KINSTON, LENOIR COUNTY - The Woodmen Community Center in Kinston is where Margie Martin attends Zumba class. Her spot is front and center alongside more than 50 attendees.
Nearly three years ago, a heart attack left Martin on life support, with her family around her to say goodbye.
"It's been a struggle, but every day is like a brand new day to me," said Martin.
Martin said she overcame the odds and completed physical and occupational therapy. She then joined the Woodmen Community Center to continue her exercises. But in August 2012, she had a mini-stroke that set her back.
Martin was released from physical therapy after the stroke and was recommended that she go back to Zumba class. She said she knows every move by heart and each word to every song.
"Ms. Margie is just an inspiration to everybody in the class," said Kimberly Moore, the Zumba instructor. "Everybody looks at Ms. Margie and sees she works hard. It just inspires us to go that much harder."
During class, Martin does keep a walker close by for stability and a chair behind her. Every once in a while, Martin has to sit down to rest her legs, so she brings out shakers and does the arm movements to the dances.
"They will get really weak where they will buckle. When I feel that happening, I have to sit down so I don't fall," said Martin.
Her son, Marquise Jones, attends Zumba with her and sometimes joins her on the dance floor.
"I'm helping her dance and making sure she keeps her balance. She's my best friend, not just my mom," said Jones.
Martin said she tries to attend Zumba class on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and occasionally, on Fridays. When she is lacking the motivation to go workout, her son gives her that extra push.
"He's always pushing me to do better, to get up and get out," said Martin.
Martin told NewsChannel 12 no matter what age, gender or ability, sometimes it feels good to just dance.
"It's something I never thought I would be able to do. I never thought I would be able to dance and to have that type of fun," said Martin.
When asked what was the key to her recovery, Martin replied, "Don't stay home. Fight the depression and let's just get up, get out and go."
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