Until Avis Lokken broke her heel and a hip, she seldom thought about exercise. Now those injuries inspire her to move daily.
In the winter, you will find her cycling in Eventide Sheyenne Crossings’ exercise room. She pedals for 30 minutes at 8 a.m. and another 20 minutes in late morning or early afternoon.
When the weather is warmer, she walks a two-mile loop around campus twice a day. In the cold months, she walks laps inside. Each day, year round Avis averages five miles! In addition, she participates in regular exercise classes at Eventide Sheyenne Crossings.
She lives out the mantra: “use it or lose it.” Avis is devoted to staying active.
When Avis moved to Eventide Sheyenne Crossings in 2012, she didn’t even ask about exercise programs or mobility assistance. She moved because she couldn’t see well anymore. Macular degeneration made driving impossible, and her hometown of Tioga, North Dakota, didn’t have bus or taxi services.
She decided to move to the Fargo metro area to be closer to one of her children, to have easy access to more public transportation, and to be closer to large medical facilities.
Soon after she made Eventide Sheyenne Crossings her home, Avis broke her heel and needed surgery to insert screws. She knew from earlier bone density scans that she was at risk for breaks, but it hadn’t been something she worried about.
Then, shortly after being released from the hospital, Avis fell and broke her hip.
“After that, the doctor wouldn’t guarantee that I would walk,” she says. “And, if I did walk, it would be with a limp or pain.”
But Avis was determined to walk pain-free again. That determination combined with rehabilitation assistance at Eventide Sheyenne Crossings supported her healing.
“I bounced back,” she says.
Once she was walking again, Avis decided to reduce the chances of repeat breaks. That meant making exercise a daily priority. Those exercise goals also helped her fill her days.
“I’m legally blind,” she says. “All I can do is walk and exercise.”
Avis’s dedication to the gym took her family by surprise, but they are very supportive.
“Mom never used to be into exercise, and now nobody can keep up with her, except my younger sister,” says Avis’s daughter Deb. “It’s a marvel that she is so active!”