We all have our own reasons for joining the gym. Membership feeds the body and soul and encourages our own personal quest for emotional and physical good health. There are people that we meet that inspire us and reinforce our own potential to challenge ourselves and achieve personal goals. HealthQuest member Ellen Gantner is one of those people.
Ellen rejoined HealthQuest (belonging several years ago) following a knee replacement in March 2014. She started aqua aerobic classes as she rehabilitated but also to conquer a lifelong fear of entering water over her head. Ellen’s work schedule often prevented her from going to the scheduled aqua classes but she would come to the club off hours and utilized some of the skills she learned in class as well as observing swimmers and listening to swim Instructor Jean conducting lessons. She also listened to Lifeguard Josh when she overheard him telling an apprehensive new swimmer some hints for overcoming fear and increasing buoyancy. She put all of these things into practice and taught herself to swim!
Ellen moved to the outdoor pool in July coming from 6 to 8 AM each day. She was usually the only one in the pool and Jerry was typically the Lifeguard on duty. The outdoor pool has a larger deep area which made it difficult for Ellen to practice her new skills without conquering her fear of deep water. She started out going 1 foot beyond where she could touch and then 2 feet and then all the way across! When she made it across she let Jerry know that she had never done that before and he was very supportive and continued to offer encouragement, emotional and technical support. At first she did not count laps as she was “happy to survive from one end of the pool to the other.” At the end of July she asked Jerry how many laps were a mile. Jerry told her 36 laps (a lap being up and back or 72 lengths of the pool). According to Ellen, “I laughed out loud and thought that was an impossibility for me”. The next day she counted what she was already achieving and found she was doing 16 laps, almost half way there. The next day she did 18 and by mid-August she was swimming a mile 6 DAYS A WEEK! She continues to swim 6 days a week, and has increased to a 1 1/2 miles each day!
When asked what achieving this goal meant to her Ellen says, “Conquering a lifelong fear is an amazing accomplishment. Not letting the fear of the water impact my daily choice for exercise and physical and emotional well-being has been incredible. It makes me feel that all things are possible!”
We salute you Ellen, you are an inspiration to us all