It Takes Two

Louise Scott needed an advocate as much as she needed exercise.

Silver haired with a good-natured quick wit, Scott knew she couldn’t take this fitness journey alone.

In her college days, it would be nothing for Scott to lace up her sneakers and go for a five-mile run, just on a whim. She also enjoyed yoga and modern dance. Later in life, however, Scott had become what she described in her own words as “hopelessly sedentary.”

Scott walked with the aid of a cane, and even with that assistance her friends guided and guarded her movements. When Scott entered a new room for the first time, she made her seating choice by figuring out if there was a chair that would allow her up to get up again.

That’s how difficult even slight movements had become.

She had a membership to a fitness facility in the area, but no intentions of going.

At the urging of a friend – to “Go see Kate!” – Scott signed up to work out with Staunton-Augusta Family YMCA personal trainer Kate Houff.

“I had been thinking about it for a while,” Scott said. “I needed someone in my corner, and I have a friend (Grace) that has been with Kate for years. Grace was the tipping point. I came to the YMCA to get Grace off of my back and get moving.”

That choice has been life-changing for Scott.

Houff, who studied exercise science at James Madison University, put Scott through a number of a simple tests – a walking test, a sit-to-stand test and a balance test among others – to get a gauge for where Scott was physically.

“I could see she had some strength,” Houff said. “But no endurance.”

However, after 10 months of working with Houff, Scott is so far advanced from where she was in February.

Scott has a laundry list of ways that life is better since deciding to use a personal trainer.

For starters, she just feels better.

And, in the past 40 weeks, Scott has:

  • lost 25 pounds
  • tossed the cane
  • decreased her medicine
  • experienced less chronic pain

“Louise’s progress is wonderful,” Houff said. “She’s a gold star client. She came in not feeling good about herself, not feeling good about her physical abilities, and maybe also a little weary about getting hurt. And now she enjoys the exercise. And that’s what I’m after, to make someone like being healthy, to make it enjoyable and fun, and not something torturous.”

Scott is proud of her individual progress – but plans to feel even better when she loses her next 25 pounds – and is thankful to Houff for taking this journey with her.

“I started to feel better physically after the exercise,” Scott said. “Kate is so supportive. I don’t particularly have more discipline. I have discipline in other areas of life, but not exercise. Kate’s my discipline. She sets a time, and I show up.”

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