Tag Archives: cardiac disease

To be able to Move – it is a celebration!

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Greeting her 4-yr-old twin grandchildren

It has been such a joy having Debby Hagenmaier in Zumba and Strong classes for almost 5 years now. She is our boomin body of September! You’d never guess it by the way she moves and dances, but Debby is a Grandma! How many Grandmas do you know that worked at Disneyland? Debby did! When I have grandchildren of my own, I hope to be as vivacious as Debby. She is beautiful, classy, fun and fit! So inspiring!

Debby has a master’s degree in Psychiatric Nursing. She cowrote the curriculum for a stress management course called Heart Matters which she currently teaches for El Camino Hospital and for Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF). Working closely with heart disease patients, Debby recognizes the importance of exercise for the prevention of cardiac and other diseases. But her real motivation for staying fit is that “…I simply feel better—in body and soul—when I can move! My husband says I am nicer to be around on the days I’ve exercised.” 😉 I can’t imagine Debby being not nice, but I can totally relate! You too?

Speaking of Debby’s husband, she has been married for 37 years! Wow! Her advice for a good long marriage (all of us could use it, right?) is to express appreciation for each other in even small ways at least once a day. She and her husband have two remarkable daughters. One was once a lead ballerina for the San Francisco Ballet School and now dances around her Madison, WI home with her 3 children. Debby’s second daughter works as the digital archivist for Georgia Tech in Atlanta. It’s difficult for Debby to be so far away from these women, but I imagine the close relationships she has formed with friends and neighbors, having lived here in Los Altos for 29 years, make it easier.

Debby and her fellow boomin bodies, ready to move at Zumba!

In Debby’s free time, she likes to “..move in one of Shannon’s classes, of course!  I can’t imagine not dancing in some way! …when I hear music—any music– I want to dance!” She also enjoys reading and good conversation. She brings out her creative side while setting a table for small dinner parties. And when inspired, she gets out her watercolors and paints. “Painting can be like dancing for me—I’m in the zone.” 

Debby hiking in Yosemite, 2013

When I asked Debby if she had any personal health stories to share, she said this: “Breast cancer has left its mark on so many in my family—my mother, my uncle, my older sister. So when my younger sister and I were diagnosed with an early stage breast cancer, we both took the plunge and opted for mastectomies.  That was ten years ago, and we seldom look back. Recognizing this family history, my two daughters vigilantly care for their own health, and I’m so grateful.”

Inspiring words from Debby: “Each time I dance, hike or do a sit-up, I’m reminded of just how fortunate I am to be able to move. It is a celebration!”