A Testament to Wellness: Molly's Journey at Stowe YMCA

A Testament to Wellness: Molly's Journey at Stowe YMCA

A Testament to Wellness: Molly's Journey at Stowe YMCA

At Stowe YMCA, we believe in the transformative power of community, wellness, and resilience. When our Stowe Family YMCA member, Molly Heinz, and her mother, Jeanne Martin, joined our Y in 2022, little did they know the profound impact it would have on their lives.

Molly's story is a testament to the incredible potential of lifestyle changes in promoting holistic well-being, particularly in the face of challenges like her mother's moderate dementia. Through regular exercise, socialization, and engagement with our diverse programs, Molly and her mother have found a sanctuary where they can both thrive and reach new goals, in different ways, together.

Our Silver Sneakers classes and Active Older Adult programming have provided Molly's mother with the perfect blend of physical activity, social interaction, and enjoyment. While Molly has uncovered a new passion for the treadmill and writing children's books. With the support of our dedicated instructors, employees, and fellow members, they've discovered a community that uplifts and sustains them through every step of their journey. 

Here's Molly to tell her story.

My mom and I joined Stowe YMCA in 2022 and it has literally been a match made in heaven. It’s also no surprise to staff and members that my mom has moderate dementia. It can’t be emphasized enough how a healthy diet, proper hydration, physical exercise, along with regular socialization and mental stimulation play a critical role in curbing the progression of neurological degeneration as well as caretaker depression and burnout. Regular exercise alone improves

blood flow, blood pressure, blood sugar, tightens muscles, promotes weight loss as well as stimulates the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine which naturally boosts our spirits. Given all these benefits, it astounds me that so many of us remain resistant to lifestyle changes when they can benefit us in a big way.

Throughout most of my lifetime, I’ve been blessed with the ability to regularly exercise, which has been a staple to maintaining my overall well-being despite facing major upheavals. However, the insidious and inevitable demise of a loved one can eat away at one’s morale and motivation. That’s where Stowe YMCA has played a crucial part in helping my mom and I preserve the quality of our lives. My mom loves to walk outside but she needs additional forms of activity that improve her balance, strength and flexibility at the age of nearly ninety! She’s also naturally social and loves music. Silver Sneakers classes and the Active Older Adult programming are right up her alley. Y instructors like Carmen, employees such as Kara, Ophelia and “Angel”, plus members Ann Walton and Dave Buskirk have been absolute Godsends to us!

These cheerful individuals keep us coming back for more! However, there have been times in my life when I’ve felt like giving up, like I suspect some of you, when faced with difficult challenges. This is when I’ve relied on my faith and healing activities to pull me through. Putting my life and career as a nurse on hold to focus on the needs of my mom hasn’t been easy, but the extra time at home has allotted the opportunity to fulfill my dream of becoming a published author. When my mom first began to attend Silver Sneakers, I sat on the sidelines writing on my iPad during class. In recent months, I’ve progressed to reading, writing and editing while walking on a treadmill to avert the sedentary nature of this endeavor - yet I don’t recommend this for others even if it affords me more time to tweak my projects. The first of which is a children’s book about critically endangered Red Wolves which has a release date of 3/26/24. It’s out just in time for April, which is Earth Month. In the meantime, I’m undertaking the never-ending task of editing my faith-based historical fiction, Legacy of the Pearl, which is a tale about hope for all women. The cover for this novel is currently being designed and the anticipated release date will be sometime this summer. So if you see a woman typing away on her iPad while walking on the treadmill, it’s likely me. 

Most sincerely,
Molly Heinz

Interested in checking out the book Molly has written? Visit her website at https://planethopebooks.com



Molly's inspiring journey takes an even more heartwarming turn! Thanks to her generosity, Molly came to read her new book to some of our spring break campers!

We are incredibly fortunate to count Molly among our community of members who understand the profound significance of enriching the lives of our youngest members. Her dedication to fostering a love for reading and learning is truly commendable.

Thank you, Molly, for your selflessness and for spreading joy and inspiration to our Y Kids. Your actions exemplify the spirit of generosity and compassion that defines our YMCA family.