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Why a Minneapolis Wellness Coach Chooses YWCA as Her Gym

By Stephanie Wagner, YWCA fitness member
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My name is Stephanie Wagner, and I am a health and wellness coach in Minneapolis. My love of health and fitness came as a result of my own health journey which began four years ago when I lost 70 pounds. I love all things health related including group fitness, strength training, meditation, yoga and healthy eating. Through my health and wellness membership at YWCA Minneapolis, combined with my own healthy lifestyle practices, I have maintained my weight loss in its entirety.

Supportive, Nonjudgmental Community

A co-worker of mine recommended YWCA Minneapolis. She was a member and spoke very highly of the group fitness classes she attended and the overall vibe. I decided to join YWCA Minneapolis because I was tired of being unhealthy. I wanted a supportive community in which I could pursue exercise without being judged for my weight or appearance.

My Favorite Group Fitness Classes

I first started attending Hi-Lo Aerobics with Annice. I love her so much. She knows everyone’s name, is enthusiastic and keeps the workout fun. As I continued to get stronger and more fit, I began attending different types of classes. My current favorites are R.I.P.P.E.D. with Sarah or Tara and Turbo Kick with Sarah. I love Turbo Kick so much that I just became a certified instructor!

Transforming My View of Fitness

YWCA has transformed my view of the fitness world. I always thought that in order to go to a gym you had to look a certain way and to be at a certain high level of fitness. This is not the case. YWCA has shown me that fitness looks different on everyone and that it’s all good, no matter your experience level or age.

Inclusive Environment

I love YWCA Minneapolis. It’s different than any other gym. They are a multi-cultural organization which welcomes all races, genders and identities. I have never felt uncomfortable or judged during my membership. The instructors know my name, they are supportive, warm, friendly and want the best health for their members. I love the wide range of classes offered from yoga to high intensity cardio kickboxing to weight lifting. I am inspired by seeing the same people in each class I attend and the sense of community formed around a shared value of wellness.

Why I Choose to Support YWCA Minneapolis

I want to support an organization dedicated to making everyone, without bias, feel awesome. I want members to have access to good equipment, excellent instructors and a clean, well-kept facility. Everyone, no matter who you are, deserves to have access to well-being. It is a basic human right.

Surprised (and Proud) to See Myself on Billboards across Town

I love that YWCA Minneapolis casts their own members in their advertising. Two years ago I auditioned and got cast for one of the ads and it felt so awesome to be featured in that way. It demonstrates they really value their members. It was fun and funny to see myself on billboards around town.