Success Stories from the DRC

Linda Lee - Exercise with GUSTO!  

Linda  Lee has been a regular at the Derby Recreation Center for many years.   She and her husband Ray began using the fitness center when it was just a  few pieces of equipment.  Like most people, her devotion to regular  exercise has been on again off again.

Each time  Linda wanted to get back into the fitness routine, she was glad that DRC  staff was willing to help her find the best fit for her exercise  needs.  After her knee surgery, Linda met with longtime DRC staff  member, Rob McDonald and he helped her create a fitness routine that was  gentle to her knee allowing her to return to better mobility.

Linda Lee and her personal trainer Cindy Chase


In 2008, Linda’s life changed dramatically when her husband died   suddenly while they were on vacation.  The subsequent stress from that   life changing trauma caused her heart issues that took her to a   cardiologist.  Linda remembers clearly what the cardiologist told her…   “Exercise with gusto.”

Linda returned to the DRC in September 2009, per doctor’s orders.  She knew that without an accountability partner she may not continue.  So she began working with a personal trainer, Susie Wilkes.  Susie started working with Linda at her limited fitness level and gradually got Linda back to a strength and endurance level that allowed her to perform simple tasks that were previously difficult, like stair climbing.

Today Linda continues to work with a personal trainer and she enjoys the time she spends with Cindy Chase just as much as she appreciated the kind compassion she was shown by Susie.  Her relationships with her personal trainers have kept her motivated.  Linda meets with Cindy once a week and comes by 2 or 3 times per week to continue the program Cindy gives her to work on.  In addition, Linda has found that Zumba Gold is a perfect fitness class for her and she enjoys the time it gives her with others who have a similar fitness level.

For Linda, the DRC is more than just a place to work out, it is a place she comes to be encouraged.

Tom Madrid - Tying your shoes shouldn't be hard 

It  was December 28, 2009.  A day just like the one before. But on that  day, Tom Madrid had an epiphany.  He could no longer tie his shoes like  he did in years past.  Bending over was difficult since he had gained  weight. To tie his shoes, he had to lift his foot to his opposite knee  to reach his laces.

So that very day, he walked  into the Derby Recreation Center and decided to change his life.  And it  all began with 3 laps around the track.

In the  beginning all he could do was walk the track.  But he kept walking.   Every day.  When walking got a little easier, he ran one lap.  Then  two.  Tom also ventured into the fitness center to see what other things  he should be doing to get fit.  A fitness specialist showed him how to  work the treadmill. Now he had another option for his workout routine.

Tom Madrid


After Tom had been in the fitness center a few times, he inquired about personal training. The DRC staff person gave him the specifics and mentioned that one of the trainers happened to be working out. He called one of the DRC’s personal trainers, Cody Scott, over and they talked about Tom’s current exercise routine and discussed his fitness goals.  Cody encouraged Tom and gave him some ideas.  Tom decided to invest in a couple of personal training sessions with Cody.  After they worked together, Tom started gaining confidence and felt like he had a better road map for his fitness routine. 

Now equipped with weight lifting techniques and familiar with the cardio equipment, Tom felt more comfortable with a daily exercise routine.  Coming to the DRC was no longer a scary unknown.  He now belonged. 

Tom also changed his nutritional habits.  He started paying attention to portions and serving sizes.  He read labels. He kept track of his calorie intake.  He made better food choices.

And Tom kept coming to the DRC.  He started making friends with others in the fitness center.  The staff was nice to him and he felt welcome.  As he became more fit, he also made a point to be kind to others who looked like they were in the beginning stages of embarking on a new fitness lifestyle.  He tries to encourage others, like he was encouraged when he started.

It has been 4 years.  Tom has lost over 60 pounds.  And he has gained so much more than he has lost.

Layne and Wes - The lunch hour workout       

Layne  Liebst and Wes Steele are lifelong friends.  They met while playing  youth sports in south Wichita, and their friendship continued through  high school and is still going strong today as professional adults.   While they have been friends forever, they haven’t always been workout  partners. That is, not until Wes started a job at Spirit Aero Systems.

Layne  has worked out the Derby Recreation Center on and off for the past 10  years.  He knew that it was important to maintain his fitness level,  even as the responsibilities of being a husband and father took more and  more of his free time.  Layne is also a Boeing employee and he had to  schedule his workouts before or after work.

So  when Layne’s friend Wes started his job at Spirit, it occurred to both  of them that they could use their lunch hour to get their workouts in;  now that they were only a parking lot apart from each other.    


Wes and Layne on a lunch hour run


As  a long time Derby Recreation Center member, Layne knew that the  DRC’s  Oaklawn Activity Center (OAC) was just minutes away from their  offices.   Wes signed up for his DRC membership and Wes and Layne  developed a plan  to make lunch hour workouts part of their daily  routines.  They thought  lunch hour workouts would give them more time  at home with their wives  and kids.

When they started their  exercise routine  at the Oaklawn Activity Center, the DRC’s Fitness  Programs Coordinator,  Susie Wilkes, showed them how they could get a  full workout and still  have time to change and drive back to the office  within an hour.  Wes  and Layne use all the cardio equipment, do a  rotation through the fixed  weight machines and even include some free  weight lifting.  A full daily  workout without cutting into any of their  family time.

Now  that they have been doing their lunch workouts  for over 6 months, there  is no question where you will find Wes and  Layne each workday during  the lunch hour.  Exercise is part of their  day, and having the Oaklawn  Activity Center right across the highway  from work has made it easy.