There was a moment when Christine Turner realized her hard work with a YMCA personal trainer had paid off. It was the moment when Christine—a nurse on a special maternity unit—had to lift a patient into a bed and race her to a delivery room, where the woman gave birth just 10 minutes later. A coworker couldn’t believe how quickly she jumped into action. “She said, ‘I sure am glad you’re going to the Y,” Christine laughs. “I didn’t even know I was moving that fast.”

Even on calm, uneventful days, Christine’s job can be physically demanding. She also struggles with weight, osteoarthritis and diabetes. And now that she’s in her 60s, she’s realized that staying healthy is more than a good idea—it’s crucial to her safety at work and quality of life. For Christine, the Y is a safe, welcoming place to keep improving and maintaining her health.

Seeking help to get healthy

But Christine’s journey to better well-being began less like a sprint down the hallway and more like a slow, hesitant walk. Like so many others working up the courage to come to the Y and make a change—she felt uncomfortable and out of place at first. “I was scared to death,” she says. “When I first got there, I could sit down on the floor and it would be a struggle to get up.”

So she turned to Y personal trainer Vicky Shirley for help navigating new machines and beginner exercises. And with Vicky’s consistent encouragement and realistic goal-setting, Christine’s fears started falling away. “She never said anything about my weight or how out of shape I was. All she’s ever done is tell me about the improvements I’m making.”

Moving better, feeling stronger

Over the past year of training at the Y, Christine has seen her blood pressure drop and finds her diabetes is easier to manage. And thanks to Vicky’s guidance with a variety of new fitness tools, she’s also made improvements in her balance, a key to well-being for people of any age.

“It’s helped me to move so much better, my strength is better,” she says. “I feel like now I’m healthier than I’ve been in years. The weight doesn’t get in the way.”

Christine’s hard work at the Y has made life’s little, ordinary tasks so much easier—from getting dressed in the morning to making the trek across the parking lot to work. And she’s more prepared for the next emergency or extraordinary moment—just one reason why she’s been so excited to share her Y experience with coworkers and friends.

“Once you get started, you’ll fall in love with it. And there’s always people there to encourage you.”

For some Y members like Christine, the focused attention and accountability of a personal trainer is just what they need to develop an exercise plan and stay on track. Discover whether personal training is right for you. Or start small with a free wellness consultation from our friendly staff.

About the series

At the Y, we recognize the road to better health is a lifelong journey—one that varies for each individual. But though our specific challenges may look different, we can still draw inspiration and insight from those who’ve achieved and stuck with their health and fitness goals.

Our “How I Did It” series features some of our biggest member success stories. We hope they’re a motivating reminder that at the Y, we’re all on the journey to getting healthier together.