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Judy’s Story

February 14, 2024
a woman standing in a gym

Commitment and Community

I was honored when John Schwenter asked me to share my fitness story. I was born the oldest of eight children and grew up in a very disciplined home in Louisiana. Since there were so many of us living in a very modest home, my parents taught us to be very routine to keep a tidy and well-working house and cohesive family.

I have always been an active person but really leaned in on my early training when I married at 18 and had three babies with twins by the age of twenty. Many of you may be too young to remember Jack LaLanne, but he became my exercise Guru with babies sitting on my abdomen helping with my sit-ups. Within 9 years, I had five children who kept me regularly active, but I continued my routine of staying fit. Spiritual Health and Nutrition have also played a part in my ability to stay healthy and be able to exercise the way I do.

My family moved to Arkansas in 1972 and it was then that I joined my first YMCA but also allowed me to meet new friends. It was one of my coping mechanisms with five children at home and a husband that had a traveling job.

Our next move was to Indianapolis in 1979 and besides finding a church, I soon located this YMCA and again it gave me exercise, community, and new friends. Among them, I met Bill Blanchard who was a trainer here. Bill became unbelievably valuable to me after I had two back fusions giving me the help and support of PT that I needed to recover from surgery successfully.

At the age of eighty-four, being able to exercise in my life not only helps my body but also aids in clarity of mind and is a social event for me. My friends at the gym are particularly important to me. We miss each other when I am traveling or not able to be here for other reasons. I look forward to coming here each week.

God gave us one body and if we do not take care of it, no one else will. I will continue to be here three times a week to walk, ride the stationary bike or lift weights if my body will allow me. My numerical age does not have to reflect my physical age. I am determined to be mentally, physically, and spiritually fit for the remainder of my life and I appreciate the YMCA being part of my journey.

You can make a difference in the lives of others like Judy by donating to our Annual Campaign.

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