Wendy and Gail have been friends for most of their lives. They grew up in the same neighborhood, went to the same high school, work for District 186, and have kids about the same age. It seems appropriate they would spend their free time working out together. For the past five years, Wendy and Gail have worked out at the Kerasotes YMCA. They started their fitness journey by taking group exercise classes and have participated in the wellness programs the Y has offered such as Lose Big and Total Body Transformation.
A few years ago, Wendy suffered a back injury and is no longer able to do cardio. This did not stop the two of them from continuing to work out together and hold each other accountable. Wendy says, “You should see our text messages to each other. If one of us does not want to go, the other one always talks the other into going.” When they arrive at the Y, they meet in the parking lot, walk in together, do their own thing, wait for each other and walk out together.
Even during COVID when the YMCA was closed, they rode bikes together. They decided to return to the Y in October as the weather became colder. They both say they feel safe working out at the Y and expressed how important it is to stay healthy and active. Gail says, “taking care of oneself is so important. It allows us to take care of those around us.”
They give each other credit for staying committed to working out and both admit that if it were not for the other, they would not be as committed. When I asked them what advice they would give someone who is just starting their fitness journey, Gail said, “If you do not have someone to work out with, start by taking a class. Sooner or later, you start to see the same people and before you know it, you have a workout buddy.”