For Rose Marie, Outreach Coordinator for the Portage Township YMCA, being active and on-the-go was always a part of her life. Now she is able to share her passion for health and wellness with others in the Portage community.
Marie was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs. Growing up, she lived in a trailer park with her family. Because the trailer was small, she was sent outside to play games with the neighborhood kids, ride her bike, or play on the playground. Her love for the outdoors and being active carried over into her high school years.
“In high school I played volleyball and was a cheerleader,” Marie said. “I even got a pair of indoor roller skates for my 16th birthday and wore out two sets of wheels during my high school and college years!”
After she graduated from high school, Marie moved out to Virginia for college. She maintained her love for being active while living in Virginia and was given the perfect backdrop to do so.
“The school I went to was built on one of the Blue Ridge Mountains, providing me with plenty of walking and climbing on a daily basis,” Marie said. “While there, I completed a bachelor's degree in music.”
It was during college that her interest in health and fitness as a better alternative for weight management began to grow. That interest quickly grew into a possible career choice, which led Marie to begin the process of becoming a personal trainer and a group fitness instructor.
Now as the Outreach Coordinator for the Portage YMCA, Marie is living that dream. Her job includes teaching a number of classes for YMCA members and helping extend the Y’s great programs to other people in the Portage community.
“I teach Silver Sneakers Yoga at our Willowcreek location and I also teach Zumba Gold Chair at Miller's Senior Living Community in Portage,” Marie said. “After Labor Day, I will begin teaching Aqua Zumba at the Portage Best Western Plus Pool. At the YMCA, I provide personal training and Welcome to Wellness orientations to our members.”
Giving members fun, new experiences and extending those opportunities to others allows all community members to access health and wellness solutions in non-judgemental and welcoming environment.
“I enjoy reaching out to people inside and outside of the YMCA,” Marie said. “Sometimes, health and fitness can be intimidating to people just getting started. I do my best to help them feel comfortable with a fitness program that works well for them.”
This desire to reach people and change their lives comes from a set of values that she acquired as a young child.
“Growing up, my mother and father set the example of reaching out to people in the community: visiting people in nursing homes and hospitals, and providing transportation and meals for people in need,” Marie said. “I am happy to be part of a non-profit organization that has an outreach-based mission.”
Rose Marie also has her own mission statement: to encourage people of all ages to take better care of their health. Working with the Portage community and the members of the Portage Township YMCA, all while demonstrating her own passion for health and wellness, has helped her fulfill her life mission time and time again.