YMCA of Greater Erie

I consider it a blessing that I have had the opportunity to help hundreds of people on their journey to a better life.  As a YMCA fitness instructor, I have had numerous people share with me that their life has been changed, because of walking through the doors of the Glenwood Park Y.

I have had an amazing journey, one that definitely has had ruts and directional shifts along the way.  I started at the Y as a member, taking classes myself.  I enjoyed the energy of the music, the guidance of the instructor, and the friendliness of my fellow class-mates.  I had heard that the Y was different than a gym, and when I was in class I could feel it!

I found myself presented with the opportunity to become a certified Y instructor.  I was nervous, and flat out scared! I had firsthand experience with the quote “for it is in giving we receive”- and, it was this thought that led me on the journey to becoming an instructor. I was so grateful to the Y that I wanted to give back.

I accepted the challenge and dug right into the certification process.  I was amazed by all I had to learn! I knew all the Y instructors had caring hearts, but I had no concept of cueing to music, proper exercise form, or muscular groups.  I also had to learn Y history, complete oodles of forms, and emergency protocol, and take CPR & AED training classes.

All of this preparation and trainingbecame a daunting task!  I accepted the invitation on this journey to get in the classroom, turn up the tunes, and make someone’s day better…not to spend a beautiful Erie day inside breathing into a dummy and playing pretend with an AED machine.  It seemed like forever, but finally I was ready!

I was on my way, the path felt right.  I was helping people.  My path was set.  I was able to give back to the Y!

I had no idea how, yet again the Y would give back to me…..on June 14, 2010 while leading the 4:30 Rep Reebok class, without warning, the paging system called out Code Blue!  Staff and members came running to the exercise studio.

Code Blue!
911 was called.
CPR was started.
An AED was started.

The staff reacted quickly and performed CPR.  The accessibility of an AED was able to get a heart back pumping again. The Y staff knew just what to do to ensure this was not the end of the journey for this person….

It was not the end of my journey!

5 days later, I was brought out of a medically induced coma.  I was unaware that I had collapsed while teaching after suffering from a rare, fewer than 200,000 US cases per year, heart rhythm disorder called Long Q-T syndrome.

My story proves that you never know when there is going to be an emergency and lifesaving skills are going to be needed.  Had I been out to dinner, or walking my dog or running errands,  I may not be here to tell this story – and inspire others.

Never underestimate the importance of having lifesaving skills, so, that no matter where you are, you are ready to help a friend, family member or stranger.

The Y offers Basic Life Support/CPR and First Aid classes throughout the year.

Nancy Jo Foor
Fitness Coordinator
Glenwood Park Y