As the Executive Assistant to the President of Springfield Masonic Community (SMC), Barbara Gainey is a very busy person; however she still enjoys making time every Friday morning to join the SMC Walking Group for a stroll around campus. The Walking Group, which consists of up to a dozen campus residents, was founded by Barbara three years ago as a way to share her true passion for fitness. Although there are times when the group only consists of one or two people, Barbara still calls it her favorite part of the week.
Barbara’s passion for fitness started as a child when her father began experiencing heart trouble at an early age. His encouragement instilled a lasting dedication and love for exercise in Barbara, who now runs 5Ks and marathons regularly. Although many of us would never dream of attempting to run 26.2 miles in a few hours, we can all certainly join the SMC Walking Group. These leisurely strolls are meant for all fitness levels and have included residents with canes, walkers and even the occasional scooter.
While The Walking Group is certainly an excellent opportunity for residents, and even the occasional staff member or visitor to get up and about, the social aspect of the group is just as important, particularly in the winter months. When colder weather sets in, many of us tend to retreat indoors, becoming less active and, in turn, less social. However, the residents of Springfield Masonic Community are lucky to have a brightly lit and temperature controlled underground walkway, so not even inclement weather can stop the Walking Group. These friends can meet even during the worst snow storm, and take a stroll from one end of campus to the other.
Barbara believes that being fit is not just about how hard you work out or how fast you walk; there is an intellectual aspect to it. The members enjoy being a part of the active social SMC Walking Group. It’s a chance to stretch the legs, but also to share highlights of the week, introduce visiting family and even make new friends!