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97-Year-Old Staunton Woman Sets Example for Others with Commitment to Health

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Irene Lambert attends class three times a week Irene Lambert attends class three times a week
She attends People with Arthritis Can Exercise class She attends People with Arthritis Can Exercise class
Irene Lambert Irene Lambert
Lambert began going to the YMCA 15 years ago Lambert began going to the YMCA 15 years ago
STAUNTON, Va. (WVIR) -

A fitness facility in the valley says it has just one member who doesn't have to show an identification card.

Irene Lambert is determined to stay active as she nears the century mark, and she works out all the time at the Staunton-Augusta YMCA.

The 97-year-old great-grandmother started coming to this YMCA 15 years ago.

“My husband had passed away,” Lambert said. “I was there at the house by myself. It was lonesome. And I needed to get out and meet people. That's when I started the class.”

The class she attends is called PACE, or People with Arthritis Can Exercise.

“Exercise on the chair, behind the chair,” Lambert said.

Peggy Smith is one of the PACE class instructors.

“Irene has been coming ever since I have been teaching,” Smith said.

She describes Lambert as dedicated and fun with a great attitude.

“I remember one time she came and she ended up getting her leg cut on her door of her vehicle, and she was upset because she couldn't come to the class,” Smith said. “She had to go have that taken care of.”

Lambert makes her way to this class three times a week.

“Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday – hopefully,” Lambert said. “That's why I'm still at least walking, you know. I thank the Y for that.”

But she doesn’t go just for the exercise.

“Camaraderie is what you get,” Lambert said. “It's delightful. Everyone in it - they're special.”

‘Special’ is a word many use to describe Lambert.

“She's an inspiration to a lot of people to be the age that she is and to still come and make that commitment of three times a week,” Smith said. “I just hope I'm half as well as she's doing at her age.”

“I always feel better when I leave here,” Lambert said. “Not because I'm leaving, but because I came.”

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