Fitness classes at the Y not only can help improve your physical health, they are also a great way to meet new people and share valuable life experiences. For Kelley Getzelman and Hannah Chapman, the Prenatal Exercise Class held at the Morris Community YMCA not only allowed the soon-to-be-mothers to stay active during their pregnancies, it provided the foundation for a new friendship.
Kelley moved to Marseilles last summer and attended her first Prenatal Exercise Class at the Y in June. Hannah, who also lives in Marseilles, had already been attending classes for a few weeks when they met. They soon found that they shared many things in common.
“We wound up having a bunch of connections. I work with Hannah’s mom, both our husbands are named Adam, and we live like 10 minutes apart,” Kelley said.
Hannah said that she and Kelley went out for coffee after attending their first class together and were able to provide support for each other during an important time in their lives.
“We both really didn’t know anyone else who was pregnant at the time,” Hannah said. “And with this being the first baby for both of us, we were terrified and excited at the same time. It was really nice to have somebody to bounce thoughts off of.”
Gaining a friend coincided with a learning experience to maintain strong health during pregnancy.
“The class was very educational. Before I started working out, I was terrified that everything I might do would hurt the baby,” Kelley said. “Once the class starts you realize that there is plenty of stuff that you can do and you don’t have to be scared.”
Hannah said instructors Leigh Anne and Lisa found the right balance between allowing participants to go at their own pace while providing important tips.
“You still have abs even when you are pregnant. You can’t see them, but they exist. I loved working with the kettlebells and I always joked that I would bring a yoga ball into the delivery room,” Hannah said.
Hannah’s son Teddy was born on October 31 while Kelley gave birth to a son of her own, Bishop, on November 6. The healthy boys are kindling a friendship that parallels the one their moms continue to share.
“Having been new to this whole area, being able to come in and meet people like Hannah has been very welcoming. And the boys even share a babysitter now,” Kelley said.
And it would not have happened without the help of the Y.
“The class is an awesome community resource from a social standpoint, let alone from a health standpoint,” Hannah said. “I can’t imagine going through pregnancy and not having this exercise outlet again.”
The Prenatal Exercise Class is made possible through a partnership with Morris Hospital and Healthcare Centers. It is free and open to the community and runs on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 5:25-6:15 p.m. To learn more and to confirm future class times, please contact the Y at (815) 513-8080.