Lynn Minahan’s Return to the Y Drives Her Improved Health

Seniors participate in an aqua fitness class at the YMCA of Greater Brandywine.

Lynn Minahan is no stranger to health issues.

It’s unfortunate that the newly-minted 80-year-old has had to deal with what she’s been through, and the end result for her idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) means regular trips to Temple Lung Center.

That, though, is just an opportunity for Minahan to set herself apart from everybody else her age.

“Most folks with IPF are on oxygen and I’m not, and most times that I go to Temple to make sure it’s not spreading, the chief doctor keeps telling me to do what I’m doing,” Minahan said.

That’s an understatement. How many people do you know that are in the gym four days a week? Not as many as you’d like to. How many 80-year-olds do you know that are working out four days a week? Even fewer.

Make that one. It doesn’t take long to see that Minahan might be the most well-known member of the Lionville Community YMCA. She strolls through the halls confidently, happily calling out both members and staff members by their name and chatting them up. It’s not a surprise, because she’s always here.

Coming out of Retirement

For 10 years, Minahan worked here as a supervisor, mapping out employee schedules and helping fellow senior citizens understand how to properly and safely use the YMCA’s equipment. That came after a career in the medical field, and it was, unfortunately, the combination of IPF, essential tremors and macular degeneration that made her step away from her post on Feb. 3, 2012.

She couldn’t stay away, though, and came back as a member, gradually working her way to the four workouts she now puts in weekly. You can find her doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that, using the YMCA’s facilities to walk, lift weights or take part in senior group exercises classes. She’s a big fan of recumbent bikes, and she loves to interact with her friends at the group exercise classes. Click here to learn more about the YMCA of Greater Brandywine’s senior group exercise classes.  

“When all three of those things happened to me in a six-year plan, I stopped working here. I had a ball when I worked here.” Minahan said. “I began coming back and the Y is now my second home. It has changed my life. I’m attending senior classes. The teachers are awesome, and the companionship and friendship make all the difference. I can’t begin to sing the praises enough, and it’s even better with the knowledge that I’ve gained here that the more I move, the more I will move, and the better I’ll be.”

Age is only a number

Minahan understands that it’s atypical for a woman her age to be in the physical shape that she’s in, and it’s a badge of honor that she proudly wears.   

“What I’m doing is basically working as hard as I can for my age,” Minahan said. “I actually smile when I’m doing all of this because I know it’s good for me.”

With results like that, it’s tough to argue.