Jo Lize

Last fall, five minutes on the treadmill would leave Jo Lize huffing and puffing. She would take her favorite class, Zumba, in a chair, unable to complete the class standing because she lacked stamina.

Now six months later, the retired children's librarian can complete a 30-minute treadmill session three times a week combined with an hour-long Zumba class -- standing! 

"The Y is like Disney world for me. You can do whatever you want!" the mother of two and grandmother of five said.

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When Jo and her husband, Hank, retired last year, it was hard for them to get into a new retirement routine. Jo also underwent hip surgery, leaving her in rehab for six weeks.

Coming to the Y after surgery was difficult at first.

"I didn't know one piece of equipment from another," Jo said.

She began Zumba Gold and said her classmates were very encouraging, which was nice and helped her make friends at the Englewood Y.

Jo enjoys coming to the Y because it is more than fitness, she says. Being a member of the Y is to be a part of something bigger. She volunteers for the Y Reads program and loves seeing the kids improve their reading skills.

"People are much more alive at the Y. I love seeing the energy."

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