Newcomer finds fitness, friends at Larkspur Center

January 22, 2024

Ellen Anders moved to Bend from British Columbia in August 2020, knowing only her son and his family in Central Oregon. For Ellen and her husband, putting down new roots and making friends in a new community – especially during a pandemic – was a challenge until they visited Larkspur Community Center.

A retired educator, Anders was a runner before her joints said it was time to quit. She swam until a torn rotator cuff led to surgery. She now finds strength, pain relief, mobility and friendship in the warm-water classes at Larkspur Center. She’s a daily fixture in the pool’s water fitness classes in the current channel and the deep and shallow pool areas.

“I skip, run, hop, twist, balance and move around the water in ways that I no longer can do on land,” said Ellen. And she says that daily movements – walking, doing chores, and overall living have improved since starting water activities.

“I got physically stronger even before my hip joint was replaced,” she said. “Through the mobility classes, I was able to walk with no pain under the guidance of the kindest, knowledgeable, most patient water fitness instructors imaginable.”

She and her husband also work out in the upstairs fitness center and walk/jog track. Ellen has osteoporosis and walks on the treadmill or the indoor track for bone strengthening in indoor spaces that give her more confidence after a series of falls and injuries in recent years. But the married couple drives separately following their exercise sessions, so she can linger with her new friendships made at Larkspur.

“Making new friends has been the biggest bonus for me,” she said. “All of my Bend friends have been ‘hatched’ and grown at the pool. I am in the water with others who have similar limitations under the guidance of wonderful teachers. It has changed my life.”

Ellen Anders on treadmill in Larkspur fitness center

Winter is great for checking out offerings indoors at Juniper Swim & Fitness Center and Larkspur Community Center.

Pass holders – those with monthly or annual passes or even a 10-visit pass – can make use of both Larkspur Center and Juniper Swim & Fitness Center facilities to customize your workout experience. Learn more about fees and passes options.

Check schedules and visit today



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