How This Woman Fits in Exercise while Caregiving for Her Mother and Her Daughter
Job: Retired firefighter; currently an Administrative Assistant and PE teacher for Highlands Latin School, Indiana; Mom to Shiloh (12); Primary caregiver for mother (Joyce) who has Alzheimer’s.
Setting time aside for a workout isn’t easy when we have multiple responsibilities, but Roxanne Hack-Smero considers fitness to be a necessity rather than a task. Roxanne starts the day with an early morning workout in her basement and says “it [exercise] is my therapy, my release from day to day activities and struggles with life. Being strong physically has its place, but it also creates mental strength.”
Initially, Roxanne competed in powerlifting competitions, but when the circumstances of her life changed, she had to make adjustments. “Since becoming a mother, caregiver and PE teacher, the journey has taken a different route along with workouts being modified due to osteoarthritis, but focusing on all aspects of fitness, ie. cardio, strength, high intensity interval training, circuit, pilates training (stretching). With age comes wisdom . . . and stretching,” she says.
Roxanne says her family, health, and job is motivation for staying consistent with her workouts. “Before I had to fight the fires consisting of the elements in the fire tetrahedron. My motivations are the fires of life now. After being diagnosed with osteoarthritis along with a hip replacement, the best advice I received was to keep moving. My daughter is 12 and I want to be able to keep up with her and spend as much time as possible while teaching her to take care of her body. My mother has Alzheimer’s Disease and while it’s taxing mentally and emotionally, I need to be physically able to pick her up if she falls or manage when assisting her in daily routine tasks. Also, I am a PE teacher for kindergarten through 3rd grade at HLS. I teach the kids about our bodies being temples — honoring God by taking care of them. I don’t want to be a “do as I say” person. “Do as I do” motivates me with them,” she says.