Testimonials for the Western Faculty & Staff Wellness Program

Before I started taking classes in the WWU wellness program I would have to carve out time to workout at a gym on evenings and weekends, where I would pay too much to go workout with a bunch of strangers who were all wearing ear buds and doing their best to avoid eye contact. When I discovered the Wellness Program at Western I found an awesome group of fit co-workers who were excited about exercise and fitness, it made my workouts fun! In fact it soon became my favorite part about going to work! The instructors are very knowledgeable and Darcie does a great job of instructing as well as bringing in a wide variety of programs to insure that there is something for everyone. I have since moved on from Western to a new employer, but I really miss all my friends in the program. If you’re not taking advantage of the Wellness program you missing out on one the best benefits Western has to offer! - Seth Crawford, Firefighter/EMT, City of Bothell Fire Department

Claudia is a wonderful instructor, I really love her QiGong and Tai Chi class.  I come out feeling as if I have had an acupuncture treatment or a spa day."- Christina Carlson, Tai Chi & Qigong class memeber

I started as a full time professional staff at WWU August 2012 in a position that promised to keep me busy. I knew I would have to really focus on my fitness with a job that called for a lot of hours at my desk. Commuting to/from work was also a challenge and impacted my previous work out schedule. I was quickly introduced to the Faculty and Staff Wellness Program through a co-worker. She helped me pick out a class and even joined it with me. The class has been nothing but amazing, fun and one heck of a work out. I have met a lot of great people through the classes and look forward to building on those relationships in and outside of the gym. The class easily fits into my work schedule during my lunch break and my supervisor is supportive and enthusiastic of making sure that I tend to my health and fitness. The class itself is affordable, exciting, challenging and is a great lift to the day. We never know what Kaylee is going to throw at us- but you can definitely tell that she put time and care into each lesson to make sure it’s engaging, fun and motivating. I appreciate that the moves are adaptable for all fitness levels and we aren’t all expected to operate/move/lift exactly the same. I enjoyed my first quarter of Fitness class and am looking forward to next quarter and even adding on a Pilates class. Thanks Kaylee! And a big thank you to WWU for putting together these programs- it is a huge benefit that goes a long ways. It’s good to know that WWU values their employees’ health.
-Renee Reynolds, Assistant Director of Special Events

I can’t say enough good things about Irene’s noon time yoga class! She is a great instructor, the room is quiet, it’s nice to shut the big overhead lights off, and having the air handlers off really has been helpful.  It is so nice to step into the class and just let the cares of the day stay outside for an hour while we get stretched out, I always feel better afterwards.
-Gary Malick, Information Technology Specialist

The Advanced Cardio Conditioning (ACC) class has constituted a wonderful addition to my training!  Kaylee Nightingale puts together thoughtful and pedagogically sound sessions that provide a variety of exercise activities.   The class is meticulously planned and time is therefore always used efficiently and effectively.  ACC is challenging, fun, and motivational.  Ms. Nightingale's affable personality and encouraging approach make this class a great opportunity to work out hard, to meet new colleagues, and to earn one's lunchtime repast every Wednesday! 
-Brent Carbajal, Dean of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences

My fitness class has really been a life-changer. It’s so helpful to have a group of people who are pursuing their individual fitness goals in a shared space with an excellent instructor. It creates an atmosphere of “we are in this together” even in the midst of some really hard work. The class really has turned-around my weekly fitness routine and I look forward to every Tuesday and Thursday’s opportunity to get my heart rate up, work hard, and improve my fitness over time. I have seen real results in terms of strength, stamina, and overall mood (the endorphin rush is a plus!). I simply can’t imagine life now without the class.
-Matthew Miller, Elementary Education Professor

The advanced cardio class makes me do all sorts of things and pushes me to go much harder than I would without it, even though I am able to go largely at my own pace. I like being outside and running hard in all sorts of weather conditions.  I look forward to it every week; it makes me stronger. 
-Tjalling Ypma, Mathematics Professor

I am very thankful to have the WWU Wellness program available to me as a WWU staff member.  When I began permanent employment at WWU just after completing my undergraduate degree in 2002, I took note of the many employees who seemed to suffer from the negative effects of sitting at a desk all day long.  At the time, I promised myself I would only stay at WWU for five years as I was terrified to become overweight and unhealthy from the limitations of a “desk job.”  However, my love for WWU and my position kept me here and thanks to the Faculty and Staff Wellness program, I have been able to combat those negative aspects of a mostly sedentary job.  Being able to work out on my lunch breaks has increased my overall activity, energy and fitness levels.  The variety of class offerings and the enthusiastic and encouraging instructors have kept me challenged and engaged.  In addition, the Wellness program has provided a positive venue for networking and visiting with colleagues.  I feel so fortunate to have the ability to participate in the Wellness program and am the envy of all my off-campus employed friends who do not have the same benefits.  
-Krista Mantello, Program Support Supervisor for International Programs & Exchanges

The WWU Employee Wellness program is a priceless asset which all employees should take advantage of.  I have been taking classes through the wellness program for over 3 years and could not live without it.  I am currently enrolled in Pilates and Fitness classes and have noticed an unbelievable improvement in my strength, flexibility stamina and overall health.  The instructors are top notch, the class times work well with my schedule and the value for your dollar can’t be beat.  
-Jessie Phillips, Program Support Supervisor for the Box Office

I'm so grateful for WWU's Faculty and Staff Wellness Program. The fitnesses classes push me beyond what I would do independently. I also appreciate the fact that the classes are just a few minutes walk from my office; the convenient location makes it easier for me to continue exercising when the quarter gets crazy. 
-Michelle Burkhart, Intensive English Program Instructor

I’m pretty sure that if you looked up ‘fitness’ in the dictionary there would not be a picture of me.  This is a journey that is not easy.  It’s something I have to consciously think of every day and some days those thoughts are easier than others.  I am a real person: I have weight problems, I have food problems.  But, I have finally decided to start doing something about it. I started taking then added the Fitness Class.  The longer I do these classes the more it makes me realize how good I can actually feel – and how I want to feel it more often.  For the first time I have been able to take my son to the park after work.  Take my son to the park after work...It seems so easy, but it wasn’t for me.  I finally have the energy to want to be outside, go for walks, throw the ball, and play tag.  If working out gives me the ability and stamina to play with my son for even 5 more minutes – sign me up!  We are only given so much time, and as Kaylee told me – "Working out doesn’t only add years to your life – it adds life to your years."   And if you see me outside working out – I may be in last place or walking amongst the runners – but I am out there.  And that’s what counts. 

I love the exercise classes. It was just what I needed to motivate me to start exercising again. I looked forward to each class and will definitely register again.   
-Marlene Harlan, Director of Marketing & Summer Programs

I’ve been participating in the Employee Wellness exercise classes with Kaylee Nightingale for about a year now and I wanted to let you know how much I value this program.  I am currently working out with the lunchtime Tuesday/Thursday Fitness Class and the Wednesday Advanced Cardio Conditioning class.  I’ve gained a lot of overall strength and fitness from the program and I particularly value Kaylee’s approach.  The workouts are always varied and challenging, so I come to class never knowing what to expect.  Although often exhausted, I always leave confident that I’ve pushed myself and acquired a great workout.  After a good long chug of water, I am able to return to work refreshed and energized.  Kaylee takes the time to learn our names, and uses them to shout words of encouragement throughout our workouts.  This both helps me to stay motivated, and to connect with other colleagues from across campus.  Kaylee is clear in demonstrating proper form and watches us to see that we are performing the exercises correctly, letting us know if there are modifications we can make to suit our individual needs.  This attention to detail is especially important to me since I’ve had a prior knee injury, and I’m particularly vigilant about keeping my knee healthy and increasing my overall strength so that I can be even more resistant to injury in the future.  I know that my fitness level is continuing to improve because of my participation in the program, and I’m enjoying the process
-Heather Brett, Academic/Career Advisor

The Zumba class has been fantastic this fall – a full work out but balanced so that you never feel over the top in terms of exhaustion.
-Deborah, Psychology Professor

I just want to write a quick note of support. Kaylee’s running class (Advanced Cardio) at WWU turned me into a runner.  Since taking the class I have run 2 half marathons and a variety of shorter races. I am loving it! Plus, I am more healthy and happy. 
-Heather, Assistant Professor of Biology

We love hearing about the amazing journeys of our participants!  If you have a testimony you would like to share, please email Darcie at Darcie.Hill@wwu.edu.

Page Updated 01.15.2019