By Ashley Burton
YWCA of Winston-Salem
The YWCA of Winston-Salem strives to transform lives and inspire dreams throughout our community, following our national organization’s mission to empower women. Our Supportive Services programs, such as The Hawley House, the area’s only rehabilitation home for women, and The Best Choice Center, an academic-based childcare facility servicing students who want to succeed, are made possible with the help of The Gateway Fitness Center’s members.
While The Gateway Fitness Center is a co-ed facility, the majority of our members are women who recognize how important it is to lead healthy lives. By providing group fitness classes, state-of-the-art fitness equipment, and the largest aquatics center in the Southeast, our members have a variety of ways to reach their personal fitness goals and become stronger, healthier and happier.
It is also a fact that women, who are traditionally caregivers, need to make their health even more of a priority than they might realize. Women can strengthen not only their own bodies but the health of their entire community. Once a woman starts living a healthier lifestyle, that trend soon reaches her family and friends.
One of our members, Rachelle Rosas, has been coming to the YWCA of Winston-Salem since 2011. Rachelle admits that she struggled at first with exercising on her own in the fitness center. One evening, she heard upbeat music coming from a different part of the center, and she followed the sound to a Zumba class that was just starting. She joined and soon “fell in love.”
Rachelle says that, because of Zumba, she has lost 30 pounds in six months, and her confidence is through the roof. Now that she feels healthier, the enjoyment of her life has improved; she feels stronger in mind, body and spirit. Her exercise habits have also been noticed by her children, and they now want to be more active. “[My daughters] dance like crazy with me” when they join in Zumba classes, Rachelle says.
Through her own lifestyle change, Rachelle was able to have a positive impact on the rest of her family. By being a member of the Gateway Fitness Center, she is helping her community succeed. We are proud of members like Rachelle who are living examples of the YWCA’s mission.
Ashley Burton is a 30-year-old native of Winston-Salem, NC. She studied Communications at Salem College and has been with the YWCA of Winston-Salem for just over one year. Ashley is the mother of three children and, in between work and a busy home life, has begun a fitness video journal as a way to relate to the “everyday woman” and inspire motivation in others to get healthy. Working for the YWCA gives her a sense of fulfillment unlike any other job in the past.