Quick Interview with an Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program (AFAP) Member, Windi Smith:
Donna: Windi, how did you find out about this program?
Windi: A friend told me how much she was enjoying a “swim” program at Cantrell.
Donna: When did you begin this program?
Windi: I don’t remember what year that was, but it was soon after the pool had opened.
Donna: Have you had Physical Therapy here?
Windi: Yes, I have a C3-T2 fusion as well as L2-S fusion. My main problem is the collapse of my thoracic spine which has decreased my lung capacity by 50%.
Donna: How has this affected your daily life?
Windi: I can no longer stand for more than a few minutes, nor walk more than a few minutes without great fatigue.
Donna: Have the AFAP classes helped you?
Windi: Yes, in the pool I am able to stand up and do the exercises for 45 minutes. The water is so buoyant, it supports me completely.
Donna: Did you know that these classes were designed and supported by the Arthritis Foundation?
Windi: No, I did not realize that the program was supported by the Arthritis Foundation or that the Instructor was trained and certified by them as well. That fact gives me great confidence that the instructor will be correct and helpful for my osteoarthritis problems.
Donna: Did you have any concerns joining an aquatic program?
Windi: I didn’t worry about wearing a swimsuit. I wanted the positive experience. When I got to the class, I found all kinds of shaped people with many scars. However, I have encouraged three others about coming to class and the first thing they asked about was wearing a swimsuit!
So it doesn’t matter what type of arthritis you have or if you wear shorts over your swim suit, what matters is that you get to the Cantrell Center Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program and make an investment in your quality of daily living. You can visit twice before you decide to join and see for yourself what Windi has experienced. Hope to see You soon!!
About the Author
Donna Amos has been with the Cantrell Center for nearly 13 years and has a strong following of dedicated wellness members. She spends her free time with family which consists of husband, Bill, a son, Chad, and daughter-in-law, Mandii. The newest addition to the family is a “real cutie pie”, her granddaughter, Aubree. Donna is an active member of Second Baptist Church where she’s made great friends who gather weekly to play board games. When asked what she loves most about her job, Donna responded, “The members here are a community, a family– and I love being part of that. We encourage one another physically to come to class and also in life events. As someone who has arthritis, it makes a huge difference in knowing that if I have a flare up, the members understand and vice versa. Members let me know if something is flared or painful and I direct them with safe alternative during that time.”