Betty Watt survived her sometimes trying career as a middle school teacher.

She beat colon cancer.

And overcame breast cancer years later.

All the while, she was a regular at the gym. Routine exercise helped Watt, now 70, bounce back from her cancer treatments and relax after wrangling eighth-graders in the classroom.

Watt and husband, Charlie, 66, visit the Bellevue Public Schools Lied Activity Center at least five days a week. In addition to keeping them healthy, it comes in handy with their world travels. The Bellevue couple has the energy to sight-see from dawn to dusk on their international trips.

Q: When did you start working out and why?

A: I started in 2000 mainly because I needed to get rid of some frustrations of being a middle school teacher. I started teaching middle school in 1969 for Plattsmouth Community Schools.

Q: Describe your workouts. How many days per week do you exercise?

A: I usually work out five or six days a week with my husband. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, we do the elliptical machines and weights. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I use the treadmill, and Charlie walks on the track. I’m a two-time cancer survivor. Working out helped me to bounce back. I had an excellent recovery.

Q: What is your current fitness goal?

A: To stay healthy so I can enjoy my grandkids and travel. We were gone 176 days out of 2017. We went to Dubai, Egypt, China, Tibet, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and St. Petersburg, Russia.

Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment?

A: Surviving cancer twice. Twelve years ago, I had colon cancer. I had breast cancer in October. I’m cancer-free at the moment. When I had breast cancer, I had a lumpectomy on Thursday and was back in the gym on Tuesday.

Q: What has been the toughest hurdle to overcome?

A: Working out in the winter.

Q: What helps you stay on track?

A: I feel better when I come here. I know it makes me healthier.

Q: What is your gym pet peeve?

A: People that sit on the machines and talk instead of working out.

Q: What do you do when you aren’t in the gym?

A: We travel. I write up stories about our trips and we put them with our photos. Then we send those out to family, friends and people we’ve met on our trips. We also spend time with our grandkids.

Q: What is the piece of equipment, supplement, clothing, etc. that you can’t live without?

A: My water. If I forget it, I have to get drinks from the water fountains in between machines, and that’s a hassle.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their fitness journey?

A: Take it slow. Find a place you enjoy. You need someone to encourage you.

Get the latest health headlines and inspiring stories straight to your inbox.

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.