How often can you honestly say you get to the gym? Twice, maybe three times a week if you can find the time between taking care of things at work or at home with the kids? Does the idea of going five days a week seem impossible? Now try multiplying that over the past 50-plus years, and that was the workout regimen for one Niagara Falls native.
Longtime Niagara Falls Family YMCA member James (or as he's known around the halls at the Y as Jimmy) Giardino rarely has missed a day, and at 94-and-a-half years old he says he owes his health and well being all to the Y.
"I keep going, you know living life and being healthy and all, because I keep coming here to the Y," said Giardino. When he started coming to the YMCA in Niagara Falls back in the late 1950s, it was to take part in game of racquetball or handball or to knock off a few laps in the pool. "I'd easily say I swam 35 miles in a month back in my 40s; it was a good form of exercise."
But coming to the Y was more than just a way to stay healthy and active for Giardino. "As I came here over the years I made new friends and together we'd exercise and get to know one another and about each others' families. My wife, who I've been married to for -- oh, I don't remember now -- something like 72 years, used to come with me, too," he said.
"It was nice to come to the Y and see familiar faces. I view the Y staff and my friends here as my family and look forward to seeing them."
Today, Giardino still keeps up a steady workout regimen, and while he isn't swimming 35 miles a month in the pool like he used to, he is certainly a wonderful role model for generations young and old. "I at least do the Nautilus machines for about an hour and a half each day just to keep me moving. Plus a little Tiger Balm goes a long way too," he jokes.