Terry Zoubul is a great example of the phrase, “age ain’t nothing but a number.” She is the Active Older Adult Coordinator and Silver Sneakers Instructor for the Benjamin Harrison YMCA.

Terry was married 36 years when her husband died of a massive heart attack at age 57. It was a wake-up call. She was dealing with a few health issues of her own. Terry was slightly overweight and had high blood pressure.

Terry decided to get serious about her health. She hired a personal trainer and knew that by paying for this service, she would less likely skip out on the gym. Before long, Terry’s trainer convinced her to become an exercise instructor. This new chapter in her life resulted in an awesome health journey for Terry and the people she’s helped.

Hundreds of fellow active older adults register for Terry’s classes each week, and praises range from “She’s just great” to “Terry saved my life!”

Terry believes it is her age that draws so many people to her classes. “It’s not very often that an older adult comes into a gym and sees someone leading a class who looks like me.” She adds, “I can relate to their concerns and it makes them feel more comfortable.”

Terry has one success story that motivates her to continue to help others. A 67-year-old woman was scheduled to have knee-replacement surgery and her doctor recommended that she lose a few pounds beforehand. Terry and others on the Y staff came up with a plan for the woman which she followed. When it came time to schedule her operation, the doctor said, “There is no need for surgery.”

This was confirmation to Terry that she really can help others have a better life and inspired her to do more. “I had not been to college in 50 years, but I was determined to become a personal trainer. I passed the second time and it was a huge achievement for me. I had never worked so hard in my life!”

Terry received her Certificate for Personal Training in August and believes she is now a better teacher. She’s so excited to implement the new things she’s learned that she’s even researched and purchased special equipment out of her own pocket that she feels will benefit her clients.

At 81 years of age, Terry says she has never felt better. She participates in marathons and local races on a regular basis and has placed first in at least five races for her age group. She even finds time to give back to the community by helping to raise money for the Benjamin Harrison YMCA’s Annual Campaign. Funds collected from the campaign allow individuals and families become members of the Y and participate in their programs who would not otherwise be able to afford it.

Terry says, “Staying active and helping others keeps me going. I’m not here for the money; I’m here for the community.”

If you’ve been looking for a group exercise class specifically for older adults, check out one of Terry’s classes at the Benjamin Harrison YMCA or give her a call at 317-547-9622.

By Tangela Floyd

Public Relations & Communications Director

YMCA of Greater Indianapolis


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