Sports Editor Peter Holland Jr.
It was just two years ago when Somer Van Pelt struggled with her weight. Two years later and 50 pounds lighter, she is now a certified fitness instructor and runs her own class at the YMCA.
Van Pelt experienced her battle with obesity and was not quite as active as she is now. A wife and mother of two, her life was quite unbalanced with not being able to find time to live a healthy lifestyle. That was some of the things she related to gym members that are in class.
“You got to keep asking why until you actually get down to it,” Van Pelt said. “A lot of times it is healthy reasons and wanting to be around their kids and to do things, being active without being out of breath or whatnot.”
Full of determination, Van Pelt started visiting YMCA and became a member. She felt right at home and she learned everything needed to know about fitness training.
“It’s just a wonderful and friendly,” Van Pelt said. “It’s kind of like a whole another family. I just kept working out here, reading as much information that I can get my hands on and started teaching, picking out that I love working with people so I started personal training.”
Van Pelt is now a certified metabolic conditioning coach Her classes involve 45 seconds of interval training, 10 different type exercises with a 15-second break in between. The way her class is set up, she wants her gym members to burn calories and burn self-esteem.
“We laugh, we joke and that’s why I love about it,” Van Pelt said. “I don’t like to be a serious person when I’m in class. It just makes you feel like you have friends kind of like a family atmosphere.”
Since she was hired, Van Pelt will have at least 16 members join her class, which is above the YMCA standard for fitness instructors. Senior Director Tyler Glidden hired Van Pelt because she was highly recommended and her personality that could bring more people to the door.
“She is welcoming and She doesn’t want anyone to feel intimidated about going to her class,” Glidden said. “Her people skills are also a great asset to the Y because she talks to people and makes them feel welcome and makes them feel part of the group or part of the Y as a whole.”
Outside of the Y, Van Pelt also enjoys distance running, especially 5K.
“5K running is something I’ve been successful at and I have to get out of my comfort zone,” Van Pelt said. “That’s why I signed up, to get out of my comfort zone and learning how to run long distances.”
Van Pelt’s metabolism class is on Tuesdays ad Thursdays from 6:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. All fitness levels are welcome. For more information, go to www. mcphersonfamilyymca.com.