If you hope to attend the Active Older Adult “Strong” class at the Springs Family Y, you had better get in line.
Participants start congregating 20 minutes ahead of time to ensure they get a preferred spot and to enjoy the conversation among friends.
At the head of the line you’ll often find Judy Carter, the class’ official head-counter and unofficial ambassador. At 77 years old, she says she’s in better shape today than when she retired 11 years ago from her position as CEO of the Central Texas Food Bank.
“It’s a combination of weight training and cardio nonstop for 45 minutes,” she says, “And you come out of it and feel so much better than when you started.”
She credits Y instructor Annette Hiller with much of the class’ popularity. “She’s so accommodating and provides alternate exercises to people who have various health issues,” Carter says. “You can see several of us have a brace on our knee or arm, but we do what we can do and keep moving.”
Hiller says she gets as much back from the class as she gives. “It’s a high-energy group, and the motivation is very different from other classes,” she says. “This group has grown from fewer than 10 to now over 40 or 50 people, and they’ve formed a bond and have a sense of community and accountability. When someone is not here, they ask, ‘Hey where were you? I missed you last week. Are you ok?’”
“Everyone comes in with a smile and such a positive attitude that it is contagious,” Hiller says. “It makes you feel like, even if you’re here and having a day where you’re moving a little slower, you want to come just to be around people and be active.”
Doug Hoppock and his wife, Sherry, are class participants who cherish that sense of community. “It’s the highlight of my week,” says Doug, a cancer survivor. “I love [Annette] and love the class. I began coming as part of the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program and have been coming ever since.”
“It’s been life-changing for us,” Sherry says.
To learn more about our Senior programs available at branches association-wide, visit our website.