It was Jo Putnam’s three daughters who were responsible for her joining the Bond Wellness Center back in 2002. Jo was relatively new to the area, and already had her eye on the place when her daughters gave her a gift membership.

“I wanted to get to know people and my kids thought that was a good idea,” Jo says. “It certainly seemed like a wonderful thing to do—a way to become more fit as well as to meet new people, and it certainly has fulfilled that bill!”

Being fit is something Jo had been all her life.

When those three daughters were young, Jo served as a physical education teacher at a Girl Scout Camp in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, on Lake Winnipesaukee.  She designed a program for the 5 to 7-year-olds, and later became waterfront director at the same camp.  That grew into a 10-year stint as the camp counselor who would lead the girls on hikes into the White Mountains. Jo trained to be a physical education teacher in college, but had never taught.

Jo was married to a military man, and that meant a lot of moving around. She’s lived in two different places in France, where her daughters were born, and numerous places since then. She thinks her most recent relocation to Peterborough was perhaps her fiftieth move.

She had been living in northern Wisconsin most recently, and it was a sister who mentioned New Hampshire to her again.  She loved the state from those old camping days, and so relocation seemed like a good idea. Her daughters are all on the East Coast, so she gets to see them regularly. She had been born in northern Illinois, where she met her first husband at the University of Illinois Chapagne-Urbana.  “I think tuition there that long ago was $32 a year!” Jo says.

When she’s not traveling or visiting with her daughters, Jo works at being a storyteller and a writer, and she spends a lot of time at the Wellness Center, trying many of the classes along the way.  She tries to get here about three times a week.  She has a set routine of exercises that a physical therapist has given her, but otherwise she kind of goes with her mood. “If I feel like working out or I just want to swim, that’s what I do. I love all the programs they have here.”

She’ll do the treadmill one day or climb on a bike the next, she says.  She has had a member of the Fitness staff step over to tell her she was using one of the machines incorrectly, which she appreciated.  Jo says she finds everyone at the Wellness Center to be very friendly, including each staff person she’s worked with on her arthritis issues.

“The instructors always remind me that if something hurts, just stop, so that’s my guide,” she says. “It’s been so valuable to be here and to learn what my own body can do.”

“I’m always meeting somebody here,” she says. “It’s a little bit like when I go into Roy’s (in Peterborough).”

“I tell my kids now that it’s like having a second home,” Jo says. “It’s just wonderful.”


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