I was skeptical and didn’t think I could get better because I was in so much pain. I couldn’t work anymore. I had been having back issues for a decade or more. I also was running which could have propelled my back injury further. For 10 years I dealt with chronic pain. I had surgery for my back. I didn’t respond to Physical Therapy (PT) or surgery at the time. I had lost a bit of weight but then when I was so sedentary I gained my weight back. It was a vicious cycle of pain and exercise. I would focus on diet portion but once I added exercise back in it went back to where it was.

In July I took a trip to Coeur d’Alene-a lake trip for a family reunion. Because of the weight gain with lack of exercise along with too much sitting meant I was primed for a problem. I woke up two days after I got back and I couldn’t move. I went to PT and it helped. They recommended the pool. My PT person said, “Aquatic therapy is highly effective.”

"I stay at the Y because I see the same faces regularly and the pool has become my community."

I had been going to another outdoor pool. I wasn’t in PT at the time and I would drive myself to the pool and hang out in the pool for hours at a time not taking a class. I would get out of the pool and I would feel great for eight hours. I switched and started coming to the Sherwood Regional Family YMCA because we are Sherwood residents and it didn’t make sense to pay out of the district. My son also worked here in high school and we wanted to support the Y. I started coming to the Y and I would get in the pool and do exercises on my own. I then started taking Water Fitness classes. By just doing classes I feel on top of it and it motivates me because I haven’t felt this good in a long time. It is easy on my muscles and joints and elongates my spine. 

I can go at my own pace and I don’t feel pressure to do things I can’t. Everybody is wonderful. It’s a wonderful club. I try to come first thing in the morning every day after I drop the kids off. I will stay after and chit chat with everyone. It is not intimidating at all.

I used to come seven days a week and if I didn’t I would be in pain. Now I come for five days and can skip Saturday or Sunday because the classes have helped so much. Classes have pushed me to work on my core. I have more mobility and can’t believe in four months how much I have improved. The pool has been my saving grace. 

I stay at the Y because I see the same faces regularly and the pool has become my community. The proximity to my house is convenient. It is also affordable-I can afford to do this with six kids. I need something to be part of my lifestyle so I can be well enough to be a wife and mom and take care of my family. I love supporting the Y. I also love the example my exercise is for my kids. My kids always see me with my pool bag because it never leaves the car to remind me. The only thing that leaves is a wet suit and towel. I can’t believe I have stuck with anything this long but I feel great. 

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