Hi, I’m Connie Herrick and I’m running for Piedmont City Council.
My breast cancer journey started in 1991, the day after our son Matt’s first birthday party. I was 34 years old. Surgery, 6 months of chemotherapy and 4 months of radiation followed. Those of you who have been through cancer treatments know how grueling it is.
10 years later, I had a recurrence and underwent more extensive surgeries and much stronger chemotherapy. While I have stayed in remission now for almost 20 years, the lingering result was severe arthritis in my joints and chronic pain.
Then in 2016, I took a fall onto cement, badly damaging one knee and tearing a rotator cuff. My orthopedic doctor told me that given my injuries, arthritis and chronic pain, my only long term exercise option was the pool. I didn’t take the news well.
But one day, as I was sitting in the physical therapist’s waiting room, I saw a flyer for a pool class called Water Works. It was specifically for people with mobility, balance and pain issues. I decided to try it. When I started the class, I walked in using a cane. My daily pain level was about a 7/10. After the first class, I was hooked. The water held me up so I could move easily and gently exercise.
Fast forward 3 years. Today, I swim every day. I have modified my stroke to accommodate my torn rotator cuff and can swim almost 1 mile. I ride a bike, run on a treadmill, jump on a trampoline and can throw an 10lb medicine ball…all in the pool. Swimming laps and aqua circuit training has made me strong, mobile and flexible. My balance is excellent, the cane is gone, my daily pain level is 2/10, I am able to walk 3 miles, do yoga and tai chi.
My personal healing experience in the water is why I feel so strongly that we need a new community pool. I know firsthand how important moving in water is for our bodies and minds. I hear and understand the concerns about incurring $19.5M in debt and why we should delay due to all the challenges we are facing. From a financial standpoint, this is a good time to take advantage of low interest rates. And if we continue to delay, replacement costs keep skyrocketing, the pool keeps leaking 1K+ gallons per day and we keep spending more and more to maintain its degrading infrastructure.
Our pool is a midtown jewel that strengthens our property values. Potential home buyers find our community amenity extremely attractive. So I hope for a modern, green facility that can easily accommodate all our swim, health, recreation and community gathering needs. And I believe we will always reap significant returns on an investment we make in our health, wellbeing and community.
I hope you will join me and Vote YES on Measure UU in November.