Skip to main content
a ymca member exercising with dumbbells

The YMCA has a knack for enticing people to improve their health and wellness. David Verdonck was no different. 

David was a highly successful physics teacher and professor, which took him to schools like the University of Washington, Valdosta State University in Georgia, Charleston Southern University in South Carolina, and Elmira College here in New York. After he retired from the education world in 2019, David found himself at a crossroads regarding his physical health. 

“When I retired, I was pretty much doing nothing, sitting around on the couch all day,” said David, who also earned his Ph.D. in Geoscience from Penn State University. “And even not walking around in front of a classroom was affecting me. [I] was tired all the time, and [I had] a lot of other issues, and I decided I needed to do something about that.” 

David started working out from there, which put him on the right track to improving his health. But he also wanted to speed his process up, so he looked into other gym options. Where’d that bring him? To the Corning Family YMCA. 

Not only did David like what the Y had to offer, he also started to progress even more quickly. He believes the environment was very conducive to his success. 

“A lot of it had to do with the friendliness of the staff and the members,” David said. “I probably talked to more people in the first two weeks I was here than in two years I was at the other gym.” 

David really enjoyed the Group Exercise Classes and the instructors he got to work with. He lost 30 pounds, but most importantly, believes it improved his overall quality of life. 
Finding his success with the Group Exercise Classes and thinking of his career in the classroom, David had an idea for what his next move could be in retirement. 

“I thought I could take that personal experience along with teaching experience to help other people,” he said. “So, I went through and got certified as a Group Exercise Instructor and Personal Trainer, and actually as a Golf Fitness Specialist.” 
Now David gets the pleasure of helping others improve their quality of life at the Corning Family YMCA. Each one, teach one, at its finest.