A Bond that Comes Together Through Personal Training

My Y Story: Tyler and Steve


Tyler Penn has been working with YMCA member Steve for the past five years. They have a standing personal training appointment each Wednesday at 1:30pm.

Tyler shared that Steve was born with cerebral palsy, and is looking to get more active and to help improve his stability. Steve has worked at Gateways for 30 years. (Gateways Community Services is a non-profit corporation establish and maintain programs and services which promote growth and independence for individuals with developmental disabilities.)

“Steve is one of the most positive people you will ever meet. He’s always laughing and smiling. I’ve never seen him in negative light. His caregiver Linda shared that our Wednesday sessions are the highlight of his week. It’s very much the other way around. I really, really love working with all my clients, but Wednesday at 1:30 is something I really look forward to.”

Steve is my personal sports center. We talk a lot about sports, football hockey, New England sports teams. All of my sports info comes from him! He also knows a lot of people in the Y. Even though our workout sessions are just me and him, we can’t go five feet anywhere in the Y without him seeing someone he knows. We get interrupted quite a bit!,” Tyler said.

Steve has been training with Tyler for five years. Before that he trained with Justin Parker, the Y’s former member Engagement & Wellness Director at the Nashua Y. “I was lucky enough to pick-up where Justin left off. They had a close relationship, also,” Tyler said. Justin set up the weekly program for 58-year-old Steve. They start with a cardio warm-up, then go right to strength straining. “We keep things pretty linear as far as his workout. He’s very capable and for the most part, I let him lead. I asked him what he wants to do. Sometimes he’ll tell me bench press, so I will do that with him.” They spend a good amount of time on upper body strength training. And Steve loves finishing with the battle rope. He likes that,” Tyler shared. Sometimes they play basketball and sometimes they walk the track.

“We made a deal before Christmas, he was always asking to put me through a workout… it happened to be near Christmas, I said this can be my Christmas gift to you. You can guide me through a workout!, Tyler said. The fun photo above was taken by Liz Kaas, from right outside her office at the Merrimack Y’s wellness center.

A graduate of Keene State College, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science in 2013. This month, Tyler marks 7 years as a Y employee.  He started as part-time Personal Trainer, became a Healthy Kids Coordinator, and now has the title of Wellness Team Leader in Merrimack.  “I like the community aspect of the Y and the ability to engage with people of all kinds of different backgrounds and walks of life. The Y has something to offer everybody; a place to work out or a place of social support. You can find it here. Everybody is so willing to help, both staff and members. I haven’t had one negative experience here with anyone I’ve interacted with. It’s been positive and enriching.  Love that the Y sees the person as a whole, and the member experience is not just focused on the physical fitness part.”

If you’re visiting the Merrimack Y on a Wednesday afternoon, take a look for Steve and Tyler. You will have the opportunity to meet two fantastic people.

Stay up to date on what's happening in your community! Subscribe to our blog for events, announcements, and stories.

If it's not what you expected, unsubscribe at any time.