I started coming to the Y around 23 years ago. I lived right up the street and would walk here to use the playground with my daughter Christine and take her for swim lessons and then gymnastics. Years later, Christine worked at Member Services during college vacations. When my son and younger daughter were born, I started bringing them here too. They all took swimming lessons and camp. I remember when we had to stand in a line on Locust Avenue to register.

We moved to Rye Brook and I continued taking classes – lots of classes. One day Diana ask me if I’d be interested in teaching. I was a little unsure at first. I do have training as a dancer but didn’t pursue it professionally. I thought OK, maybe I could do this. First, I got my Zumba certification, then Group Active and then my Personal Training certification. What started as a hobby just snowballed.

When LIVESTRONG at the YMCA started here I really wanted to be a coach, so I got my certification as a LIVESTRONG trainer. I lost my father to cancer and was very interested in the recovery process. I was too young to help my dad and really wanted to help others who were going through this. My first group was a bunch of lovely women – I was a little nervous, but they made me so comfortable. The difference you see in the participants from the first to last session is amazing – you see so much progress. It is a great feeling to know that you have helped during their journey. I always remember that first and last session and hope they can take what they learned with them. Coaching cancer survivors changes your perspective and you realize how fortunate you are to have your health.

I like working here because everybody is so friendly. It is a very different work environment. You never feel like it is a job because it’s fun. Training people is rewarding because I can help them reach their goals. This is my happy place. When I come here, no matter how my day has gone, it makes my day better.