She’s piloted a Cessna, raced around the track with Al Unser in an Indy stock car, sold real estate for 44 years, taught real estate licensing and brokerage classes for the Corning Board of Realtors, showed her prize-winning English Springer Spaniels at the Westminster Dog Show, and along the way, raised daughters Kelly and Cheryl during her two marriages.
“I’ve done it all,” proclaims Shirley, who was named NYS Realtor of the Year in 1994.
Her more recent achievements include following her doctors’ and therapists’ instructions to regain her strength and flexibility during a stay at The Center for Rehabilitation—and coming home again to her cozy independent living apartment at River Edge Manor, located right next door.
Shirley had some weakness following an illness, and spent about a month at The Center for Rehabilitation. There she followed a daily routine of strengthening and flexibility exercises at The Broumowsky Center, the gym full of all kinds of equipment—including a practice kitchen and laundry room—inside the rehabilitation center located at The Episcopal Church Home. “They kept me busy,” says Shirley. “We did exercise sessions mornings and afternoons. I used ankle weights and did lots of leg lifts, and I lifted weights to strengthen my arms and back.” She also played games and did puzzles to help recover and strengthen the fine-motor movements in her hands and fingers.
Shirley is enthusiastic about her stay at the center. “The staff at rehab treated me absolutely great. I looked forward to my exercise sessions each day,” she says.
Each therapy session ran about an hour, and in between, Shirley enjoyed meals and relaxed in her “comfy” room. “Everyone is so caring at the rehab center,” she says. “They go out of their way for you, at the center and also here at my apartment. The caring shows constantly.”
Now that Shirley is home and back to her independent lifestyle, she’s continuing her exercise routine on her own and with physical therapists that come to her apartment once or twice a week. What motivates her in this commitment? “I’m English,” she says, “so I was brought up to be independent. I’m getting stronger and the exercise makes me feel better. My goal was to walk down the hall outside my apartment with my cane, on my own, without using my walker, and I can do it!”