Vernoca Michael, Director of the Paul Robeson House & Museum and Ralston community member

I was the first female boxing promoter in the world, so I’ve always had an interest in staying well. But as we age, it’s even more important to look at the whole picture—not just going to the doctor and having your check-ups, but keeping active in body and mind, and staying on top of the information you need to be happy and healthy.

Ralston’s education program is top-notch. They have an impressive roster of doctors and other professionals that are very good communicators and very good listeners.  They give talks and hold discussions on topics that I can’t find anywhere else. From decluttering to diabetes, Ralston has high-quality information for those things that predominantly affect my age group.

I definitely notice the difference that connecting with Ralston Center has on my body. My attitude is always lifted, and I always leave with a smile. Part of that is because the staff and instructors at Ralston Center are so friendly, and really know how to connect with older people to make us feel valued. We’re all part of a community at Ralston Center. And like a good community, they are invested in keeping us all educated on the things we need to do to age with good health and putting that education to practical application with the fitness classes. It’s all connected!

One of my favorite things about the yoga class in particular is that the instructor always engages us in a conversation about our intentions before each class. He opens up a dialogue with the participants to hear what we want to work on, what we are thinking about, and to have us share our life experiences and opinions.

Every morning when I wake up, I spend a few moments reading and meditating, after which I write little affirmations on these cards I got printed up. Any positive thoughts that come into my head while I meditate, I write them down on the cards and bring them with me throughout my day. When I’m at Ralston Center for a yoga class, sometimes I’ll have a few cards in my pocket, so I ask the group to come pick one if they want. It’s amazing how many people have come up to me afterward to say they really needed that little positive note in their day.