‘Anyone Can Do It’

Pernella Koonce-Chapman is an inspiration to our members and staff at the Stokes Family YMCA. She has been a member for almost 20 years, but she really became faithful to her wellness journey in the last 10 years. She chose the YMCA over other gyms because of the diverse programs we offer. Plus, she has built relationships with members and staff along the way. “I would tell people to remember, it is a personal journey,” she said. Pernella encourages individuals who want to incorporate exercise into their lives to keep at it, to not give up, and to keep pressing onward.  

Pernella, like so many others, works out for her overall health and wellbeing. “Exercising makes me feel good physically and mentally,” she said. “Moreover, I sleep well, and my energy level has increased.”

Initially, Pernella came to the Y because she wanted to lose weight. Dieting alone was never the answer for her. “When I think about the effort I put into working out, it makes me more cognizant of my food choices,” she said. “I would say two-thirds of my plan includes exercise, and the other third includes healthy food selections.” She has dropped from a size 10 to a size 8, with a goal to drop to a size 6. “However, if I do not attain a size 6, that will be okay because I feel good,” she said.

Now Pernella’s journey is more about keeping her body toned and feeling good. “Anyone can do it, she said. “Find what works for you, and keep pressing onward.”

Pernella does a combination of different exercises, including general workouts in the fitness center, Zumba, Body Pump, running, walking, and yoga.  She is vigilant about participating in classes and attends the YMCA five days a week on average. She likes the diverse classes offered at the Y because the instructors work hard, and they motivate their participants to give 100 percent every time. “I always feel a deep sense of satisfaction after the intense workouts,” she said.

Pernella has completed her three coaching appointments for uFit, a program that provides members with an easy-to-follow plan and cutting edge fitness tools to help them stick to their fitness and wellness goals. She liked her appointments because they helped her to learn the proper way to use the gym equipment. Her coach even helped her set up her personal Fitbit. Her coach was very knowledgeable and patient.