Destrehan seniors find second family and get fit

Marsha Rossenwasser doesn’t like to tell her age, but she will joyously speak about all she’s doing to avoid being a couch potato.

“We have such a fabulous gym,” Rossenwasser said of Anytime Fitness in Destrehan. “I love it. We have so many things available.”

In addition to the yoga and stretching classes she takes, the gym’s Silver Sneakers Classic group serves as a second family for many of the members, as well as a place to exercise and even take field trips. She recounted how they’ve been to Ormond Nursing Home in Destrehan twice to perform, and another performance is tentatively planned at the German Coast Farmers’ Market on Aug. 5.

Rossenwasser, as well as Larry St. Germain recounted how much they enjoy the monthly potluck dinner they have at the gym every last Friday of the month. They celebrate members’ birthdays for that month, as well as have guest speakers.

“We’re all family here,” St. Germain said about the group. It became an important way to meet new people for St. Germain and his wife, Mary, who relocated to Destrehan from Lafourche Parish about five years ago to be closer to their children and grandchildren.

As the guy who dresses like Batman and walks in parades with his grandson dressed as his sidekick Robin, St. Germain also praised having the gym for workouts. At age 72, he said they keep him fit enough to walk in Mardi Gras parades.

Martha Ulmer said Silver Sneakers provides the motivation she needs to try different things, which she enjoys.“With me, I can mingle with anyone – young, my age or older,” Ulmer said. “I’m one of those types of people who can get along with anybody and fit in anywhere.”

And it’s certainly about mingling for Rossenwasser, too.

A retired math teacher who worked in the parish’s school system more than 40 years, the Silver Sneakers offer a multi-benefit.

“I go to a few of the regular classes, as well as the beginning classes like the line dancing and beginning yoga. I’m with young people that makes me feel young and allows that part of me to come out,” she said. “But I love Silver Sneakers because it’s also important to socialize with other people my age who can relate to the health issues, too.”

Rossenwasser said it certainly beats staying home being  depressed.

“So many of see this as being so good,” she said. “It’s definitely an asset to our life at this age.”


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