HANOVER, Pa. (WHTM) — The Hanover Area YMCA encourages healthy living, and no member embodies that more than Les Savino.
“You don’t really get the full effect of Les until you meet Les,” said Chad Stough from the Hanover YMCA,
From 7:30 to 10 in the morning, five days a week, you can find Les in the YMCA’s Men’s Wellness Center.
“I have a routine,” Savino said. “I go from one to the next to the next, and if you disrupt that [then] you spoil my day.
Monday, Wednesday and Fridays he lifts weights, doing 700 reps per morning. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Les does aerobic exercises on the treadmill and stationary bike. Every day, he challenges his balance.
He’s in the gym so often, the Hanover Area YMCA affectionately calls the wellness center gym “The Les Savino Gym.”
“I’m embarrassed,” Savion says of the naming honor. “I don’t want any notoriety.”
When Les started coming to the YMCA on February 3, 1983, the fitness enthusiast came with a group of six friends.
“We used to [come as a group], but I’ve outlived them all,” Savino said.
Not much has changed in his routine, but as he ages, he has had to scale back some of his exercises.
“I used to do 900 reps,” Savino said. “I used to do a lot of work with dumbbells. With my balance [now], if I pick up a dumbbell, I fall over. So I stopped [lifting dumbbells] when I was 100.”
Yes, Les is 100 years old. He passed the century mark this August.
“Exercising is the best healer there is, better than medicine,” Savino said.
Les still lives alone and drives himself to the gym every morning.
“It’s hard work and I don’t look forward to getting up at the crack of dawn to come in here and abuse my body. But that’s what you have to do [to live a healthy life].”
And Les knows a little something about hard work. He enlisted in the military where he served as a B-17 pilot in World War II. After his service, Les had a highly successful career as a food technologist until retiring at age 83. Les was married and raised four kids.
“We were married for 70 years,” Savion said. “Her name was Barbara and she was my childhood sweetheart.”
This Thanksgiving, Les thinks of his Barbara, but his kids think of him.
“My wife used to do all the cooking,” Savino said. “She passed away 11 or 12 years ago, so now I do [the cooking]. This year, my kids said ‘Dad, You’re not cooking the turkey this year, you’re 100!’ What’s that have to do with it?
At home or in the gym, Hanover’s century man never uses his age as an excuse.
If I’m going to be living I want to enjoy life,” Savino concludes. “If I don’t enjoy life, I don’t want to be around.”