Ms. Darlene Sanders begins a conversation about her experience as a member at the Kingsley Association by saying “I fell in love day one.” For her, the KA offers something that a membership at another gym or fitness center may not: a sense that the staff are committed to the members’ well-being and make sure members are taken care of. Walking into the KA for the first time, she says she felt the warm spirit and tone of the center in her interaction with the staff at the front desk, a tone that continued when she registered as a member with Sharon Scott on the second floor. It’s this warm atmosphere and the way she is treated as a member that makes Ms. Sanders encourage others to join Kingsley.
In the six months after Ms. Sanders joined Kingsley she was able to go from 228lbs to 189lbs, an accomplishment that she contributes to participating in the Body Toning class and using the exercise machines at the Kingsley. She says of Body Toning instructor Chris Howard that although she is “old enough to be his mother,” she often had to push herself to follow his instructions during class, saying that he is strict but the class is “so worth it.” After forming a relationship with Chris, Ms. Sanders sought his advice on how best to exercise at her age. Walking on her own at the Woodland Hills track had inspired her to want to work toward running up and down the bleachers at the track, the way she had seen young men doing. Chris advised her, “You are not trying to run a marathon, you shouldn’t be trying to run up and down bleachers. It’s too hard on your joints.”
This kind of personal attention and advice from the instructor about her health, her overall experience at Kingsley, and her weight loss journey prompted Ms. Sanders to do something to give back to the center. Anyone who came through Kingsley’s front door during December saw the Christmas tree in the front lobby, hung with lights and festive bows. Spreading cheer by decorating the Christmas tree was Ms. Sanders’s way to give back to the facility whose welcoming atmosphere had supported and encouraged her on her health journey. She says that when she finished the tree, sending an invoice or a bill to the Kingsley Association never crossed her mind, she just “wanted to bless the Kingsley the way they blessed me.”
Authors: Renata Nelson and Seth Finch
Renata is a PULSE Fellow for the Larimer Consensus Group and the Kingsley Association. She can be reached at email@example.com
Seth is a media consultant at the Kingsley Association. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org