9-Year Member • Benton Harbor-St. Joseph YMCA
I’ve never had the drive or discipline to work out on my own. I will do one plank and call it good enough! I needed someone to push me, which is why I decided to try personal training a couple years ago. I was already attending Zumba classes with a lively instructor, but I was encouraged to expand my horizons, so I began personal training. My personal trainer went beyond what she needed to do. She would walk me to the treadmills, have me step on, and tell me to let her know how it went when I was finished. She never knew how much that meant to me because I never thought I would have to do it without her.
When gyms closed last year, it was absolutely horrible. When I look back on it now, I realize I didn’t do much to cope. I was not reaching my fitness goals because I wasn’t pushing myself. The Y offered outdoor fitness classes in the summer, but nothing could replace the one-on-one connection I thought I needed.
I was ecstatic when the Y reopened in September. I didn’t realize how much I liked and needed the Y until after they reopened. Unfortunately, my personal trainer pursued other avenues during the mandated closure, which made it hard for me to step foot into the building, let alone work out without her.
I then met with Monica, the Senior Healthy Living Director, to talk about my options. I was distraught; I told her I wanted someone to care and that I needed a personal trainer. She helped me realize my strength to become more independent. If it wasn’t for her encouragement, I would not have come back to the Y after it reopened. She told me that the team cares about me and has continued to be supportive. She may not realize it, but she makes a difference. Especially in my life.
The Y has meant a lot to me, especially over the past year. The simplicity of walking into the building and having a friendly staff member say hi has made me feel like I am part of a community. We’re all here for the same reason too: to better ourselves. That’s why I’m a Y member for life.