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Wendy Glisson is a mother of three, a full time marketing professional, a wife, daughter, sister, friend, and a face you look forward to recognizing at the Y. Wendy has been with the YMCA of Springfield, IL for 30 years.

What started out as a way to make extra cash while working her first full time job out of college, ended up being a long term commitment to the members of her local YMCA.

Wendy graduated from Eastern Illinois University where she majored in Communications and minored in Business Administration. She played volleyball, ran track in high school, and also taught fitness classes at EIU. When she landed her first full time job working for former Governor Jim Edgar (who was then Secretary of State), she decided to start teaching for the Y. The YMCA was close to her work and home, and teaching was a great way to supplement her income, fit in exercise, and make friends.

She started in September of 1986 teaching Low Impact Aerobics in what is now the Gymnastics room. Throughout the years she has taught many lunch hour classes, some morning, some off site, and a lot of aerobics and cardio centered workouts. Today, you can benefit from her experience and feel the burn on Mondays during Turbo Kick in the Walnut Room from 12:15 to 12:45PM. 

When asked what her favorite fitness fashion trend has been, she laughs and says, “The headband, and I still wear the headband! I match it to my shirt.” Though she has committed to the headband, her sources of music have changed, “I used to use a cassette player and boom box. Now I download CD’s and music to my iPod.”

The only time she took short breaks from teaching was during her three pregnancies, but she still stayed active. Wendy has been married to her husband Rick for 23 years. One of their first dates was playing racquetball at the Y. She has two boys in high school and a daughter at Ole Miss. Her daughter is majoring in Exercise Science and also teaches fitness classes at the university! Working at the Y worked well with family life. She would sign her kids up for Gym & Swim and other programs. It was a place they could feel comfortable too.

When asked why she has committed to the Y for 30 years, she explains, “It doesn’t feel that long. It’s gone by so fast! It’s the people. I love the people: the members, the staff, the people who take my classes. I met my best friend Cindy here.” She also loves that it’s so easy to drop in at lunch from work. She loves the Y values and how they complement family life. “I’m not muscle bound, and I’m not super thin. I’m a normal person. I love how fitness makes me feel, and I love encouraging and motivating people.

With the busy life Wendy leads, she exudes energy and calm at the same time. She is a picture of balance and is another positive role model for our Y members. She is a walking advertisement for the benefits of regular exercise. We are so happy she has wanted to motivate, encourage, and befriend us for the past 30 years. We are much better with her encouragement and friendship and are so happy she has done her part to create “A Better Us.” 

Interested in group classes? Check out the Y Schedule. 

By, Jennifer