Barney Myers and McDonald W. “Don” Held Sr. could be the poster boys for exercise.
The two centenarians are regulars at the YMCA, where they work out in the pool or on the machines.
On Friday, YMCA honored its two “most mature” members with a birthday celebration. Myers turned 103 on Sept. 13. Held turned 104 on Oct. 14.
During a party in the lobby, a gathering of YMCA members, staff, friends and family sang “Happy Birthday” to the men, and included the tag line, “and many more.”
Billings Mayor Tom Hanel presented each man with a card and a mayor’s pin and congratulated them on another year.
“You keep having birthdays and we’ll keep coming to your parties,” he said.
Tina Postel, the YMCA’s CEO, gave Myers and Held T-shirts that said, “Doing life at the Y.”
Myers and Held, Postel said, are the YMCA’s oldest members. The gym’s “active older adults,” who are members age 65 and older, are about 15 percent of the organization’s membership, she said.
And because the YMCA is all about healthy living, the goodies at the party were bowls of fresh bananas, strawberries, grapes and tangerines. Postel, however, made an exception for the special occasion and included some mini cupcakes.
“Wonderful! That’s great!” said Held.
Myers, who had already finished his workout by 7 a.m., said he has missed only one day in the last 12 years when the gym has been open. That was because of a cold, he said, something he hasn’t had in four years.
“I do quite a bit of calisthenics,” Myers said. He also works out on 15 machines and occasionally uses the sauna.
Myers said he had few tips for living a long life.
“I get asked that all the time,” he said. “First you pick the right grandparents and then you work at it.”
“I don’t consider myself old. My only real problem is my hearing,” Myers said.
Held, who uses a walker, exercises in the pool, where he kicks and walks and uses the water for stability. He usually works out twice a week and has cut back on the machines because of arthritis.
Held’s daughter, Donna Beth Ingersoll, said her father has been a YMCA member for 35 years.
“He’s in really good shape,” she said.
Held’s secret to a long life? “The usual,” he replied. “No smoking, no drinking.”