Willingness to Learn Turns Into Part-Time Career

By Laurel Thorell
Group Exercise Coordinator, Holdrege

After the birth of my first child, I decided I wanted to cut back to part-time work. At this same time, I started taking group exercise classes. It didn’t take long before I was teaching the class. My sister-in-law, who was working at the Y, suggested I also apply to teach there. While at the time I didn’t have any formal training, I did have an athletic background and a willingness to learn (or make a fool of myself).  I started teaching Aqua Blast and a noon class in January 2010 at the YMCA of the Prairie in Holdrege.

In the past 13 years, I have taught over 20 types of classes from land to water, stretching to cardio, and strength to mind and body.  As my family grew, my kids found their place at the Y as well.  They started in Child Watch, enjoyed Leap & Learn, and tried new programs and sports.  I found a community of moms and a group of friends.

I had four kids in 5½ years, and the Y was my saving grace.  It allowed me to take some time for myself, see my friends, and get a workout.  My kids are now 14, 12, 11, and 9.  Our needs at the Y have changed. I no longer need Child Watch, although my youngest still likes to go in to help.  Now my kids use the pool, gym, and game room. I have been given the opportunity to take on a leadership role in group exercise.  I love finding new classes to bring to Holdrege and the Y members.

This year, we brought a bungee class to the Y. This class is a super fun way to work out. In this class, a bungee is attached to the ceiling on one end and to a class participant on the other end. It allows them to do all sorts of exercises with the assistance of the bungee. Jumping, running, squats, planks, and pushups take a whole new form when done with a bungee.  It is a great workout that is easy on the joints. Come join me at the Y!

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