Making a splash – age is a state of mind


By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

Dawn Coughenour doing water aerobics.
Dawn Coughenour doing water aerobics.

Dawn Coughenour loves being in the water.

“I always liked the water,” said  the 96-year-old Coughenour. “When I was a kid, I was a Girl Scout and my parents would send me to summer camp. At camp I spent all my free time in the water.”

Coughenour is continuing to stay active and enjoying the water by participating in Kathy Frank’s water aerobic class twice a week at the Groveport Recreation Center’s indoor pool.

“Dawn is inspirational to me and the class. The class is like a big family,” said Frank. “I hope I’m just like Dawn when I grow up!”

Coughenour first started taking Frank’s water aerobics class in 1998 when it was offered in the summer at the old outdoor Groveport swimming pool that once was located on Hendron Road.
“I’d take the class as often as it was offered,” said Coughenour.

Frank said water aerobics is beneficial because the constant resistance of the water tones the body while being gentle on joints and muscles.

“It’s definitely a good kind of tired,” said Coughenour of water aerobics. “But it doesn’t make me too tired. After class I go to lunch with my daughter and then go shopping.”

Coughenour said she started swimming as a young girl in Marysville.

“There was a creek about a half mile from home where we would swim,” said Coughenour. “I loved it.”

When she was a little older she would swim at a swimming pool that a friend’s father operated. There she was taught how to dive by a young Sam Devine who worked as a lifeguard at the pool. Devine would later become a United States Congressman.

“Devine dated my friend at the time,” said Coughenour. “All the girls were crazy about Sam.”

Besides swimming, Coughenour was also a good golfer for many years.

“I averaged one over par,” said Coughenour.

When asked about her longevity and good health, Coughenour said, “I’m fortunate that I’ve never had a major illness. I also never over-indulged in anything. Plus, I try to stay on the go all the time and my daughters include me in a lot of activities. It’s nice at this age to be able to do what I can do.”

For information about Kathy Frank’s water aerobics and her other fitness classes at the Groveport Recreation Center, call (614) 836-5800.


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