At the Y, we strive to provide our members with the resources and support they need to improve their health and wellness. For Jessika Reeves, who has been a Y member since 2017, taking YMCA group exercise classes helped her maintain a healthy lifestyle and eventually inspired her to become a group fitness instructor and personal trainer at the Morris Community YMCA. You can learn more about Jessika in the Q&A below.
Q: How did you become a Y member?
Jessika: I was a stay-at-home mom and I had taken some fitness classes at other facilities. When one of my favorite instructors came to the Y, I became a member because I enjoyed her classes so much. I really started to take my health seriously. I made a group of friends that would take classes together and then we would work out together on our own time.
Q: What inspired you to join the health and wellness team at the Morris Y?
Jessika: We had a class called ‘Strong by Zumba,’ which was only taught by one person. When she moved away there wasn’t going to be anyone left to teach the class. It was a little out of my comfort zone but, with the encouragement of my friends and some of the other instructors, I chose to get certified to teach that class.
Q: How did becoming an instructor change your perspective on fitness?
Jessika: When you’re in a class as a participant you sometimes think to yourself – ‘This is so hard, why are we doing this?’ – but you stick with it because you know your classmates are going through the same thing. When I became an instructor, I gained the knowledge of why some exercises were important and it got me invested on another level.
Q: Why did you become a personal trainer?
Jessika: After I became a group fitness instructor I started to take on more roles at the Y like wellness center attendant and Kids Corner attendant. When I was initially approached about doing personal training I felt like I didn’t fit the mold of a personal trainer. But after some thought I started to look at it from a different perspective. I knew that I enjoy learning, and I enjoy teaching people what I learn, and I realized I could help people get where they wanted to be with their health and wellness goals.
Q: What’s your philosophy as a personal trainer?
Jessika: I try to take the client’s concerns and opinions into consideration. The best results come when we can work as a team.
Q: What are some of your favorite Y memories?
Jessika: The fitness instructor challenges were always fun to watch and I remember participating in a couple of the ‘Dance-a-Thon’ events where we did 30 minutes of Pound, 30 minutes of Zumba, and 30 minutes of Hip-Hop Fit. That was a really good time. I love taking my kids to the holiday events at the Y and they also have gotten the chance to go to a few Kids’ Night Out events.
Q: What do you say to people when they are interested in joining the Y?
Jessika: I always tell people that if you don’t know where to start, start with the group fitness classes. Every instructor at the Y has their own talents and perspectives. And all of them are great. After that, the people you see on a regular basis will become friends. Some of the people even become good friends outside the Y. It really is a community and a family atmosphere. At some gyms you’re lucky if you get a ‘Hello’ when you walk in. At the Y there is always someone who has your back and is here to support you. You’re never on your own.
If you are looking to start your Y journey, there is no better time to join than during our January Membership Sale. Join by January 31 and you’ll pay a $0 Joiner’s Fee, a savings of up to $120!
Our Winter Personal Training Sale has also been extended through January 31! Learn more by clicking here.