100 years and going strong: Sherrill talks fitness and friends
Published 2:21 pm Thursday, July 2, 2015
By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer
NORTH SHELBY—While doctors and health experts often tout the benefits of regular exercise, maybe the best person to ask is Shelby County resident Florella Sherrill. At 100 years old, Sherrill maintains a regular exercise routine and is a familiar face around the St. Vincent’s One Nineteen fitness center.
On July 1, family, friends and the staff at St. Vincent’s One Nineteen surprised Sherrill before her regular workout with a 100th birthday party at the fitness center.
“I came to workout,” Sherrill said with a smile, noting her surprise. “My many friends, they’re all so precious.”
Exercise hasn’t always been a part of Sherrill’s life. She began working out at St. Vincent’s in downtown Birmingham nearly 20 years ago following a surgery.
“She did not know the meaning of exercise (before that),” Sherrill’s daughter, Jan Harris, said. “(Her doctors) made her do a cardiac rehab program for six weeks.”
Since that time, exercise has become a regular, and enjoyable, part of Sherrill’s life. Her routine includes 30 reps on 10 different machines, followed by laps around the track.
“It keeps me going,” Sherrill said of her regular exercise routine.
Through her time at both St. Vincent’s One Nineteen and previously St. Vincent’s in downtown Birmingham, Sherrill has made many friends and developed a supportive community.
Joy Parkman has gotten to know Sherrill through working out together at St. Vincent’s One Nineteen.
“We’ve been friends for three years,” Parkman said. “She’s the poster child for fitness.”
Stephanie Holderby, executive director of St. Vincent’s One Nineteen and vice president of operations for the St. Vincent’s Ambulatory Healthcare Network, has known Sherrill since she started exercising at St. Vincent’s in Birmingham.
“She’s still fiercely independent,” Holderby said of Sherrill. “She loves to be in the classes and work with the staff, she says it keeps her young. I think it is a dual-inspirational situation.”