“It’s always there,” Marsha Brownlee, owner/manager of the Grand Haven fitness club, said of Giraud’s smile.
Giraud, who is developmentally disabled, recently celebrated her 1,000th workout since becoming a member of the fitness club eight years ago. She said her life has changed since she started dedicating 30 minutes, three times a week to working out.
Brownlee said they had a small party for Giraud’s milestone.
“It’s a commitment,” Brownlee said.
Physically, the 58-year-old dropped from a size 18 to a size 10, and her blood sugar is being kept under control for her Type 2 diabetes.
Giraud has also gained confidence to do other things, said her caretakers, Lee and Sandi Schuitema. She now talks more and makes choices, Sandi said.
Lee Schuitema said the result of Giraud’s involvement exceeds what they anticipated when she became involved with Curves “on a whim, thinking it would be good for her.”
Before the fitness business opened its Grand Haven location, Giraud walked from home to the Curves location in Spring Lake. Lee Schuitema now drops off Giraud for her workout at the Grand Haven club.
Brownlee has worked with Giraud for six years. She said working with Giraud has given her a sense of joy because Curves’ goal is to strengthen women of all ages and ranges of motion.
During each workout, Giraud completes two laps around machines that work abdominal, pectoral and leg muscles. Brownlee and other Curves members interact with Giraud throughout her workout, keeping her on track and rotating stations.
Lee Schuitema said it’s great that everyone encourages Giraud to do more.
“The people there are what made it work,” he said.