Meet Jessica B. She Finds Community at the Y

Whenever the military sends the Ballots to a new station, Jessica marches straight to the Y. It’s her sure-fire place to meet people and find a sense of community in a brand-new state.

When her family landed in San Diego last year, Jessica and her “wonky knees” hopped on the elliptical and pushed a few weights at Toby Wells Y.

“I wanted to branch out,” she remembers, “so I asked about KickStart.”

Trainer Dona, she says, “showed me proper form and used a cool app that gave me different workout choices each time I came in.”

Over three meetings, they worked through different strength-training circuits, TRX and Total Gym machines. “Cardio is not my favorite,” she admits. “I like to work muscle, and because of my knees, I have to modify a lot. Dona saw I was determined to learn new things, and she could tell if things were too easy for me.”

Jessica gained both strength and confidence.

Encouraged by the InBody scan she took a few months after completing KickStart, — “I gained muscle in my arms, legs and core!” — Jessica ventured into a small-group training program called Team Challenge.

“After that I could use 99-percent of the machines confidently. And I tried GRAVITY, yoga, Zumba and BODYPUMP! I definitely branched out of my comfort zone. I would not have been confident enough to do that a year ago.”

The Y, she says, is like an extension of their backyard. This busy mom of two home-schooled boys loves to watch them romp around the playground, see friends in gymnastics and martial arts classes and hang out at Child Watch.

“We come three or four days a week now, and I know most of the trainers and people who work at the counter. It’s nice when people know you. They say, ‘Hi,’ and ask how I’m doing.”

Jessica has some tips for anyone who is new to the Y. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help. And if something looks fun, try it — especially the classes! The instructors are amazing. They always introduce themselves and ask who’s new. Everyone welcomes you.”

And KickStart, she continues, “is a great value. I can’t imagine what it would cost to get that one-on-one time and being taught all of those things somewhere else.”

KickStart is free and available to all members at all locations. Learn more.