Good Sports: Willie Dobbs

FRESNO, Calif.

A water aerobics class, that calls itself a "family," is celebrating the 90th birthday of one of its most inspirational members.

Family and friends of Willie Dobbs say she doesn't act her age, but that's a compliment. They gathered in Clovis this week to celebrate her 90th birthday.

Willie is a Fresno mother, grandmother and great grandmother -- and an inspiration to those who love her. The birthday party was organized by her friends in her water aerobics class.

Willie has been working out in the pool at the Northeast Fresno GB3 gym 3 days a week, for 10 years. But Willie actually dove into water aerobics 28 years ago as part of physical therapy after a surgery. Since then, she's had some major operations and says she's bounced back every time because she works hard at staying fit and healthy.

"I've had two knee replacements, I've had a broken femur, I've had a broken hip. I've had surgery on both shoulders and I'm a little old lady that can walk without a walker or a cane," said Dobbs.

This "little old lady," as she calls herself, makes a big splash with everyone she meets. Those who know her well say she's figured out how to stop time.

"It's amazing to me to see that age. I thought, when she told me she's turning 90, I was shocked. 'Oh, I thought you were in your 70's! I would not have guessed 90,'" said water aerobic instructor Alicia Ward.

Willie gladly reveals what's kept her well ahead of the ticking clock. "My secret is my faith, hard work, attitude, and chocolate! ...mixing a little sweetness and sass, and living every day to the fullest"

Willie didn't even start an exercise routine until the age of 62. So she says it's never too late to start.

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