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      Getting fit for Esky 150

      For Lois and Dick Johnson of Gladstone, moving back to the Upper Peninsula after living in Florida for 10 years wasn't easy. They found winter months in the U.P. were stressful because the climate was different. They say they were leading a sedentary life and that their eating habits were out of control. Lucky for them, the Northern Lights YMCA in Escanaba was beginning its "150 Days to Wellness" fitness program in honor of Escanaba's 150th birthday. Amy Racine, Director of Health and Wellness at the YMCA, said, "The program that we started in January is called "The 150." It's in honor of Escanaba's 150 years. At the very end of the program, we are asking the "150" candidates to walk in the parade. We thought it would be a great way to have the two join in the celebration." Racine said Lois and Dick Johnson stood out as working particularly hard during their routines. "One of the biggest things that I noticed personally was when they first came to the Y, utilizing the fitness center, they really seemed unsure of maybe what they were doing. You can definitely tell that there's a comfort level that they've created, and I believe it's from the program," Racine said. Dick Johnson says his cholesterol and blood sugar levels are now more in line with what the doctors want for him. And Lois says her strength and overall fitness have improved. "Since the beginning, I've lost about 22 pounds. I've gained alot of muscle, though. My arms are stronger. Everything's stronger," she says. Lois and Dick and all of the "150 Days to Wellness" candidates were invited to participate in the Half Marathon parade last Saturday.