“I was a member of the Y first. I joined about 17 years ago; I wanted to get back into exercising after having a baby. I started taking Step classes with Sheri, and then I asked her if I could teach it. I had always been active, but teaching was a leap of faith. For me, it’s a win-win-win. I get to exercise, I get to go to work, and I help other people get healthy. I have taught Step, Core Strength, Pilates, Y Active Adult classes and LaBlast. I’ve also become a personal trainer and have worked with the LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA program. Since coming back after the Y closed due to COVID-19, my role didn’t necessarily change but the way we’re teaching classes did. We started teaching classes outside, which has been really fun. We have a good time in our classes. Even if it’s cold outside, it doesn’t feel cold. One day, it even started snowing toward the end of class. It doesn’t bother us. We’ve also had the interesting challenge of teaching virtually – sometimes while teaching in person at the same time. I learned a new skill. It always feels good to learn something new. It’s good to have new challenges. Teaching has helped me feel resilient through this. Being an instructor has helped me feel stronger this past year. I’m staying in shape, which helps, but it’s helped me mentally as well. It’s social for me; it’s the time I see other people – even if it’s at a distance. And I like being able to help people through this pandemic. I’m looking forward to more people coming back to the Y and to seeing more familiar faces. I’m also looking forward to doing outdoor classes in milder weather.”