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Resident working out in in the gym.

Gatesworth Stories —

From the Skating Rink to Senior Living
Resident Daniel Willis on Living Life to the Fullest

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics are fast approaching, and we are excited about speed skating, bobsledding and everything in between. Olympic games are a winter delight for viewers around the world and a chance to celebrate today’s greatest athletes, but for one Resident at The Gatesworth, it is more personal than that.

A Figure Skating Star in The Making

Ask Resident Daniel Willis, and he’ll say figure skating is the main event at the Olympics. And as a former figure skater himself, Willis makes sure to never miss watching a single competition. Seeing the fierce talent those skaters bring to the ice takes him back to some of his most spectacular memories.

“I started skating when I was 10—when my grandmother bought my first pair of skates. It was hard for me at first. I wasn't a natural by any means, but it was something I loved. I dreamed of becoming an ice skater. So, I practiced every day, before school and after school.  I was also a roller skater.”

For Daniel, passion and hard work were a powerful combination and eventually led to an illustrious career as a pair skater. From his hometown of St. Louis, he competed in several national and world competitions with two different skating partners before retiring from professional pair skating at 26 years old.

Staying Active in Senior Life

Today, Daniel is back in St. Louis and leads an exuberant life. He currently resides at The Gatesworth, a community for active seniors. “I haven't skated in 50 years, but thanks to The Gatesworth, fitness is still a huge part of my life.”

The Gatesworth is committed to nurturing all aspects of Residents’ wellness, including mental and physical fitness. “Our staff goes above and beyond to offer an array of guided and independent activities that allow Residents to customize their lifestyle,” says Carrie Montrey, executive director for The Gatesworth. “Plus, we’re always taking suggestions for new events and offerings. Nothing is mandatory, and almost anything is possible. Our Residents deserve to have that level of freedom.”

For Daniel, having the freedom to design his life means participating in at least two fitness classes of his choosing every day. He also enjoys reading books, watching movies with friends at the Starbird Theatre, The Gatesworth’s movie theater, and regularly invites his old skating pals over for a visit. “I feel so pampered here. I’m able to continue doing everything I love, and the staff here takes care of everything else. There’s truly nowhere else I’d rather be.”

Finding the Right Fit Among Senior Living Communities

It is hard for words to capture what life at The Gatesworth is like, and Daniel insists that it is something you have to experience. For those searching for senior living, he highly recommends taking a tour of The Gatesworth. It gives you the chance to see the amenities, the beautiful grounds and all the apartment options for yourself. It is also a great opportunity to meet the staff. “When I toured The Gatesworth, I could imagine myself living here,” he recalls. “It felt like home.”

Call for a personal tour to get a taste for life at The Gatesworth, or give us a call to learn more: 314-993-0111.

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