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Waynesboro YMCA helps man out of his wheelchair

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Four months ago, August Lupino walked with a cane, when he could walk.

“I was in a wheelchair most of the time and really couldn’t take care of myself. My wife had to more or less do everything for me because I’d gotten so weakened,” said Lupino, who started an exercise-therapy routine at Augusta Health in Fishersville.

His physical therapist encouraged him to join the Waynesboro YMCA to take part in the ActiveTrax fitness program. Four months later, the cane and wheelchair are history, and Lupino is a regular at the Y, sometimes working out twice a day.

“I was just telling these guys,” Lupino said, pointing to a group of young men working out at the Y on a recent summer afternoon, “I started out with eight-pound dumbbells, and that was about all I could lift at the time. That was back in March. I have worked my way up now to doing just about every exercise in here, using every machine. I don’t use the same amount of weights as other people do, but I do what’s comfortable for me, and it’s just really working for me.”

His story is an inspiration to people in similar positions to what he faced just a few months ago.

“I hope that you’ll be inspired,” Lupino said. “Believe me, when you get down to the point where you couldn’t even lift five pounds of sugar, couldn’t walk without help, couldn’t use the bathroom without help, if it hadn’t been for the recliner, I’d have been in bed. I’m here to tell you that exercise really is a health benefit. It gets you out of the doldrums of bad health and everything else.”

You don’t have to be Superman. “The point is, just do something,” Lupino said. “Move your arms, move your legs. Get into a program, and we’ve got a lot of programs here that are offered to the members that get you moving. That’s the main thing. You have to … it’s the old adage, you don’t use it, you lose it.”

“If you’re out there, and you’re down, and you’re physically bound up, just start taking off with doing something small. Just do something small. Get some instruction. Make sure it’s cleared with your doctor. Don’t do something that you shouldn’t do. But, move. M-O-V-E.”

Lupino shakes his head at the transformation that he’s seen in his time at the YMCA.

“I’m a walking, talking miracle,” Lupino said. “I can’t hardly believe it myself, that I’m standing here without a cane, and not having the back problems that I’d had. I couldn’t go to a market or a store and walk with the cane. I had to ride in one of those little electric carts. And for somebody who’s been as active as I have all of my life, that’s kind of a blow to your ego.

“You can get out of the electric carts that they have, and you can get off your crutches and your canes, if you just move. Try it. Exercise. Do something. Don’t just sit down or lie down and become a victim of your condition,” Lupino said.

More online at www.WaynesboroYMCA.com.

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