Wellness - Oct 28, 2021

Member Spotlight: Barbara Lewis

Barbara Lewis - Member Spotlight - PJCC

Dedicated PJCC Center Member Barbara Lewis maintained a healthy, engaged, and active lifestyle throughout the last 20 months, making time for virtual group ex classes, as well as a lap-swimming regimen that kept her “in the flow.” Over the course of those months, she had to overcome a number of obstacles–but with creativity, flexibility, and tons of positive self-motivation, she came through with strength. We recently took some time to speak with Barbara and discover her “secrets to success”… read along and be inspired!  

In the early months of the pandemic, what obstacles did you overcome in order to maintain the active lifestyle you’d been accustomed to living? What helped you along the way?

The biggest obstacles were the isolation and the lack of access to swimming and the classes that the PJCC offered.

What helped me was learning to use Zoom allowing me to access the on-line classes. I took all the Yoga, Zumba, and Stretching classes I could.

The other thing I did was a lot of walking in my neighborhood.

What PJCC activities did you participate in during the past 20 months? How did they inspire you and keep you active & engaged?

The Zoom classes were a lifeline since we were trapped in our homes. It was so good to interact with my friends at the PJCC via Zoom, it really helped boost my spirit. It also helped make things seem normal, during a very abnormal period.

What helped you decide to make a return to in-person workouts at the PJCC? How do you structure your time at the Center?

As a participant in the Welcome Back video, I saw firsthand how the PJCC was implementing safety procedures through the Center. I saw all the work that went into creating a safe environment and I felt completely comfortable coming back.

I was super motivated to get to swimming for my physical and mental health. I really wanted to make it a priority in my day no matter what time I could get a lane.

Now that you’re coming in, what KEEPS you coming in? How do you stay motivated on a daily basis?

Since swimming is such a huge element of my physical and mental health, I need it to keep me truly balanced.

In addition, during this time I had some physical challenges like breaking my collar bone. I did Zumba at home until I was able to come back to the Center. I did modified swimming by using a one arm, and then gradually incorporated the other arm.

I also had heart surgery; I wasn’t allowed to swim for 7 weeks. Once I was cleared to come back, I could feel just how much the heart surgery had affected my swimming. I had to slowly build back my strength and endurance. Between Cardiac Rehab and the swimming, I feel that I will get back to what I consider my normal activity levels.

What advice would you give to someone who’s now looking to re-start their fitness journey?

Don’t put off getting back to the Center. The PJCC has done such an amazing job of creating a welcoming and safe environment.

As more people return to the Center it has been very heartwarming to re-establish relationships.

I truly believe that the PJCC is such an integral part of my physical and mental health. It provides the positive force in my life to combat the isolation these last months.

I encourage everyone to return to the Center.

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