In 2010, he began volunteering as an instructor in the 55 Circuit class on Friday mornings. In 2012, he expanded his teaching schedule to twice a day, three days a week. That same year, he received the “Volunteer of the Year” award.
Szarek’s class is very popular. Currently, his classes average over 15 participants, and five of the regular participants have been coming to his class since he started instructing.
“It is the members who have created an environment of socializing and fun,” says Szarek. “The ‘regulars’ are always so welcoming to new members.”
In 2013, Szarek started keeping track of his participant numbers. He has had over 2,500 class participants a year, and one year exceeded 3,600.
Szarek comes to class with his ’50s and ’60s playlist ready. He uses it to keep to the 128-count beat, guide the participants through various stations in a healthy, motivating manner and, most importantly, help them have fun!
A sign in the circuit room states that conversation must be kept to a minimum. Szarek would like to replace the word “minimum” with “maximum.”
“With my ’50s and ’60s playlist,” Szarek says, “it sometimes feels like karaoke hour since most of the participants know the words to most of my music.”
At 71, Szarek is well aware of the benefits of his class. These include maintaining range of motion, muscle maintenance, and strength conditioning. He is not only a class instructor. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Szarek participates in the Strength Train Together class. He often helps other participants get their stations set up and taken down.
Szarek is a positive role model for the YMCA family and an incredible instructor and leader. We are proud to highlight him as our member of the month. Thank you, Stan, for all you do at our YMCA!