Y Member Spotlight: Mary “Buff” Voelker

We did this to stay active and recover from injuries. But we were traveling frequently and the exercise habits slowly slipped away. After George passed and my daughters were here to see me in June, they all agreed they don’t want to lose me. I still wanted to see my kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids after all! It was decided that I should get active again.

I primarily needed to improve my strength and balance. I thought, “I would like to strengthen my core to stay healthy longer, and be able to put suitcases up in the overhead compartment of an airplane!” Determined, we all set out to look at 3 different gyms. The first two were large chain gyms that were overwhelmingly big and lacked a personal touch. But I’ll tell you what: The YMCA was the only one that felt right. The YMCA just feels comfortable. It feels like it’s full of normal people like you and me, people who are trying to make their lives better.

When I started going to this YMCA, I went to a handful of Balance classes with Lina. What I noticed was that everyone has a helping attitude. No one expects me to walk in and be 25 again. They just want to see me get stronger and better with them. It’s the encouragement and the lack of judgment that I notice. I also started doing personal training sessions with Dane two times every week to focus on my strength training. Now, I’ve come to expect the YMCA to show me what to do, and if I do it, I will get stronger and healthy. As someone on Medicare and Silver Sneakers, I really like that I don’t need to worry about, “Can I afford this?” I just get to show up, work hard, and see people I enjoy being with.

So I ask you, why not go to the YMCA? And if you’ve been at the YMCA for a long time, ask yourself, when was the last time you looked at the group fitness schedule and tried a new class? Or did a workout with a personal trainer? Are you stuck in a rut you made for yourself? Are you so used to your old routine that you just stay in it? Don’t worry—when you’re here, they’ll have someone to talk to you, ask you questions, and help you learn and improve. There’s so much to try and utilize in terms of equipment and programs, and the people here will gladly help you however they can.  When you leave for the day, you’ll feel so much better!

Speaking of which, the other day, I woke up and my back was feeling quite achy. Despite a little ache, I still worked out with my trainer, did mobility and stretching exercises, and left not feeling achy. One hour later and I don’t need ibuprofen! It shows me that aches and pain are not going to go away unless you do something about it, and I am now empowered to do everything I can! The YMCA is my place to move and live well.


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