Inspiration, Support and Dedication at the YMCA
After having her third child, Monica Arias felt something was wrong. She felt overwhelmed; her relatives were too far away to help and her husband’s business demanded his full attention. The feelings persisted and time did not heal her.
Diagnosed with postpartum depression, Arias received a prescription for antidepressants. Not wanting to depend on medication, she researched alternative natural treatments. She discovered that exercise generates endorphins, which offer a feeling of well-being. She decided to give the classes at the YMCA a try.
She took a variety of exercise classes and determined the RIPPED class, which focused on endurance and strength, best fit her goals. Arias enjoyed how the class challenged her to be strong and push herself beyond her comfort zone. She started feeling better and noticed changes in her body and her self-esteem.
Arias wanted to test herself even more. She began researching exercise routines and training fundamentals. Finally she mustered the courage to ask other Y members and the fitness staff for help. Inspired by her newfound training techniques Arias started to see steady improvement.
Excited by her success, she dug deeper and discovered the importance of a healthy diet in wellness. Modifying her eating habits, Arias experienced more advances in her body tone, strength and stamina.
Her confidence soared. She believes fitness training changed her life. Arias says, “The Northern Neck Family YMCA is a place where I can go without fear of being judged or criticized. Everyone always has a beautiful and positive attitude.”
At the YMCA Arias discovered new friends of all ages and found motivation in their pursuit of lifelong fitness. Their outlook inspired Arias and affirmed how everyone is capable of achieving so much if they can overcome their fears.
Arias trains five to six times a week. She takes RIPPED classes for endurance training and alternates upper and lower body strength days. She has overcome her shyness about asking for help and tries to learn something new every day.
Although her personal fitness is important, Arias’s life revolves around her family. She wedges training between her children’s school activities, her household duties, and helping in her husband’s business. Her children often go with her to the Y. She says, “There they have learned to swim, love to play soccer and take part in other sports. They love the YMCA.”
Arias summarizes her dedication to fitness training this way, “Often I feel like there is no time to workout, but I realize it is an investment in myself; in my health and in my well-being. The time I spend at the Y is a gift I give to myself. The physical and mental benefits are enormous. The workouts improve my mood and self-esteem, reduce my stress, and make me stronger and healthier. There are so many rewards, the investment is worth the time.”
With her positive attitude, the encouragement of her family, and the support of the YMCA training staff, Arias hopes to compete in her first fitness competition in August.