MORE THAN JUST A GYM
With the help of her personal trainer, Penny makes her way around the equipment to the exercise balls. She carefully sits down and rolls back. “Form is everything,” she says to her trainer with a chuckle. Then she begins her round of sit-ups. Her trainer counts her down, “three, two, one...you did it, great job!”
For Penny a personal trainer isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. Various medical conditions have affected Penny’s mobility. At one point she was in a wheelchair for two years, on the brink of death. She and her doctor decided that wasn’t going to happen. After medical treatment, Penny was advised to begin a strength-training regimen, and that’s exactly what she did.
“If I weren’t working on strengthening my muscles and standing up straight, my body would appear as if I have cerebral palsy.”
“These are the hands that make it possible,” Penny says as she puts her hand on top of her trainer’s. “You are taking care of my body.”
Penny spends one hour, three days a week with her trainer at the YMCA Healthy Living Center – INTEGRIS. She works her way around various strength machines and free weights. Her form is on point and her trainer is with her every step of the way.
“We have fun. We spend time together and we’ve found we have things in common, so we talk about those things and joke with each other.”
Each day she goes to the HLC, Penny is working on her goals. “The HLC is the secret to my success. Without Angela and Sara leading an amazing team, this would just be a building with four walls. They are the heart of the HLC. They value each of us as individuals and I appreciate that.”
Although her path to getting strong and healthy hasn’t been easy, Penny is determined to continue reaching new goals and living life to the fullest through her community at the HLC.
“The Y gives me life."
Back on the machines, Penny gets in her steady stance, grabs a hold of the bar, and begins working her triceps. She goes at a pace that is comfortable for her, slowly breathes in and out, with her trainer encouraging her with every pull. On her last pull of the bar she says with a great big Penny smile, “This is fun! It keeps me busy and my mouth shut!”