Bouncing Back

Cato Johnson works out

By Vickye Hester. Photos by Sarah McAlexander

Cato Johnson, 67,

is the Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Methodist Healthcare. As a senior executive for a healthcare organization, he focuses on health and wellness during his workday, but after a mini stroke in 2010, he also learned to incorporate fitness into his busy lifestyle outside of work hours. Even though his busy schedule can range from working in Nashville with the Governor to attending countless meetings with local government officials, he prioritizes his health daily.


In 2010 I learned firsthand what it means to be a stroke survivor. I had just started working out with a trainer four to five months before I had the stroke, so I like to thank my exercise regimen for speeding up my recovery. This experience has taught me to always put my health and wellness first no matter how busy I am.


I have been working with my current trainer, Lonell Brodnax, since 2012, and I workout with him on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. I do solo workouts on Sunday, Monday, and Friday. I switch my routines between trekking, spinning, cardio, weightlifting, and the treadmill.


“He outworks my youngest clients, never complains, and does full workouts.”


One of the benefits of having a trainer is the emphasis on healthy eating habits. Fish, chicken, and vegetables have become regular staples in my diet, as well as protein bars and shakes.


Not only do I workout out at the Cordova Family YMCA, but I also serve on their board of directors. My commitment to the organization is not only shown in my volunteer time, but I am a member who utilizes the wonderful facility. YMCA is committed to

youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, which are all very important to me. We are lucky to have ten YMCAs in the Memphis & Mid-South area, which provide countless activities for children, adults, and families. I hope more people in our community will take advantage of the programs available at the Y because they provide a wealth of resources and are very affordable for most families.


Don’t let age be a deterrent. Work at your own pace and develop your own program.


If you embark on a training regimen, stay consistent and be diligent. Go even when you do not want to and attend stroke support groups!


I have been selected as the 2015 Citywide Chair of the Mid-South Heart Walk, which is the signature fundraising event for the American Heart Association. This will give me the opportunity to spread the word about fitness while also sharing education about heart disease and stroke!


Stroke Support Groups are available at Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown, Methodist North, Methodist South, and Methodist University Hospitals. Visit to sign up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: