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BEVERLY ULIVA/PHOTO The RSVP Osteoporosis Class is held twice weekly at the Peru Community Fellowship Hall.

PERU  — No pain, no gain takes on a myriad of meanings in the RSVP Osteoporosis Class at the Peru Community Church.

“It’s help keeping our bone mass,” said Beverly Uliva, 84, one of the instructors. “That’s what we’re doing. That’s what we hope to gain for this and we do.”

Going strong since April 16, 1998, there is a loyal core group.

“The two people that started this back in 1998 were Harriet Jeweler and Doris O’Connell,” Uliva said. “I came on in August of 1999 as an instructor. That class has been going full force all these years.”

“In March, there will be someone coming from Tufts University to retrain all of us who are interested,” Uliva added. “Harriet, Doris and I were trained by Tufts University when we first started.”

The class is held from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Peru Community Church Fellowship Hall.

“It’s all weights,” Uliva said. “It’s upper body and lower body. Everything is supplied by RSVP. There is no charge for these classes.”

Participants have to be 50 or older.

“Our average age is 75 or 76,” she said. “We have a woman who is 87. There is a set routine you go through. We’re up to sets of 20; we do 10 and do 10 more. If someone is new, we generally say stop at the 10.

“My big thing with this class is the people who come. We get between 25 and 27 people. This morning, it’s almost zero; we have 25 of the gals there. It’s not just for women. We have had gentlemen in the past and would like to have more men join us.”

Uliva said it’s a wonderful group.

New leaders include Linda Manchester and Sally Kokes. Mary Garrison, another instructor, relocated here in 2002 from Wallkill, N.Y.

“The reason I joined was a friend of mine was going to the class, and I wanted something to do,” said Garrison, 67. 

“As the time progressed, they needed another leader, and I decided to take the course and become a leader.”

She has done it now for 15 years.

“And, I love it,” Garrison said. “The group is wonderful. They just are really dedicated ladies that come out to exercise every Tuesday and Thursday. Even through the cold winter we have, they were right here. It’s just a very good group. It’s preventative for osteoporosis. We have one of the participants on medication for that and could get a lower dosage because her bone density improved so much. So, it does help.”

Email Robin Caudell: rcaudell@pressrepublican.com



WHAT: RSVP Osteoporosis Class.

WHEN: 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

WHERE: Peru Community Church Fellowship Center, Elm Street.

COST: Free.

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