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January 16, 2019

Contagious Motivation at the Y

By Lalita Llerena

Photo Caption: Working out at the Y helps Ellen Shulman burn calories, tone and build muscle while gaining self-confidence, new friends and a sense of community along the way.

The YMCA is a way of life for Ellen Shulman. She’s been a member for more than 25 years, with her kids involved in everything from summer camp to afterschool and youth sports. Meanwhile, Ellen likes to stay active at the Y. “I like the endorphins and feeling stronger,” shares Ellen. “They have the equipment I want. I love the TVs so I can watch my tennis, football and hockey. The Y has replaced a ton of equipment in the past three months so it’s amazing.”

But what sticks out to Ellen more than the fitness equipment and technology is the people. “It’s the staff; and I have come to know so many of them,” says Ellen. “They’re kind, they ask how I’m doing and we have conversations. Even the members are that way. It’s not snooty. There’s no salty attitudes. Everyone’s pretty chill. Nobody judges.”

Exercise helped Ellen drop 45 pounds but, recently, she gave her usual workout routine a shot in the arm. “Working out has always made me stronger. It gives me definition and makes me tone but that boot camp killed it,” recalls Ellen, who had to face her fears first. “I was afraid to do that boot camp. I’m 54. I’m not 25, running marathons. I told the instructor that I can’t do it and he said, ‘yes you can and you’re going to love the results,’ and he was right. I was flipping tires in 100-degree weather on a dirty field, but it was really neat.”

Gaining the confidence to try something new and ask questions made a world of difference for Ellen. “It was phenomenal; the support of others just trying to get through it. I actually didn’t miss one. I never quit one session even if I was slow. I did every single thing so that was really inspiring,” testifies Ellen. “When I changed my nutrition, combined with boot camp and the elliptical, it made me feel great. I saw great results.”

Whether it’s trying boot camp for the first time, like Ellen, or joining a fitness center for your first time, the YMCAs of Tampa Bay are here to help. We’re committed to not only being your home for wellness but also a place of community and belonging. “There’s support at the Y at every level,” says Ellen. “The staff is motivating. It’s contagious motivation.”

The Y’s goal is to provide you the opportunity to develop relationships, achieve your goals, and belong to something bigger than yourself. In 2019, join a cause that benefits yourself, your family and your community. Log on to http://www.ymcatampabay.org/find-your-y/ and let one of 26 locations across five Tampa Bay Area counties help you take the best care of yourself! If you’re traveling, Nationwide Membership gives you access to YMCA facilities across the country. This way, you can use the Y as often as you’d like, making it easier to achieve your health and wellness goals.

Other article by the YMCA:

Learning Beyond the Classroom with the YMCA

Gift an Experience: Tampa Bay YMCA

5 Tips from the YMCA for a Healthier and Happier Family