Pay it 4ward: Volunteer instructor helps ABQ seniors stay fit

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Since the pandemic, it can be tough to stay active. Being stuck at home meant having to get creative to keep your body moving.

But now, with things back open, a volunteer instructor has been dedicating her time for free to help seniors get healthy.

“When COVID set in I gained a lot of weight, said Mary Yazzie, Pay It 4ward nominator. 

But at Los Volcanes Senior Center in northwest Albuquerque, staying active is key thanks to instructor Terry Barrett.

“I’ve been coming about two and a half hours a day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday just to get my exercise up and keep myself healthy, and doing that I’ve lost 30 pounds from that,” said Karen Angel Pay It 4ward nominator. 

Barrett teaches three classes three days a week for free.

“She’s just a very kind-hearted person. You couldn’t ask for a better person,” said Angel. 

“She’s giving of her time and talents to help us out. And I- we appreciate that more than she’ll ever realize. So that’s why we contacted you and we wanted your help,” Yazzie said. 

So it was time to Pay It 4ward to Barrett with $400. 

“Terry, we want to thank you for everything you do for us contribute contributing to our well-being you being here three days a week helping us exercise showing us and teaching us this basically being here for us. So we all want to thank you for that,” Yazzie said. 

“Oh my gosh, you guys are the greatest. See, retirement is fun. Thank you, thank you so much,” said Barrett. 

Barrett used to take this class and fill in as the teacher when the previous instructor retired, she stepped in.

“I love what I do. And we have so much fun here. And it’s all voluntary. You can either walk away or you can work really, really hard,” said Barrett. 

And thanks to her, it’s clear everyone is having fun while putting their health first.

“Do anything, move anything. It doesn’t matter. You can walk slow. You can walk around your house. Do whatever you need to do, just keep moving. Just keep moving. That’s all you need to do,” Barrett said.