Mt Pleasant News

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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 19, 2018

‘To be a whole person again’

After double hip surgery Bob Waters is back in the gym, working to regain his mobility
Apr 05, 2018
Photo by: Karyn Spory Following a double hip replacement, Mt. Pleasant real estate agent Bob Waters says returning to the gym and working to maintain a healthy lifestyle was important. Above, Waters works out with personal trainer, Raul Becerril. Becerril says a large portion of their half-hour workouts are dedicated to stretching as regaining mobility is key for Waters.

By Karyn Spory, Mt. Pleasant News


Mt. Pleasant real estate agent Bob Waters walks into the REC Center. He’s dressed in a blue shirt, blue windbreaker pants and blue and white Asics tennis shoes. For some, it may seem amazing he’s in the gym at all, but Waters knows to live the kind of life he wants, his training sessions are imperative.

Waters begins his half-hour training session with personal trainer, Raul Becerril, on the rowing machine. Back and forth, back and forth he goes maintaining a steady speed, until the last 45 seconds. “OK,” Becerril says, “we’re gonna pick it up. Go, go, go.” And he does. As the seconds count down, his speed picks up until the clock strikes zero and he places the hand bar back into it’s mount.

Two years ago, this workout would have been impossible for Waters. “For many years I went to the REC Center and took a stretch class, which was excellent, and I lifted weights.” Waters also worked with a personal trainer. However, he injured himself. Instead of working out at the gym, he met with a physical therapist. “Finally I got to the place where I didn’t have a choice,” he said. “I got down to where I was having to use a walker to get around. At that point it was time to do something different.” In 2016, Waters had both hips replaced; his surgeries were eight weeks apart.

Waters, who also suffered from arthritis, said that before he had his hips replaced, he had become very weak and knew he’d have a lot of catching up to do. “I maintained my membership at the REC Center and when I went for a year check up after my second surgery, I asked if I should see a physical therapist or if I should do a personal trainer.” His doctor suggested a personal trainer.

That’s when Becerril came into the picture. “I saw him on the machines a lot of the time, but I noticed his mobility needed help, so that’s what we’ve focused on.”

Becerril and Waters have been working together for the last five months and he says he’s seen vast improvements to Waters’ overall health. When Becerril meets with new clients, he usually asks what their goals are. With Waters he didn’t have to. “I saw it,” he said alluding to Waters’ lack of mobility.

When he began working with Becerril, Waters had one over arching goal: to be a whole person again. “I want to be able to play with my toys and do what I want to do,” he said.

When asked if he felt like he was reaching his goal, he chuckled. “Slowly,” he said. “But I’m getting there.” Over Easter weekend Waters spent some dedicated time in his garage, working on his cars. “My real estate business keeps me somewhat near a desk or computer, back and forth, virtually all day. So on the weekends I like to do something physical and I’m beginning to be able to do that now.” Waters says he still has difficulty getting up and down from the creeper, the flat bed on rollers that allows mechanics to easily slide under vehicles, but he’s able to do it.

To achieve his overall goal, Waters had four areas he wanted Becerril to help him focus on during their training sessions together — his flexibility, his balance, cardio and strength — and in that specific order. “I think he really is trying to make that work for me,” Waters said. “I am stronger, I am more flexible and I am more mobile. I’m not sure my balance is a lot better, but we’re working on that.”

For the half an hour the two meet, most of their time is spent stretching and warming up. “I know with his job he sits down quite a bit. So when we warm up we do a lot of mobility drills and just making sure his movements are up to par and any progress he’s made he doesn’t go back on,” explained Becerril.

The last ten minutes of their sessions, Becerril has Waters attack a workout at a fast pace. “We get after it and he does a great job of that.”

When asked if he preps Waters’ workouts any differently than a young client, Becerril says “not really.” Becerril recalls an article he once read and a quote that stuck out to him. “The need of a weightlifter and a grandparent differs by degree, not by kind,” he recites. When teaching a senior’s workout class or working with clients like Mr. Waters, Becerril says age doesn’t matter. In its essence, the mechanics of each workout are the same, he’s targeting the same muscle groups. It’s just the amount of weight or number of reps that might differ. “It’s the same goal, we want to get people moving around and active,” he said. “I will find modifications (for workouts), but it differs by degree, not kind.”

Becerril adds that staying active throughout life is extremely important. “It’s a lifetime investment. You only get one body,” he said. “I think Bob really took that leap. He’s really invested (in himself) and I think he enjoys it. I enjoy having him, too.”

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