Scheurer fitness instructor to slow her pace with retirement

Jeanne Putman has been helping Thumb residents get healthy for more than 30 years, but she plans to retire from her role as a fitness instructor for Scheurer Health at the end of April to focus on her own wellbeing.

“It’s time to slow down and cut back a little bit,” she said.

Though her students will miss her, they certainly wouldn’t question her decision, which was a difficult one. In a little more than a year, Putman has suffered multiple heart attacks and had a stint implanted in an artery and a pacemaker placed in her heart.

Remarkably, she still plans to teach fitness classes after her retirement, but she plans to cut back to just one a day instead of the 17 to 19 classes she had been teaching each week.

“God has given me strength to keep going, and I’ve been doing what I love to do, but at a more limited capacity so I don’t wear myself out so fast,” she said.

Putman credits her faith as well as her passion for fitness with the fact that she has survived her health challenges over the past year.

“I truly believe had I not worked out all these years I probably would have died after that first heart attack,” she said. “It was because of God and my body being strong because of the fitness all these years.”

That passion began more than three decades ago when Putman was a stay-at-home mom. One day, after seeing her son off to kindergarten, she found herself bingeing on junk food. Motherhood had caused her weight to rise, something many women experience, and it took a toll on her emotional state. She realized she was depressed and needed to make some changes. 

Those changes began when her mother gave her an exercise bike that had been collecting dust in her garage. Putman started riding the bike for 30 minutes every day after she sent her kids off to school, and when a year had passed, she was 30 pounds lighter. Soon she had landed a job working the front desk at a new fitness center in the Caro area.

“It kind of mushroomed,” she said.

Eventually she worked her way up to sales. From there, her job moved to teaching clients how to use the club’s exercise equipment, and she was soon teaching fitness classes. She was promoted to assistant manager, then manager.

When the club’s ownership changed, Putman struck out on her own and began teaching classes all over the Thumb. She would wind up subcontracting with Scheurer Health and became a member of the staff about seven years ago.

“Working with Scheurer has been a great experience,” she said. “They are so supportive, and anything I wanted to do or try, they were all for it.”

Putman said she has made some great connections at Scheurer and with its students, and what she refers to as a fitness community is something that can help people stick with fitness and continue to work toward their goals.

“Fitness is more than just working out,” she said. “You meet so many wonderful people and you get to help inspire them and change their lives. You make connections, then you want to come back because there are other people that will help energize you.”

Putman has some advice for those who want to make changes to improve their health. She said their best bet is to start small, if necessary, and to stick with it. Once they do, they will start reaping the results and feel better, and they will be inspired to do more and more.

“Don’t worry about the big picture,” she said.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *