Workout Friends for 25 Years

My Y Story: Carol Beebe and Terry Chapman


Carol Beebe became fast friends with YMCA workout buddy Terry Chapman since they started attending the Y in 1997 for a 15-week program encouraging members to exercise three times a week. Carol and Terry met when they were introduced by Terry’s daughter who was Carol’s new neighbor when she moved to Merrimack. They have hardly skipped a beat over the years, although the classes have changed, and they have met new trainers. “We always enjoy our current instructor, and when they move on, we have enjoyed our new trainers and the new workouts they share. Over the years we have had at least 10 instructors! We really liked Joe Battista, our first instructor. He was very personable. He was just starting out in his career. We had a fun group of people. Terry and I have been the only constant in the Merrimack Y’s strength training classes for the past 20+ years. Some people go for a few years. We now have a core of five people that have been together for a while. Besides coming to the Y, we have enjoyed dinners out and getting together at Terry’s home” she said. “We joined that first class and never stopped. Terry and I say we never graduated, we went from beginning strength, to intermediate strength, and now we are in progressive strength classes!,” You will see Carol and Terry now on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the 6:00pm class.

“We used to do STEP classes a lot. Then Zumba. Terry and I were part of the very first Thanksgiving Turkey Burner event. Our group of eight members wanted to do something together for Thanksgiving. Our two instructors (Joe and Kelly from the aquatics department) devised planned a great workout: aerobics in the pool, strength training, then aerobics in the studio, with very little downtime! This was a two hour event, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving,” she said. “It was great fun!”

Carol has been a member of our Y since 1997, when she moved to Merrimack from Milton for her husband’s job. The family moved here in July and by September she was well acquainted with the Merrimack Y. “When the kids started school, I joined the Y.” Carol has three adult children, ages 40, 37 and 33, who live nearby. She also has eight grandchildren. “Two of my grandchildren went through preschool at the Merrimack Y and two go to Camp Sargent for nearly the whole summer,” she shared. “Two of the summer weeks were planed family vacations, and my grandson was so disappointed to miss Camp Sargent for those weeks!”

Carol has a long history with the Y. As a young adult she attended the Quincy (Mass.) YMCA. “In the 1970s, I spent a great weekend at the Quincy Y’s camp in Ponkapoag. I met a bunch of people. We enjoyed horseback riding and maple sugaring. It was the coolest time. We slept in cabins in the woods. On Sunday morning, we had maple syrup from the camp.”

Before retiring in 2020, Carol used to come into the Y for a 12:30pm for a STEP class, then return at 6:00pm for the strength training class. She loves the structure of the classes. “I know how to use the weights and machines, but I really love the classes,” she said. When she worked for Fidelity, Carol loved volunteering at Camp Sargent for Fidelity Cares days. “We would clean or help paint the cabins. It was great to be at camp and give back,” she said.

Carol and Terry’s friendship continues beyond the walls of the Y. “We’ve gone kayaking and on different day trips together. Terry recently bought a boat so we had an adventure driving to Marblehead (Mass.) to pick it up and bring it to Eliot (Maine),” she said. The ladies followed Terry’s son by car as the boat was moved from one marina to another. Terry is in the process of preparing her boat to live on in the summer months. Both women are widowed and they love their adventures together, and especially their Y time.

“I would tell my friends to join the Y. There are so many things to do. People are super friendly. It’s a great place to go. I could never see myself being in another gym. Right now it’s part of my life. Being here now … it makes me realize I should come and walk in the morning, too!” she said.


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