Arthur Schenkein

The Y’s oldest member (99 years old!)
proves that age is just a number

On Valentine’s Day, the YMCA of Roanoke Valley’s oldest member, Arthur Schenkein, celebrated his 99th birthday at the Salem Family YMCA by swimming his usual laps in the pool.  After drying off, YMCA staff and friends came together to celebrate his milestone with cake and wishes for another healthy year.

“Up until four years ago, I was swimming 27 laps.  Now I’m doing just 6,” says Mr. Schenkein modestly.  The nonagenarian still comes in up to five times a week to swim his laps.  After he got his pacemaker put in, the doctors encouraged him to get back in the pool and keep swimming as soon as possible.

Lifeguard Neil Strickland said that he looks forward to seeing Arthur come in weekday mornings.  “A lot of the other members look out for him and will even move so that he can get the lanes that are easier for him to access. 

Mr. Schenkein isn’t the only nonagenarian at the YMCA. We have 10 members who are 90+ this year at the Kirk Family YMCA and 7 members at the Salem Family YMCA.

In the world of healthy living, we tend to set a lot of number-related goals.  Maybe it’s a goal to reach a certain weight or size.  Your goal number might be to complete a certain number or reps, lift a set number of pounds, run a certain number of miles or swim a particular number of laps.  While our goal numbers are all different, we can certainly all agree that the goal to live to a healthy 99 years is something we’d all aspire to.

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