You may recognize our newest personal trainer, Eleanor Rixey.

STAUNTON-AUGUSTA FAMILY YMCA Zumba and Group Fitness Instructor Rixey is passionate about health and fitness, and wanted to broaden her expertise and offerings to further impact her community. First a Y member, joining circa 2017, she began pursuing Occupational Therapy, but decided in late 2018 to switch gears into a career in health and fitness. Her first step was the completion of her Zumba instruction certification.

“The certification process can be completed on my own time, which suites my lifestyle better and the responsibilities I already have,” explained Rixey, a mom and primary caregiver to two children.

Rixey’s devotion to healthy living is personally yet selflessly motivated. “Being a caregiver for my dad when he was sick helped me see the necessity for health as far as longevity and quality of life,” Rixey shared. “If I can live a healthier lifestyle for myself and my children and share that with other people, then I can help others form healthy, maybe life-saving, habits.”

After completing her Zumba certification and beginning to teach classes in early 2019, Group Fitness was the fitting next step towards advancing her career. Alongside Zumba, Rixey began leading other Group Fitness classes at the Y in early 2021, regularly teaching Senior Fit and Boot Camp. In these three classes, she serves a diverse community of different ages, backgrounds, experience, and levels, all of which are important to her.

“I do like working with older people because there’s a really delicate balance once you get older; it becomes harder to bounce back from certain circumstances,” said Rixey. “I take it seriously but I try to have fun, because sometimes it does come from this heavy place.”

Continuing her momentum, Rixey just completed her personal training certification this year and has begun working with clients at the Y. She was seeking challenge for personal development while also driven to expand her efforts and reach more people in a different way. “Personal Training seemed like the next step to take to push myself to try something intimidating,” explained Rixey. “I like the one-on-one aspect of personal training, which I don’t get to have with Group Fitness.”

Rixey’s touch can be found all over the facility. You can also catch her at the front desk, typically with a hand-drawn white board information sign displayed for members’ convenience. “Something people may not know about me is I am artistic, I especially like working with dry media: pencil, colored pencil, or pen and ink,” Rixey shared. She is currently creating a pet portrait for longtime member Judy Briggs. “I really like working with my hands and being creative. I apply creative problem solving to fitness, too, and how I structure my classes. I try to be creative about what we do and how we do it to keep it fun.” Rixey enjoys changing up her classes frequently, bringing new activities and exercises or trying different activity formats. She even re-organizes the Zumba set list every so often to keep things fresh. “Being creative is a really important component to me,” Rixey stated.

The SAYMCA is grateful to have Rixey join our Personal Training team and reinforce Healthy Living in the community. Thank you, Eleanor!