Ginny McJunkin has lived in the Easley community her entire life. She’s been around the Y for many years at pool parties and events. But with three children, 5-year-old twins and an 8-year-old, life as a stay-at-home mom made it difficult for Ginny to take care of her own health needs.
In 2016, with two-year-old twins at home, Ginny was struggling with her overall wellness – her weight was up, her cholesterol was elevated and her blood pressure was beginning to creep higher.
“I was just unhealthy, and that’s not good. And not just from an appearance standpoint,” Ginny said. “I’ve got a family history of diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and I don’t need to push the envelope on any of that.”
Ginny decided it was time to make a change and begin to take care of her own health.
She began coming to the Easley YMCA and found ChildWatch to be one of the most helpful benefits to her membership.
“I wouldn’t be able to be here without ChildWatch,” Ginny said. “The ChildWatch staff are so sweet, and the kids never say, ‘I don’t want to go to the Y.’ They say, ‘Yay! It’s the Y!’”
Seeing her using the cardio equipment, Group Wellness Coordinator Laura Cook invited her to participate in a class. But Ginny wasn’t sure she was ready for that.
“I thought, ‘Y’all are crazy in there. I see what y’all are doing; I’m not coming in there.’”
After continuing to watch the classes, Ginny finally took her first Group Wellness class. And that was the turning point in her health journey. She’s at the Y most days, attending a variety of classes from Spin to FIRE to Power Pump on Saturdays.
“There are people who can do the self-directed workout, but for me the turning point was Group Wellness classes,” Ginny said. “In class there’s a core group of people and good music that get you going, and it’s never the same routine every class.”
Ginny lost a significant amount of weight, and her resting heart rate and blood pressure are better. But even more importantly, she has the strength and energy to play in the yard with her kids and make memories together as a family.
As a lifelong Easley resident, Ginny felt comfortable walking in to the Y. And that was made even easier by the friendliness of the Y staff. And now she makes sure she is part of welcoming new members and making them feel like part of the family.
She’s part of what she calls the Y’s atmosphere of faith, where she says faith isn’t “rammed down your throat, but you can see it in every face.”
“There’s a crew of us that try to welcome people we recognize as new,” Ginny said. “I get as much spiritual growth and exercise when I come in here as I do physical. You can see Christ is every brick and every face.”