Prayer warrior bikes her way to good health


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Elva Paddison, 100, prepares for her morning bike ride around Lamplighter Village.

Brenda Eggert Brader

Up every day at 3 a.m., Elva Paddison says she’s a prayer warrior, closely following a daily routine in the morning to pray and read. But, by 6:30 a.m., she mounts her three-wheel bike and takes off for an up to two-mile bike hike through the neighborhood of Lamplighter Village.

“I am doing really well for God the Father wakes me up every morning at 3 a.m.,” said Paddison, who is 100 years old. “I am up dressing from 3, 4 a.m. deciding what to wear. I have lived right here in this three-bedroom house and have been riding bikes since 2004.”

Her bike rides include Thomas Tavares, her live-in caregiver.

“Her biking used to take her by my house every morning and she ate breakfast with me,” Tavares said. “Then she spent about five hours on the bike — three in the morning and two in the afternoon. “Everybody in the park loves her.”

“I know about every person and every home,” Paddison said about the residents. “I pray for them and say kind words to them, and people stop me to chat and give me kind words.”

Physically fit and a cancer survivor, Paddison said she just loves biking and her routine.

“As long as my back holds, my upper legs and hips and knees work and my lower legs work and my feet work, I will continue to bike,” Paddison added.

Keeping healthy, she said she doesn’t eat beef and pork.

“I go fowl and chicken, mainly chicken, but some turkey,” Paddison said. “I am cautious of the vegetables, but like broccoli and corn-on-the-cob and string beans. I love egg drop soup with noodles. I just love that soup. I love oriental, and I like stuffed crab and salmon.”

Meditating throughout the day and taking time to play her piano, Paddison said there are three things to live by — “always stay cheerful, the most important one is to love much and the third one is laugh often. Be happy it is a new morning. You don’t know what is going to happen any hour of your day and I pray often.”