Student Spotlight: Sharon Swogger

My first class at Yen was a cycling class in 2011. Over the next few years, I purchased punch cards and visited more and more frequently. In January 2014 I became a member, and I have been ever since. The membership has allowed me to try new classes without worrying about how many punches I had left. As of today, I have taken more than 800 classes. To some, that may seem obsessive, and maybe it is, but if exercise is my obsession, I am doing pretty well.

My reason for exercising has changed over the years. In my 20s, my reason for exercising was physical, but I quickly learned that being physically strong transfers into every aspect of your life. It provides a constant during life’s ups and downs. A friend once said that I didn’t know how to relax. What she didn’t understand was that for me, that is exactly what exercise was. In my thirties, I exercised to have time for myself so that I could be a better, more patient mom and wife. My motto at the time was that I had to “earn my shower.” In my forties, it was to remain active to spend time with and keep up with my children. Conversations happen on a long run or tennis court with your son or a long bike ride with your daughter that I don’t believe would happen anywhere else.

Now that I am in my fifties, I am just grateful to keep moving and grateful that my body still allows me to. That is where Yen comes in. I now look at exercise as a necessity. I take classes that may be a slower pace than I would have in the past, but I do them because I know they are making me stronger and helping me repair some of the damage I have done over the years. I still take the higher energy strength and cardio classes like TRX and cycling, but yoga takes me out of my comfort zone and challenges me every time. The instructors are awesome, and so are all of the employees and other members. It is a welcoming and supportive community.

I have participated in all 3 Inspired Life Challenges, and last year I was shocked and unbelievably grateful when I won the Lifetime Membership. My advice to members thinking about participating is to pace yourself and keep it reasonable. The goal is to keep moving and not get injured or stressed out. For example, this month my goal is to do my 30th class on the 30th day.

One of the funny things (besides the time I realized at the end of a yoga class that my tights were inside out) was that when I first saw my new membership expiration date of 2/27/50, I was slightly offended that was all they thought I had left. Then I realized that it is 2/27/2850; that should cover it.