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Bellevue
8101 Hwy. 100, Nashville, TN 37221
615-646-9622
Today's 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Directions | More Hours

Bellevue

615-646-9622
8101 Hwy. 100, Nashville, TN 37221
Today's 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Directions | More Hours

A Crayon Changed This Y Instructor’s Life

April 12, 2019

Gerry Martin's fitness journey started when his three-year-old daughter pretended to smoke a crayon, imitating his then-smoking habit.

“Once I saw that, I immediately threw my cigarettes away and quit cold turkey," he said.

In the months following, Gerry experienced significant weight gain, which is common after quitting smoking. 

"When I was about 40 pounds heavier, I started exercising to get the weight down," he said. "I hated it at first and wanted to quit several times, but it was a choice between smoking, being obese, or exercising. Thankfully, I chose exercising.”

From beginner to instructor

Gerry now teaches group exercise at Bellevue, Maryland Farms, and the Downtown YMCA. He wants members in his classes to enjoy a full-body workout—including an exercise of their spirit and soul. His goal is for participants to recognize “they are spiritually, mentally, and physically stronger than they think.” 

The key to any lifestyle change, as Gerry knows, is just taking that first step. “Resist taking a huge step toward your goal. Small steps—along with consistency—win the battle,” he said. 

Third time's the charm

He also encourages members to not give up on a class if they’re not sure it’s the right fit. “You must do the class three times before saying if you love it or hate it. Only after your third attempt can you judge if that direction is right for you," he said. "All I ask of my members is that they ‘do their best before they rest.’”

Because Gerry also teaches at other fitness facilities, he can see the difference in the Y’s impact. “Without a doubt, I meet the kindest and most caring people at the Y—that goes for members, staff and instructors. The Y brings in the surrounding community, so when I’m teaching, it’s like a group fitness ‘hug’ with my neighbors and friends. The community spirit has a magnetic attraction for me.”

Gerry teaches SilverSneakers Yoga, BODYPUMP, Cycle/Core Fusion, and Sculpt at the Bellevue Family YMCA, Maryland Farms YMCA, and Downtown YMCA. Find one of his classes through our Group Exercise Schedule.

YMCA of Middle Tennessee

Association Office
1000 Church St.
Nashville, TN 37203
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