Feeling comfortable led to healthy lifestyle
Whitton joined the YMCA in 2005 to get into shape. Not a regular
exerciser or a natural athlete, she was anxious about going to a gym. By
her own estimation, she was overweight, and while she wanted to get
into shape, she was terrified to work out in a traditional "gym"
setting, regularly coaxing friends to come with her. It wasn’t until two
years ago that Jen started to take getting in shape seriously. Along
with a friend, she signed up for Leonard Jones’ Outdoor Boot Camp class.
Thanks to the reception she received from staff like Leonard, Jen felt
welcome and started taking group exercise classes and working out on her
Throughout the YMCA, she noticed things that were designed to help
make people with little to no fitness experience more comfortable, like
instructors offering modified movements and allowing participants to
progress at their own pace. Between Step classes at Toby Wells YMCA,
Leonard’s Boot Camp, and the Weight Loss For Life TEAM Challenge, Jen
felt more comfortable and more at home at Mission Valley YMCA. "It got
to the point where friends and staff would ask where I was if I skipped a
day!" says Whitton. Fast forward to the present — Jen has lost 95
pounds. She’s expanded her training to the pools and just completed her
first triathlon (Mission Bay Triathlon) in October. She has a message
for other "health seekers" who, like her, want to get healthy but are
afraid to start or don’t know how: "Just do it. Once you get over that
initial fear, you realize that the people at the Y are here to help.
This is not your average gym." — posted 11/22/10
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