Seabright humbled to be selected among top-5 SilverSneakers instructors

Seabright humbled to be selected among top-5 SilverSneakers instructors

Image Credit: Dave Mast

Being nominated for a national award and finishing among the top 10 is an honor.

Doing it in back-to-back years is an incredible achievement.

For Cheryl Seabright, instructor and owner of Cheryl’s L.I.F.E. Fitness, climbing to that pinnacle has been a humbling experience, especially since the nominations come from the people who matter the most to her — her clients.

This summer Seabright earned her second nomination for Tivity Health’s national SilverSneakers Member of the Year contest, and after earning a spot among the top 10 last year, this year she took a step up, ranking among the top five.

On Tuesday, July 19, all the local SilverSneakers crew, members from Kinetics and Pomerene Hospital, and other community members joined Seabright in celebrating the achievement at her studio on state Route 83 in Clark with a meal and an award presentation.

“I feel very blessed, and obviously, these (seniors) are how I got there,” Seabright said. “I have gone back through Instructor of the Year award winners and finalists, and I haven’t seen anyone make it two years in a row.”

Seabright said the only reason she was receiving the award was because of the kind words her clients submitted to Tivity.

“I am honored, I’m blessed, I’m humbled because I don’t think I do anything out of the ordinary,” Seabright said.

Her family of clients would beg to differ.

“She definitely looks after us like a mother hen, and she always makes it fun to participate,” SilverSneaker Jane Voltz said. “She is always showing concern for our well-being, and we are all like family. There are not many people like Cheryl in this world. She puts her heart and soul into everything she does.”

“She is so down to earth,” said Margaret Martin, another SilverSneaker who has grown to love Seabright like family. “There’s never a day I don’t want to come in. Her sense of humor is so special. She can tease everyone, and she takes it and gives it with all of us. But most importantly, she cares deeply for all of us. She is one of a kind.”

Seabright said the motto for Cheryl’s L.I.F.E. is “Living Independently From Exercising.” She said her main goal is to help people stay in their homes longer, where they are more comfortable and content. Keeping seniors healthy, happy, active, and in their home and helping their family feel better about them living a productive life is her biggest hope.

Her SilverSneaker clients obviously feel passionate about their relationship with their instructor because it is their letters of nomination that inspired the committee to once again tab Seabright as one of the nation’s best SilverSneakers instructors.

During the presentation, her friend Jan Fuchs spoke glowingly about the role Seabright plays in the community.

“I hear nothing but good things from many of you about Cheryl,” Fuchs said.

Fuchs has retired from Pomerene Hospital, but she said a quarter century ago she had a young woman show up for a job interview. That woman was Seabright, who shared her resume, and after meeting, Fuchs told her she was highly overqualified for the position.

That didn’t stop Seabright from taking a role there, and once she was ingrained in the health community in Holmes County, it led to her desire to become an instructor at her own health facility.

“You’ve obviously made a great choice,” Fuchs said to the SilverSneakers in attendance.

Diana Lahm then presented Seabright with her award.

Having built so many relationships that go so far beyond a health class has made each of the clients realize they are involved in something special. It also has made Seabright realize these people are more than just clients.

“I consider myself the mother hen, and they are my chicks,” Seabright said. “I’m always looking after them, and if I don’t see someone in class for a couple days, I’ll call and check in on them. So many live by themselves and don’t have family, so I feel that as a mother hen, it’s my responsibility.”

Seabright said keeping things fun and different from class to class is a big part of why her clients enjoy her classes. However, she also makes them feel special by celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, honoring those who pass away, making group cards, sending flowers or taking meals to members who have had surgery, and celebrating births of grandchildren and great-grandchildren and other special moments.

“She absolutely cares about us, and it shows in everything she does,” SilverSneaker Jan Fry said. “She creates specific plans individually for us. I don’t think any of us are surprised to see her receive this honor because she is so positive and patient, and she always maintains such a wonderful outlook on life. Next year she will be number one.”