At the advice of her doctor, Louise DeHaven started a routine of walking between a mile and three miles each day 20 years ago. Doesn’t sound that amazing? Well, consider DeHaven just celebrated her 101st birthday on Oct. 1, which means she was all of 81 when her fitness regimen began.
“I had a problem with my knees and at first my doctor was going to operate. Then he found I was missing some substance between two vertebrae in my back, and decided that was the problem. He said I’m not going to operate, I’m going to put you on a walking program,” says DeHaven, who credits her walking routine for her long life. “It keeps me going. I can walk three miles in an hour.”
DeHaven, who is now living at Wheatland Hills Retirement Center, was living at home when she first began her walking routine.
“Some of my neighbors must have thought, ‘doesn’t she have anything better to do than walk,’ but now they all do it,” she said. “I lived at home 18 years along after my husband’s (Leonard) death, but after I broke my hip I had to move here (Wheatland).”
There have been so many inventions that have taken place in her life time that DeHaven said “It seems there is a big change every year.” However, there is one from her childhood which really made an impression.
“I remember when one of our neighbors bought a car; it was the first one in our neighborhood. Whenever we heard it, all us kids would run down to the road to see it,” she said.
Although DeHaven is happy living at Wheatland, she says living in her own home would be much better.
“They’re very good to me here, but there’s no place like home,” she said. “My son doesn’t want me to move home, he’s afraid I’ll fall, but I’m going home if they let me.”