January 01 2022 12:00 am

Veterans Voices: The 90-Year-Old Swim Instructor

Veterans Voices

WACO, Texas – One local veteran spends his time teaching a water aerobics class at the YMCA. When you learn how old he is – it may even motivate you to get up and stay fit yourself!

Arthur Reinking just turned 90 years old, and he is more active than ever. He proves staying fit has no age limit – especially if it’s for a good cause.

It may look like Arthur’s just swimming – but for the past nine years, Reinking has spent Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays as an instructor for an arthritis class at the YMCA.

He says his energy and mobility are fueled by one thing….

“The people. No question about it. They are just extraordinary people. They are just fun to be with,” Reinking says.

Reinking says he spent the majority of his time in the mail room during his time in the military. He had no training in water aerobics. So how did he get here?

“I got into this because when I started coming to The Y, one of the instructors kept complaining that they couldn’t get substitutes,” Reinking says. “So they can have a little time off. I asked her what you need to do to become an instructor. She told me, and one thing led to another.”

Reinking teaches a variety of age groups through this class, with the focus on exercises to help joint movement stiffened by arthritis.

He says one of his loyal students also happens to be a veteran.

Reinking says during his classes, he makes his students move every joint they can – from their neck down to their toes.

“I have arthritis. I have osteoarthritis. And I needed flexibility. And I needed more movement. And water exercise is a fun way to do it. And it’s very kind to my joints,” says student Glenda Miller.

Miller says Reinking is an amazing instructor with great memory, walking them through the many routine exercises. She said they went a week without Arthur once, and realized how vital he was to the class.

“He’s good. He’s a good instructor. He goes slowly to where you can understand what he’s going to do, when he’s going to do it. There are several exercises too. And I’ve also lost about twelve pounds,” says student Ruby Dunn.

So how long does the 90-year-old plan on wading in the water?

“Until I can’t do it anymore. Whatever that is,” Reinking says.

Reinking challenges every person young or old to get into an aerobics class, or to make exercising a part of their lifestyle.

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