A Transformation: From Being a Y Member to Joining the Staff

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By West Cook YMCA

"Seven years ago, I had my second child and was looking to get back into shape. I joined the Y and swam and worked out on the equipment by myself. Then, I started taking classes, and that totally changed everything."

Those classes proved to be a pivot point in Jocks Stelzer's life.

"Once I began taking classes, I became a part of the Y community. I became accountable to the other people in class. It was like my family was waiting for me to show up each day and I just couldn't let them down," she said.

An English professor by training, Jocks Stelzer began trying more and more of the West Cook Y's offerings. She was spending so much time at the YMCA, and was so encouraged by her mentors, that she decided to join their ranks and become a part of the Y staff.

Jocks Stelzer earned her certificate to teach group fitness and recently became a personal trainer as well. She has great satisfaction in helping others see the Y as she does.

"I get a lot of joy out of being there and working out and I want to help other people savor that same joy. The Y is right here in Oak Park, not expensive and it's open long hours all week," she notes.

Jocks Stelzer tailors her work with Y clients to suit their individual goals. Whether they want the strength to climb playground monkey bars with their kids or run a 5K this fall, she says most people are looking to feel better and to look better. Her focus is to help clients set their goals and figure out how to meet them.

As part of the Y staff, Jocks Stelzer is enthused about the new cardio equipment recently installed during last month's Summer Recess. Along with other staff members, she participated in the field research to help evaluate and select the best options for the new equipment.

Not only will members appreciate that the cardio equipment is more ergonomic and offers such perks as television capability built into the monitors, but Jocks Stelzer says the ability to create individual user profiles will result in a more holistic approach to fitness.

"We thought about what would best suit our members and also help them meet their fitness goals. All the equipment is new and top-of-the-line. The ease of use is much better and the new technology is so user-friendly. You can create a personal profile so that all of the new machines track your progress and help you meet your goals," she said.

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