Christina Hester, a mother of three from Morris, was just months away from turning 30 when she realized she was in need of a lifestyle change. Her initial approach was simple: one hour of cardio each day at the Morris Y. Until one day, Christina decided to break her routine and attend AM Boot Camp, a fitness class known for its intensity.
“I was in the back of the room, terrified,” she said. “I was closest to the door, so in case anything went wrong, I could escape.”
Fortunately, her getaway plan wasn’t needed. Christina was instantly hooked. Now, in addition to Boot Camp, she’s a regular at Zumba, Hip-Hop Fit, and as of recently, yoga.
“The classes are intense,” she said. “You might think, ‘I’m never going to be able to do this.’ But you work your way up. It’s exciting.”
Today, Christina is 70 pounds lighter and no longer hides in the back. She visits the Y five days a week, typically two or three times per day.
During the Y’s August Fitness Challenge—in which members were challenged to swipe in 20 times in a month—Christina checked in 36 times.
“It’s weird when others start noticing you’ve lost weight, but it makes you feel really good,” she said. “My family and friends have been a strong support system. My girlfriends and I have a Facebook group, where we post ‘sweaty selfies.’ It’s in a closed group so everyone doesn’t have to see it. We motivate each other.”
Her biggest motivation, Christina says, are her children: Amber, Lola and Maximus. Thinking back, Christina recalls days when going up the stairs or playing at the park wasn’t so easy. But thankfully, now that Christina has chosen the path toward a healthy lifestyle, those days are behind her.