Jeanne O.

Tom Taylor Family YMCA

Jeanne's body had been through the ringer by the time she joined the Y. First diagnosed with Fibromyalgia back in 1997, the next few years plodded by in one big painful blur. Already in chronic pain for which there is no known cure, Jeanne underwent joint replacement surgery on both shoulders and a hip, and if that weren't enough, she also endured spinal surgery to relieve her spinal stenosis. The combination of events would translate to most people as a perfect recipe for despair or helplessness.

But Jeanne was brave enough to take a hard look at reality and innately knew that if something didn't change, her pain would only intensify. So, supported by a walker, her daughter, and a personal trainer, Jeanne decided to begin low impact exercises in the water to help her feel better and maintain the health she did have. Feeling the freedom of movement in the water, she noticed her pain reduced.

"The people in the class are so friendly and we always meet at the coffee shop after class," she says. "Even if I can't do everything, attempting the challenging workouts makes me feel powerful."