By: Sherri Goggin
Ken Sherman’s smile is contagious. His zest for life, fitness and health…simply radiant. “Younger Next Year” is his motto and if you know Ken, or you’ve sat in one of his continuing education classes for folks 50+ at the University of Georgia, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
I learned of Ken’s remarkable story through one of his coaches at S.P.A.R.C., Athens Orthopedic Clinic’s Sports Performance and Rehabilitation Center, where Ken has been training for the past two years, and was instantly intrigued. “It’ s been a long journey,” Ken prefaced, “to becoming fit and healthy.” Like many of us in our 20s and 30s, Ken considered himself relatively healthy, but as his age started to increase, so did his weight. By the time Ken had reached his mid 40s, his 5’8” frame was carrying 220 lbs. It wasn’t until a scary prognosis from a routine physical that Ken realized he had to make a change.
That decision has propelled a passion for health and fitness that has served Ken well into his 60s where he feels stronger, healthier and happier than ever. Ken chuckled as he recalled the story of the whimsical “200 mile ‘bike to Savannah’ dare from a colleague at Clarke Middle School that inspired an annual event and the creation of a foundation that’s raised $180,000 for Excellence in Education. The 2015 ride to Savannah attracted an amazing 110 riders and the list of prospective participants keeps growing. When asked to comment about the event, Ken explained it as a serendipitous win/win/win/win experience meeting multiple goals: the desire to be healthy, a passion for cycling, a love of being with people and a service to the community through dollars raised.
With regard to Ken’s incredible positive attitude and better than ever total body fitness, Ken wholeheartedly credits the training he’s received at S.P.A.R.C for giving him the cutting edge. “The aerobic component of my workout was great, but I wasn’t as strong as I wanted to be. My core strength needed work,” Ken confesses. The coaching he received at S.P.A.R.C. has helped Ken look and feel healthier and younger than he did a decade ago. He explained the biggest difference between his training at SPARC and other gyms was the encouraging, supportive, hold-you-accountable staff that focuses on correct form above all else. Ken learned that maximizing his performance whether on the seat of his bike or in everyday life, begins with proper movement. Poor form and poor habits can cause our bodies to misalign and lead to eventual injury, Ken articulated, echoing the instruction he’s received at S.P.A.R.C. Once the professional trainers at the Sports Performance Center identified Ken’s strengths and weaknesses, they immediately focused on corrective movement techniques to build muscle and burn fat resulting in a stronger core. Ken touts his S.P.A.R.C. experience as making a “tremendous difference” in his life. He laughed, admitted biking 25 miles just to get to the Atlanta Highway facility for his ‘real’ workout. “Without S.P.A.R.C., I would have needed back surgery,” Ken admits. “But now, I’ve learned to correct my natural movement patterns that created my back problems to begin with. I’m more limber and agile than ever.”
Ken’s positive energy is contagious and his mantra proves true.. you really can look and feel younger next year! For those of us searching for the fountain of youth, it may be worth checking out the magic at S.P.A.R.C., located on the campus of Athens Orthopedic Clinic, 1765 Old West Broad Street.
Sherri Goggin is honored to work with Athens Orthopedic Clinic (AOC) as Director of Marketing and The Mulherin Foundation for Health & Wellness, a non-profit organization founded by the AOC in 2012 to serve children through healthy nutrition and physical activity.