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Wearing his "Silver Sneakers" for another year

Bob Culver, who turned 96 last week, has been a regular participant in the YMCA Silver Sneakers exercise class since he moved to Woodbury with his family five years ago. Staff photo by Hank Long.

Participants in the Silver Sneakers class at YMCA Southeast in Woodbury are likely to tell you that you're only as old as you feel.

If that's the case, Bob Culver might be ageless. Nevertheless, the regular at the exercise class for older adults celebrated his 96th birthday last week.

Culver, who is originally from Kentucky, has lived with his family in Woodbury for the last five years. For almost that same length of time he has been a regular participant in the Silver Sneakers classes, which are specifically designed for adults 60 and older. Physical health of the participants varies. Some stand and other participate seated on a chair.

On Wednesday, Aug. 26, the class spent about 45 minutes in the studio focusing on exercises that maintain muscular strength and range of motion. Then, most of the two dozen Silver Sneakers participants gathered in a community room at the YMCA for cupcakes to celebrate the birthday of one of their oldest and revered members.

"Bob's got a great sense of humor," said YMCA fitness director Roxy Kline. "Everybody respects him so much, and he is good guy to have around."

Culver's daughter Carolyn Krueger organized the birthday party for her father.

"He loves this class so much," Krueger said. "He does what he can with the exercises, which isn't much these days, but he won't miss it, no matter how he's feeling."

After the group sang Culver "Happy Birthday" a video was played highlighting photos of Culver's life.

Asked about his secret to living s long and relatively healthy life, Culver answered "I just didn't die."

"I do have a motto," Culver said, in his pronounced southern accent. "If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking, and eventually you will succeed."