By Larry Backus
Naiad Kuhlman, a Fairfield Glade resident, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. In 2010, her daughter Allison Watkinson nominated her for a Picture of Health award through Prevention Magazine. The following excerpts and additions to that letter should inspire and motivate us one and all:
“My 80 year old mother, Naiad Kuhlman, is the Picture of Health. She is in better shape now than at any time in her adult life. A year after her mastectomy, she began volunteering for Reach for Recovery; today she trains new volunteers and includes nutrition and exercise specialists in her training curriculum. She has been honorary chair for Relay for Life.” She was also named community volunteer of the mid-south ACS division for the year 2005-'06."
"At 79-years-old, she became a certified personal trainer. She works at the (CMC) health center four mornings a week. As a personal trainer, she works individually with folks whose health issues impair their quality of life. She also teaches Rocking to the Oldies, a class that includes aerobics, weights and the "big ball." The class for seniors has grown from six to 26 participants. [Kuhlman] met her goal of running a mile with her children on her 80th birthday. Her children, friends and neighbors joined her for the Birthday Run Breakfast. During golf season, [Kuhlman] plays six times a month on two teams. She runs at least twice per week, volunteers at the local hospital and is an usher at the Playhouse. What does the future hold? [Kuhlman] is training for a 5K run on September 11 and planning a trip that will include a short run on the Great Wall of China."
That letter was written in 2010. In 2011, Kuhlman won three gold medals in the Cumberland County Senior Olympics and four gold medals in the Tennessee Senior Olympics. In 2012, she matched her Cumberland County medal total but added one more to her Tennessee Senior Olympic medals total. She has qualified in five events for the 2013 National Senior Olympic Games to be held in Cleveland, Ohio. The moral of this story so aptly written by her daughter in concluding her letter was: “You are never too old to start becoming a Picture of Health!”