.

WALKER, Mich. — 13 is ON YOUR SIDE of Town in Walker all week long. For one stop, we’re inside a popular hangout where longtime members say they find fitness, friendship and everything in between. The Walker Ice and Fitness Center has a lot to offer, making it so much more than just your everyday gym.

Sandy Hahn is one longtime gym member we spoke with and she says her motto is, “Family, faith and fitness, with friends.”

Hahn also says she and her partner have been regulars since retiring about 11 years ago, and that they’re one of the oldest couples at the facility.

“I’m 76. This gentleman’s 81,” said Hahn as she pointed to Ira Bylsma on the bike beside her.

“This is our job to stay healthy and active because if you don’t use it, you lose it,” said Hahn.

Bylsma agreed, adding, “It’s a great job that you like. So, you don’t mind coming.”

Sandie VanBeek is the fitness manager. She mentioned that there are “several different types of classes, all different equipment that will accommodate all different age groups.” She is also one of the instructors for the 8 a.m. cross conditioning class.

It’s a class that Hahn takes, and she says “We, at the 8 o’clock class, have something called gym girlfriends.”

It’s a group that works out together and then also meets for gatherings outside the gym. Offering a type of fitness you can’t get from workout equipment, said another longtime member, Bridget Posthema.

“When life hands you lemon, make lemonade and this is just a great place for me to find a way to do that and just tackle everything in life that comes at me and still have a positive attitude,” said Posthema.

“It does clear your mind, mentally, but it also makes you feel an inner strength,” said John Allen, who’s been a member for more than five years, and believes his workouts mean, “You can overcome anything.”

Allen said he walks, “the track. I use the weights. I take classes two times a week,” and that his membership is free through his insurance.

“It’s a win-win,” said Allen, one of the many members taking advantage of this health insurance option for lots of seniors.

“And we also have skating lessons, adults skating lessons,” said VanBeek.

VanBeek wants potential new members to know, “We’re here to help you reach any goal that you would like to achieve. If it’s as simple as range of motion or just some stretching or working for a goal of losing weight or running a marathon, we are here for you.”

For more details, visit the Walker Ice & Fitness Center website.

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