Working Out Is Good Medicine
At the time, she didn’t think so, but Brooke Nunn says a sports injury turned out to be happy accident. It led her to become an enduring member of YWCA Minneapolis. When the pandemic hit, she also found that as an ER nurse whose work it is to heal others, it’s also her job to take care of herself, too.
I figured I would give up my membership once I healed and would return to my outdoor running habits, but 12 years later I’m still coming!
What brought you to YWCA Minneapolis?
I think it was January 2010? I was training for a marathon when I suffered a stress fracture. As I tried to recover, I joined so I would have some place to continue to be active. I figured I would give up my membership once I healed and would return to my outdoor running habits. But 12 years later, I’m still coming! Although less than ideal, the stress fracture ended up doing me a favor and expanded my workout habits and introduced me to some wonderful people.
I love the camaraderie and the in-person aspect keeps me accountable.
What’s been the impact of the pandemic on your workout experience?
I am happy to say that my activity level has stayed the same if not improved. But like everybody, I definitely started to spend more time outside. Going for long walks with my dog during the early stages of the pandemic became such a grounding and peaceful practice. I have continued this as part of my self-care practice. Yolanda (YWCA personal trainer extraordinaire) was also an amazing support as she continued to send kettlebell workouts to our group by email while we tried to figure out what gym workouts looked like. I am so grateful to her for that. It didn’t take me long to return to the gym though because I love the camaraderie and the in-person aspect keeps me accountable. The pandemic has also reinforced the role that workouts play in my physical and mental health.
I needed an outlet for my physical and mental energy. It gave me a place to process the emotions that I could not always put into words – my grief, anger, sorrow, fear, and frustration.
What role has YWCA Minneapolis played for you as a medical worker?
Working in the emergency department you learn to prepare for the unexpected and you become very comfortable with change and chaos. The pandemic has only highlighted this and I think reinforced why I am an ER nurse. However, even now, while the pandemic is not over, we are dealing with the consequences of a very broken health care system. It’s a lot to take in! I continued to go to YWCA during the pandemic though because I needed an outlet for my physical and mental energy. It gave me a place to process the emotions that I could not always put into words – my grief, anger, sorrow, fear and frustration. Without having that outlet, I don’t know that I could have returned to work day after day and given my patients the care that they deserve. I am much more cognizant now of having something in my life that is about my wellness. I am grateful to YWCA for giving me that place.
What do you like most about exercising with us in person or virtually?
I love the classes, the members, and instructors. There is so much great energy and opportunities to work hard, no matter where you are in your health journey.
I have always felt safe coming to YWCA and during the pandemic it was no different.
What has your experience been like visiting the fitness centers since the pandemic began?
I feel like members have been very respectful and concerned about one another. And, I think they did a great job setting up a safe space. I have always felt safe coming to YWCA and during the pandemic it was no different.
What are your favorite parts of being a member?
The community and support for one another is the absolute best. I never expected to get that from a gym.
Advice for others wanting to stay healthy and active?
Find something you like to do—-it’s a lot harder to commit when you aren’t having fun. And don’t be afraid to try new things, you might even meet some great new people along the way!