Jacqueline Duci, retired psychologist and Ralston Wellness member

I started taking the Stretch & Tone class at Ralston Center about a year ago, after a neighbor of mine suggested it. I was recovering from two pretty serious falls, one where I fractured my kneecap and another one where I injured my back and fractured my pelvis. I had been a very active person before my injuries, but after, it was incredibly difficult for me to even walk around the block. I thought, “I’ve always heard getting older would be difficult, but I didn’t know it would be this bad!”

At the beginning, I was very timid in class. I was so afraid of losing my balance. Barbara, the instructor, showed me modifications I could make with the stretches to help my injuries. She was so patient and honest. She took the time to explain each movement and correct my form. Over time, I improved with each class. I regained my flexibility, my balance, my stamina—it was fabulous! I can honestly say that because of this class I am 100% improved.

Now I’m not just walking around the block, I’m walking everywhere again!

I love how connected everyone is in this class. We miss each other if we miss a class. There’s one woman who will lay out a mat for me when she arrives. When I’m laying in bed in the morning, and it’s early, and I don’t want to go to class, I think of my friend laying out the mat for me. She motivates me to get up and get moving. She is such a role model.

There’s another woman in the class who is 93 years old, and she told me once, “It’s an amazing feeling at this age to feel like you can be improving something!” She does all the exercises, encourages everyone in the class, and is so motivated. The class really attracts incredible people, and as a result we’re very close.

I remember we had a potluck brunch around Christmas. Everyone brought food, and we just spent an hour or two talking and getting to know one another. Some class members even meet up for happy hour every month! Ralston Wellness has a family atmosphere. You can tell they’re doing a good job because some people in the class have been coming for over 20 years! I’ve been coming to class for about a year and I feel it, too! There aren’t enough words to say how wonderful Ralston Wellness is and how much this class changed my life.