When Tracie Butterfield first joined the Sherwood YMCA, she thought she was only signing up for a gym membership. She was hoping to ease the pain and aching of her fibromyalgia, and her doctor had told her that regular exercise would help.
For years, Tracie saw the Y as just a gym, only using the Sherwood facility’s treadmills when it was too wet to walk outside.
Eventually Tracie decided to try something new, and joined a couple of her friends on the stair stepping exercise machines. As a “stepper,” Tracie began establishing herself more at Sherwood and started meeting gym-regulars like “Steve” and “Fancy Nancy,” who quickly became friends.
Though Tracie was now enjoying the social aspect of her mornings, her workout routines still did little to muffle the chronic pain of her fibromyalgia. She had heard that swimming was a great way to treat fibromyalgia pain, but was hesitant and nervous to join one of Sherwood’s swim classes.
Tracie’s worries were immediately put to rest when she finally took part in her first deep water exercise class in Sherwood’s pool. Not only did Tracie’s chronic pain stop, she also met one of her now closest friends, Pam Brown.
“I can’t tell you how many times over my Y membership has paid for itself, if I were to think of my time with Pam as paid counseling! She has helped me navigate the toughest obstacles from my childhood, and because of her I am more emotionally aware and have been able to really grow in personal relationships and in business.”
No longer does Tracie see the Y as just another gym, she sees a community.
"The amazing thing is that my story isn’t unique. The YMCA fosters these kinds of relationships and offers so much more than what I ever knew about in the beginning."