FRISCO, Texas May 5, 2017 – For 69-year-old Jerry Crumpler, running has always been a part of his life; something he was naturally gifted at. He’s had the running bug since middle school gym class, and in 1975 began competing in races – anything from 5k’s to 50 miles – all across the United States, including running from the country’s lowest point to its highest point, Death Valley to Mount Whitney, four times. A few years ago Crumpler was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but he loves the challenge of running and didn’t let the disease diminish his passion. His doctors told him he would eventually need to be in a memory care environment, and he moved to Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco a few months ago, but he hasn’t let this recent move affect his love for his favorite sport. Crumpler is still as active as ever; walking on the campus a few hours a day, running a few times a week and always trying to stay moving. His hobby was noticed by Activity Director Penny Tipton, as she also enjoys running, and the pair trained together for the Dallas Cowboys Draft Day 5k. They showed others that with the right motivation, anything can be accomplished.
“In my 20s and 30s I ran five miles a day and 30 miles each weekend,” said Crumpler. “Running has always made me feel good, so I don’t let my age limit me in any way, I just put on my shoes and go and don’t worry about what other people think. It’s important for seniors to move and stay active in any way possible, as long as they find something they enjoy doing.”
Crumpler estimates he participated in more than 50 races, ranging from triathlons to organizing a K-9 run benefiting an animal rescue years ago. His love of walking and running is something the staff at Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco makes sure he can incorporate into his lifestyle at the community.
Mustang Creek Estates’ residential concept of providing assisted living and memory care services allows them to get to know their residents on a one-on-one basis. With up to 16 residents in each home with the same staff each day, residents and staff develop bonds like families would.
Tipton has been a runner for years and enjoys the challenge of training to cross the finish line, no matter the distance. She most recently completed a 5k in Luckenbach, Texas, and has also completed 12k’s and half-marathons. She gained some of Crumpler’s extensive running knowledge and learned more about him along the way.
“As residents transition to life at Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco, we work to find out what they enjoy doing and what their hobbies are to truly get to know their personalities and their likes and dislikes,”
said Tipton. “It allows us to customize activities based on their individual preferences. It’s special to share moments like this with our residents and see their faces light up. I look to Jerry as my mentor because he has so much more experience in races than I do.”