Trainer delivers fitness program to the faithf¨l |

Trainer delivers fitness program to the faithf¨l

Ariadyn Hansen
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, Colorado

On Friday mornings at the Stillwater Chapel in Grand Lake, you can find Jerry Penfield and others in the church community getting in shape.

Penfield decided to start a summer fitness program in the church to help other women get into shape and stay healthy.

“I like to call it a health program,” Penfield said, “because the word fitness scares people away.”

Penfield has been personal training for the past 10 years and enjoys helping others feel good about themselves and their lifestyle.

“I say to people, choose something to alter your lifestyle,” Penfield said. “What can you do to live healthier?”

Penfield said that is her outlook.

The gym is located in the upstairs of the building behind the main church.

So far they have collected five cardio machines, including a treadmill, two bicycles, a stair stepper and a health rider.

“Anything to keep people moving,” Penfield said.

Penfield also brings items from her home such as resistance bands, dumbbells and steps, as well as cardio style workout videos.

“People need to remember that even if you don’t have equipment, if you have weights and resistance bands, those are as good as a Bow Flex,” Penfield said. “You just have to know how to use it.”

Penfield said working out once a week may not sound like much, but its a start.

“I tell people to do something at least one other time during their week,” Penfield said.

Being a personal trainer, Penfield is knowledgeable not only about fitness, but nutrition as well.

“I talk about nutrition a lot,” Penfield said. “Moderation is the key.”

Penfield said she likes to keep the word “diet” out of her vocabulary because she doesn’t want people to think they have to be deprived of food in any way.

You may wonder what prompted Penfield to become a personal trainer.

Ten years ago, she had a heart attack. Being an avid exerciser and healthy eater, it came as quite a shock.

Penfield entered into cardiac rehab at the hospital in Kremmling and had a personal trainer work with her, even through the hard times of fighting the autoimmune disease, polymyositis.

Penfield knew she could not have a personal trainer forever and decided she would have to take it upon herself to be healthy.

“That is what made me become a personal trainer,” Penfield said. “I don’t want my muscles to go away once I get out of remission.”

Penfield said one of the reasons she started the gym out of the church was because she didn’t want women without any experience trying to get in shape on their own.

“It is way too easy to hurt yourself,” Penfield said. “You must work with someone who knows what they’re doing.”

Penfield plans to keep Friday workouts happening all summer and is hoping members at Stillwater will continue when she leaves for the winter.

If you would like to donate equipment to the program, contact the Stillwater Chapel at

– Ariadyn can be reached at 970 887-3334 ext 19605 or by e-mail at

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.