SEVERE WX : Red Flag Warning - Freeze Warning View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

62-year-old's physical conditioning helped save his life

It's not uncommon for men in their 60s to enjoy a hobby like golf or fishing. But for Barry Walker, weight training i...

Posted: Jul 23, 2018 12:06 PM
Updated: Jul 23, 2018 12:06 PM

It's not uncommon for men in their 60s to enjoy a hobby like golf or fishing. But for Barry Walker, weight training is his escape. The 62-year-old has been fine tuning and shaping his body since he was in high school.

"This has been more of a friendly gym than any gym I've been too," said Barry. "I feel very comfortable. This is home for me."

It's not just his way of life. It's his livelihood. You see, this gym rat owns the gym. Walkers Gym opened in the heart of Hopewell 28 years ago.

"I'd say there is only one other business on this street that has been here longer than we are," said Barry.

Frills? You won't find them here.

"It's not like a gym where people are standing in front of the mirror smiling and looking at themselves and all of that," said Barry.

Customers say Walker's is a throwback to a simpler time. Barry says the only thing that changes in his gym? Muscle size.

"There really isn't hard core lifting at the gyms no more. I don't think," said Barry.

Some of the well-worn, homemade machines date back to the Nixon administration.

"When I buy new equipment, I don't throw nothing else away. Because as soon as I buy new equipment and move it I will have 10 people lining up saying I used that and now it's not here. So, I never throw nothing away," explained Barry.

If Barry needs inspiration he need not look far. Walker's Gym is a family affair. Curtis, Barry's 85-year-old father, works the front desk.

"He is here five days a week," said Barry.

The elder Walker is no stranger to punishing regimens which get results. Curtis captured power lifting titles around the globe. The competitive spirit still burns deep inside.

"I'm proud of him. I come down here trying to help him keep it opening. I'm proud of him," said Curtis.

Spending so much time at the gym doesn't concern Barry's significant other. Jeanette Walker, his bride of nearly 40 years, trains almost daily and competes annually.

"She is probably into it a little more than me if the truth was known," he said.

"They'll tell Barry, I want to work out, but I don't want to look like your wife," said Jeanette.

The walkers prove a couple which lifts together grows stronger.

"I think we motivate each other. We keep each other going," added Jeanette.

But their bond was nearly broken recently when Barry's most important muscle 'stopped' pumping.

"I've had a double bypass in the last 12 weeks," said Barry.

During surgery to fix a genetic disorder in his heart three months ago Barry essentially died in the operating room. Twice.

"The more you think about it… It will scare you if you think about it," he said.

Doctors say their patient's top physical conditioning helped save his life. Twelve weeks later Barry Walker is back pumping iron.

"Never be satisfied with the shape you are now. Always try to get in better shape," said Barry.

Barry Walker says he has too many reps and sets ahead to give up. He says for now Heaven can wait.

"I still feel like I'm in my 40's," said Barry. "I would like to do it forever if I could. I'll constantly train. Until I can't get out of bed that is when I'll stop. You know. Hopefully, that will never happen."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 41739

Reported Deaths: 653
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah9055160
Marion5733108
Washington568175
Umatilla334444
Clackamas308165
Lane232627
Malheur190938
Jackson16506
Deschutes111013
Yamhill98515
Linn79815
Polk64815
Jefferson6039
Morrow5436
Lincoln51513
Union4652
Benton4366
Klamath4083
Wasco34715
Douglas3455
Hood River2771
Josephine2633
Columbia2561
Clatsop2410
Coos2360
Baker1143
Crook1032
Tillamook700
Curry571
Wallowa422
Lake340
Harney230
Sherman180
Gilliam110
Grant110
Wheeler10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 903684

Reported Deaths: 17343
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2989376989
Riverside657571279
San Bernardino623531072
Orange583261444
San Diego54314868
Kern33775416
Fresno30590436
Sacramento25264484
Santa Clara24014388
Alameda23215460
San Joaquin21630489
Contra Costa18523241
Stanislaus17572396
Tulare17495286
Ventura14192164
Imperial12700336
San Francisco12069140
Monterey1132189
San Mateo11075159
Santa Barbara9760120
Merced9465155
Sonoma9163134
Kings821883
Solano728674
Marin7057128
Madera498174
San Luis Obispo414132
Placer408857
Yolo316658
Butte305952
Santa Cruz277125
Napa194215
Shasta184630
Sutter183712
San Benito143615
El Dorado13154
Yuba129310
Mendocino112421
Tehama8628
Lassen7661
Lake68915
Glenn6573
Nevada6088
Humboldt5629
Colusa5506
Calaveras34218
Amador32416
Tuolumne2684
Inyo22715
Siskiyou1930
Del Norte1781
Mono1782
Mariposa782
Plumas680
Modoc290
Trinity260
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 61°
Brookings
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 64°
Crater Lake
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 18°
Feels Like: 33°
Grants Pass
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 59°
Klamath Falls
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: 33°
Critical fire danger today
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events