Irene Perry has been a member of the YMCA for the past eight years. She started working at the C.M. Gatton Beaumont YMCA as a yoga and water fitness instructor. After her retirement, she still continues to visit the Y for group exercise classes and water fitness almost every day.
We chatted with Irene for a few minutes after she finished attending a group exercise class.
Why did you join? Why do you stay?
“I started as a yoga and water fitness instructor; after retiring 3-4 years ago, I stayed on to continue my own regular exercise. I enjoy the variety of opportunities of exercise and times available as well as the flexibility to attend all the locations under my membership; excellent instructors!”
In what ways has the Y positively impacted your life?
“Not only has the Y kept me engaged in fun, effective exercise, I continue to meet new friends for companionship in other activities outside the Y.”
What do you appreciate most about the Y?
“I feel safe at the Y. And, as an aging senior, that is extremely important to me. The Y staff are compassionate and kind, as well as trained in their respective roles. Now, during this time, the Y is clean and following the recommendations for safe distancing as they roll back a limited number of classes.”
What do you enjoy most about your experience?
“There is such a variety of classes. And, the instructors continue to keep current on new techniques. There is an atmosphere of respect and caring everywhere, from the staff, the instructors, and the cleaning crew. Fellow friends in the classes greet you with a smile and have a sincere interest in how you are and what you have been doing. You are missed when you are not there. We all think of the water classes as a big party! We celebrate birthdays with an outside lunch. When I returned to class after my husband's death, I got hugs from almost everyone I knew there.”
What are you truly passionate about in life?
“I am passionate about my health and well-being. Exercise is crucial to maintaining that for me.”
Do you have any unique hobbies, interests or talents?
“I love to quilt, garden and read.”
What are the first three things that come to mind when you think of the Y?
“Friendship, healthy exercise and safety.”
What excites you about your Y and the community?
“Our Y is one of the best assets Lexington has. They stepped up for childcare for our first responders during this pandemic. They consistently offer scholarships and provide a safe place for exercise, post cancer care, childcare and other events that promote a safe place to be.
Our Y just makes me feel good all over when I am there!”
Thanks, Irene. We look forward to continuing to see your bright smile and positivity every day!