At the Y, we are always ready to support members when they make a commitment to embrace a healthy lifestyle. For individuals like Morris Community YMCA member Rhonda Burns, one year can bring incredible change.
Rhonda’s Y journey began in December of 2019 after she went through bariatric surgery to address mounting health concerns. A few weeks of recuperation followed, and she knew that the next step was increasing her physical activity.
“For the past 3-5 years, I’ve had numerous health issues. I was living a sedentary lifestyle. I didn’t go out much and I had mobility issues. I missed a lot of things I didn’t want to miss,” Rhonda said. “So I came into the Y to ask about a personal trainer. I needed something to make myself accountable and I needed to be pushed.”
Rhonda began working out with Y personal trainer Devin Bryant and she was immediately motivated by the initial results.
“The first sessions went by so fast and I really felt I could commit to it. We were able to fashion workouts to my body and what I needed,” she said.
But the process was not without its challenges.
“All of the sudden COVID hit in March and things were shut down,” Rhonda said. “My biggest fear was that I was going to lose all the momentum. But as soon as things began to open up again, and we were able to have personal training sessions outside, I took advantage of it.”
In all, Rhonda has lost more than 160 pounds, with over half the progress coming since she began personal training sessions at the Y.
“It’s really important to me that this was a very holistic transformation. Yes, there have been obvious physical changes, but even more important are the positive physiological, psychological, emotional and spiritual changes and growth that have occurred in this journey for me. It is so empowering,” Rhonda said.
Rhonda said she’s been able to do more things with her family, has built stronger relationships with other members of the Y community, and is excited to begin the next step of her journey as a Y staff member.
“I’m a full believer in ‘you get back what you give out.’ I’ve seen people come in who are in similar situations that I was in. If I can be of assistance to them, or an inspiration in any way, even if it’s just a smile when greeting them, I want to do it,” she said.
And when she reflects on the past year, she says she wakes up thankful for her improved health every day.
“I used to drive by the Y all the time and it was almost like I would react the same way I would with a mirror. I never took the time to really take a look,” Rhonda said. “Part of it was my self-esteem. I didn’t think I would feel very comfortable because I thought it was just a gym. Since coming in, I realized it’s not like that at all. It’s a community. No matter what kind of person you are, no matter where you are in life, if you commit to a healthy lifestyle, it can be done.”
Whether you’re just starting a fitness routine or looking to add a little variety to your exercise program, a YMCA personal trainer can help you to achieve your wellness goals. One-on-one or small group coaching enables our certified personal trainers to interact with members in creating a fitness program that meets their needs and offers direction, education, motivation and support every step of the way.
The Y’s 3 for $99 personal training sale runs through January 31. For more information about the sale, stop by your local branch today.