Swim, weight loss challenge and personal training have positively impacted Carol's life

Carol retired in 2016 from a sedentary and stressful job. She found herself with an additional 70 pounds, lacking strength, and in need of a change. She saw her mother struggle with balance and strength and knew that it wasn’t only about the weight; it was so much more.

In August 2016, Carol joined the Benjamin Harrison YMCA after her neighbor recommended it.

A Great Place to Start

Carol began her journey in the water. She found that this not only helped in her weight loss, but benefited her mind and body as well. She regained a certain calmness that she had missed.

Deep Water Aerobics was a class that Carol joined and really connected with. While deep water aerobics has a low impact on your joints, it has a high impact on your cardiovascular system. You may wear a flotation belt for support in the deep water or rely on your own ability to float as you perform the routines. Cynthia, who taught the class, was also a Personal Trainer. Through their conversations, Carol became interested in seeing what the gym was all about.

Multi-Layered Opportunity

In May of 2017, the first Weight Loss Challenge was accepting participants. Carol took this opportunity and could not have made a better decision. The accountability and camaraderie that came with the workouts and weigh ins were really the best benefit of the program. And Carol did not slack off on the working out. In the first challenge, Carol lost 9 pounds. In the second challenge, she lost 8.8 pounds.

Carol signed up for a program and lost the weight but she gained friends, support, inspiration, and an introduction into the gym. She has also returned these traits to others in the program and the staff around her.

“Carol is a great inspiration. She never backed down, even on the most strenuous work outs. That’s what you want in a participant,” recalled Cody Martin, Weight Loss Challenge Instructor & Associate Wellness Director.

Taking it to the Next Level

After losing a total of 21.4 pounds through the three Weight Loss Challenges, Carol reconnected with Cynthia Barbour through Personal Training, with whom she still trains.

“Cynthia pushes me and supports me,” Carol said with a smile. “I never thought I would be able to do one tenth of the things I’m able to do through working with her.”

Carol volunteers at the Lawrence food pantry where she can lift large cases that, without Cynthia’s strength training, she would not otherwise be able to do. Being at the YMCA has been an overall “amazing experience.”

Cynthia became a Personal Trainer in December of 2015.

“I became a Personal Trainer to provide more personal attention so clients can take their journey further.”

She has done that and more. She has been impressed with Carol’s willingness to try new things and not shying away from a challenge. It is safe to say that Carol has been an inspiration to Cynthia as well.

Taking the Dive

Throughout Carol’s journey she has discovered what she really wants to do is help others. She will get her chance this fall as she begins instructing her own class, Aqua Yoga, on Mondays and Wednesdays, beginning Sept. 5, at 11 a.m in the Indoor Recreation Pool. Aqua Yoga is a class about stretching, balance and core strength; one of the true reasons that Carol stepped into the YMCA.

Carol also pushed for the Weight Loss Challenge to return, and it has! Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 11. You may choose one Group, Tuesdays from 6 – 7 p.m., Thursdays from 10 – 11 a.m., or Thursdays from 6 – 7 p.m. This is a great way to push yourself, meet new people and let your competitive side shine!

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Cynthia focuses on Carol's strength during a Personal Training session.

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