June Dad Member of the Month: Leo Theriot

Rachel and Leo

Rachel and Leo

Exercise has long played an important role in the lives of the Theriot family: for the past couple decades, Myra and Leo have joined a gym wherever they have lived; their grown daughter Rachel runs marathons and participates in triathlons. In recent years, the family has found exercise essential for stress management in learning new rhythms as Leo now lives with dementia. Rachel explained that exercise has enabled Leo, as well as everyone in the family, to stay more positive. We at RHF feel positive seeing the entire Theriot family working out together at Rainier Health & Fitness! 

How did you guys find out about Rainier Health & Fitness?

Leo: the gym was here. It was accessible; people were good.

And you guys live in the area?

Myra: Like a block and a half away. 

So you just saw it.  

Leo: It was a no-brainer.

Myra: He’s been going to the gym since 1997 or ‘98.

Leo: So we’ve always wanted to have a gym and it was right here in our backyard—we could just walk over.

So what got you interested in fitness or exercising?

Myra: he was complaining about gaining weight and I said, “Well, get off your but and start moving.” So we got gym memberships.

And you both did together—the whole family?

Myra: No because back then the girls were busy with school activities and stuff so he and I would go. And then Rachel went to college and we’d go to the gym. So it’s been part of our lives. 

Leo demonstrates a one-handed push-up

Leo demonstrates a one-handed push-up

So what is your fitness routine like? What do you do when you come to the gym?

Leo: First thing when I go to the gym is push-ups. That’s a staple. And I do them on one hand.

And then I know you do kettlebells?

Leo: A little bit. 

Or a lot?

Myra: or a lot

Leo: I’m addicted. I love that stuff—kettle bells. It’s Russian. And I picked up on it and got addicted.  I do 40.

Leo swings a kettle bell while Rachel waits for her turn

Leo swings a kettle bell while Rachel waits for her turn

You do 40 of them?

Myra: 40 pounds. I think it’s a 35 he uses here. He was using 45 and in one state he had 80, at my mom’s.

Leo: Yes, I did. So he was glad you all had kettle bells when we moved here.

Do you work out every day then?

Leo: not really, but pretty close to it.

About every other then?

Myra: Two to four times per week.

Leo: Yeah, it’s accessible, you know, it’s just a good place.

What kind of results have you found from working out?

Leo: I’m tired. When I’m done, I’m done.

So sleep better at night.

Rachel observes as Leo works out with the rope

Rachel observes as Leo works out with the rope

Myra: Because he does the rope too.

Leo: Yeah, so that big rope over there, that’s one I like.

Yeah, I’ve seen you do that one.

Leo: You did?

Yeah, with your son-in-law. He got it out the other night.

Leo: Oh yeah, with Matt. But I just kinda got into kettle bells. So you got the rope—good stuff, no, everything in here is gonna make anybody more fit, any age, anyone. And it’s just a good thing to do.

What do you like best at Rainier Health & Fitness?

Leo: The variety of everything, all the stuff in here. And I like that it’s—don’t tell people—but I want them to kinda not come.

Yeah, so you can have your own space.

Leo: Yeah, so I can have my own space.

It’s such a great gym lots of people want to come.

Leo: Yeah, there’s no drama; it’s just good.  It’s a good place to work out.

And then Alicia said fitness has been part of your health journey as well, Myra?

Myra: I feel better when I exercise, for the most part. I’m having a hip issue—still determining what that is. But I know that I will do better in the long term if I’m exercising.

You guys don’t do any classes; you just do your own workout?

Myra: I do some yoga classes occasionally, not every week.

As we are chatting, Leo’s grown daughter Rachel arrives.

We were just talking about the role fitness plays in your family’s lives.

Rachel: Pretty important, especially lately.

Rachel holds a plank while Leo does push-ups

Rachel holds a plank while Leo does push-ups

Myra: Not just lately. We used to go to the gym in Missouri and we were in Louisiana a short time when I was almost two years taking care of my mom. So my physical activity was working in the yard, cleaning house, gardening and things like that. Now we garden together…

Rachel: And now we go on bike rides and Dad makes me do kettle bells and push-ups.

Leo: I’m addicted. 

Later while cycling on the stationary bikes, Rachel asked if Leo had told us what he likes best about our gym. Leo said emphatically, “No ego!” Rachel described how she and her husband used to go to Gold’s Gym downtown and it’s the opposite of RHF with lots of mirrors. Her family appreciates that RHF is not obnoxious like that but is a place where they feel welcomed.