No limitations at SNAP Fitness

Diana Neimann encourages elders and the disabled to keep exercising

Mary McFarland of Camas (left) and Ron Winders of Washougal (right) build strength and endurance on the treadmills at SNAP Fitness in Camas. McFarland was born with a brain defect and had her hip replaced at the age of 13. Winders, 62, is going in for knee replacement surgery. He hopes for a speedy recovery so he can get back in the gym. Buy this photo

Diana Neimann encourages elders and the disabled to keep exercising

As the head trainer at SNAP Fitness in Camas, Diana Neimann sees the benefits to exercising every day.

Watching Mary McFarland walk through the doors with such energy and excitement makes her smile. Especially since it takes the 17-year-old Camas High School senior 40 minutes to walk to the gym from home. Sometimes, she even beats Neimann into work.

“Mary has more determination to come in, get stronger and have a healthier lifestyle than a lot of people who walk through those doors,” Neimann said. “She’s such an inspiration.”

McFarland was born with a mental disability that affected her growth and coordination. Her mother Lori said Mary’s right leg is about two inches shorter than her left. By the time she was 13, he had to have her hip replaced.

On Aug. 1, McFarland started a strength and conditioning routine with Neimann. On top of walking to and from the gym three days a week, McFarland also goes through an hour of exercises and hill climbs on the treadmill. She has already lost six pounds during the first month, and Neimann said she has done it all with a smile.

“Why do you always have a smile on your face, Mary?” She asked.

“Because no matter how bad it gets, it could always be worse,” McFarland responded.

McFarland is looking forward to her senior year, and sharing the benefits of exercise with her friends. Science is her favorite school subject. After graduating from high school, McFarland wants to go to Clark College.

“I just look forward to my day. What’s this day going to be like, and the next one afterwards?” She said. “To all my friends, I suggest you get stronger and be more active like I have.”

Ron Winders, a 62-year-old from Washougal, has lost almost 70 pounds in 11 months at SNAP Fitness. He is going in for a knee replacement on Oct. 22. He hopes for a quick recovery.

“I look forward to getting out of hospital and back on the treadmill,” Winders said. “I love the times when my daughter and I can work out together. I also get inspired by the people around me, like [McFarland].”

Neimann has been a personal trainer for seven years. She has a double degree in exercise science and Kindergarten through 12th grade physical education, along with a minor in special education. After managing at SNAP Fitness for two years, Neimann enjoys being back on the floor as the head trainer.

“I want to show people you can achieve physical fitness without limitations,” she said. “Every single person who walks through that door for the first time feels like they have a limitation, whether it’s physically or mentally. To leave here knowing I’ve impacted people’s lives, and made them do things they never thought possible, is the best part of my job.”

For more information on the training opportunities available at SNAP Fitness, call 844-5584 or visit www.snapfitness.com/camas. Neimann offers two free sessions to newcomers.