After retiring in 2010, Nancy found her way to the YMCA where she changes lives. And, she’s loving it!


By Amber Estelle

After retiring in 2010, Nancy Beavers still had plenty of energy and motivation. Her friends and family didn’t think it would take long for her to find a way to start working again. So, she found her way to the YMCA.

Nancy was born and raised in Henry County. She remembers spending time at the Y at a young age. She shared, “I started going to the Y in elementary school when it was on Church Street. My sister and I would walk to the Y on Saturday mornings and jump on the trampoline. The Y has been in my realm my whole life.”

Her time with the Y carried on into adulthood where she participated in group exercise classes and enjoyed working out in the pool. She has spent many years passing on her appreciation for the YMCA to her family. “I taught my kids to swim at the Y pool, and I’ve encouraged two grandchildren to become lifeguards. I’ve passed on my love for the water and healthy living,” expressed Nancy.  She continues to share that love of healthy living with her daughter, Stephanie Erwin. Not only do they spend time working out together, but they co-teach classes.

Nancy has struggled with her weight throughout her life. When she retired, she continued to participate in group exercise classes at the Y. She stated, “Thank goodness Kari May had started teaching Zumba. I started that class and loved it. We became really good friends. And so, I kind of drifted into teaching all kinds of classes.”

Now, Nancy is certified in Zumba and has spent time teaching cycling, Yolates (mix of Yoga and Pilates), Get Fit Zumba (mix of Zumba and Weightlifting), and more. She’s considered the “super-sub” around the YMCA because of her willingness to jump in and help teach a class when needed.

One thing that Nancy really appreciates about the group exercise classes offered at the Y is their ability to work the brain along with the body. She expressed, “It helps keep you fit and social. Not only does it help your actual physical body. It helps your brain, especially Zumba and weight lighting. You’re learning new steps and movements. It’s going to make you think. It helps build your core and your balance. It all blends together.”

But what stands out the most to Nancy about the Y experience is building relationships and encouragement. She described, “People start coming and find a benefit not only from the workout but from the socialization and encouragement and no judgment zone. I’m older, and I’m short. I don’t look like the picture of a fitness instructor. So, that’s fun too. We have a really good time. It needs to be interesting, fun, and challenging. People need to be challenged.”