Two older women holding balls with the title of the article on the right

At 75, Beverly Grubke (pictured above, right) who spent much of her life being defined as a caregiver, now proudly describes herself as being fine, foxy, and vivacious. Those who see her at the Y – almost every day – would certainly agree.

Because this Silver Sneaker is polishing her golden years by eating healthy, making a commitment to regularly attend classes and, most importantly, having a ball with the friends and instructors she’s met here. “Amy and Melissa have done so much more for me than just teach me exercises,” she said. “I can go to them for absolutely anything.”

Three women smiling at the camera on a couch
Rena (left), Melissa (center), and Beverly (right) after a Silver Sneakers Class at the Green Family YMCA.

For example, after her diagnosis with Celiac Disease, Beverly said it was Melissa, a Silver Sneakers instructor and nutritionist (pictured, center), who helped her get on the right path by offering food substitutions and recipes to help her manage her new diet.

This was essential for her to keep up with her new friend, Rena McFarlane (pictured above, left), who she met while heading to the back of the room on her first day of group exercise. “We just clicked,” said Beverly, adding that her friends – and the instructors at the Y - are what motivates her to keep coming back day after day.

“If for some reason I don’t get up and go to the Y, my husband asks me if I am sick. He knows I never like to miss my classes,” she said.

The group classes are a key part of Beverly’s success. When she joined the Y years before, she just came in to do the machines in the fitness center. This wasn’t enough and she cancelled her membership until she had more time to take care of herself and qualify for the Silver Sneakers insurance benefit.

Now, Beverly’s a regular at Silver Sneakers Classic, Toning, and Water Aerobics. “Once is a while, Melissa urges me to go to yoga,” she said. “I don’t like yoga, but I still give it a try.”

And that’s Beverly’s advice for anyone, regardless of their age or their ability. “Be kind to yourself and take a chance, she said.

“Rejoining the Y has opened up my whole heart. I’d be lost without it.”