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Staff Spotlight: Bridget Moynihan

Bridget on the ski slopes.

Age: 52
Resides: Keene, NH but has lived in the Boston area.
Likes: Skiing, singing, her family, her cats Chewy, Weekend, and Stormy, and getting creative with exercise.

If you ever need a friendly face on the wellness floor of the Y, Bridget is who you’ll want to find! Our Staff Spotlight this week shines on Bridget Moynihan, our Health and Wellness Director.

Bridget loves being active and everything to do with exercise. She’s been in the health and wellness realm for about 26 years, and her passion for activity really shows if you get the chance to talk to her.

When she’s not at the Y or curled up with a good book, Bridget likes to hit the slopes and ski with her family. Her favorite mountain to ski is Okemo Mountain in Ludlow, VT.

“I grew up skiing and then I took a break for a long time and then when I met my husband we started skiing again and now my kids are excellent skiers,” she said. “I’m the worst one of the bunch, but it’s a good family activity. It’s great to be outside and to enjoy that time together as a family.”

Bridget also loves singing as much as she can.

“Voice performance has been an important part of my life. I was a voice performance minor in college, and I currently sing with the Keene Chamber Singers, and I’ve sung in some acapella groups as well over the years,” she said.

Bridget is a Keene native, but she’s lived in different areas before moving back to our city, including the Boston area and Costa Rica.

“I did a stint teaching English and living overseas in Costa Rica for a short time. It was wonderful. I went through a program called World Teach and I taught English as a second language to elementary school children,” she said.

She has been in several different areas of wellness throughout her career, including in private facilities and teaching group exercise.

“I am grateful that I continue to teach some of my own classes here at the Y because that’s truly where my whole love for the profession started, as a group exercise instructor. It was my first and foremost love,” she said.

As the Health and Wellness Director, Bridget has had her eyes opened to just how nitty gritty the details can be for running the wellness floor. For the last year and a half, on top of other responsibilities, Bridget has tried to make sure that the programs the Y offers are creative and growing with the trends.

“We have about 70 classes a week and a talented staff of instructors. We make sure that we have fun and interesting and diverse class offerings for our members,” she said. “I love learning new ideas with our group exercise staff and personal trainers and wellness staff…. It’s always important to be looking at new trends in the group exercise. I feel that we have a really good offering, but we are always open to new talent and new suggestions.”.

In the new year, Bridget wants to see the diabetes prevention program launch and get bigger and is looking into more chronic illness prevention and preventative lifestyle programs to offer. She also would like to see some of the current programs grow in engagement.

“It would be great expand some of our aquatic’s efforts for our liquid gym. We’d like to get some more classes on the schedule within the new year. We have some fun equipment down there… it’s just different and fun,” she said.

As so many people are starting to come back to the wellness floor post-pandemic, Bridget is making sure that it’s keeping up with the workout trends that formed in the last few years. She said that people often like to take moving exercise equipment, like benches and weights, and take them to a space that provides them with a little bit of privacy.

“We try to accommodate that with our spaces along the track. We’re also getting a couple adjustable benches to add to our wellness floor so we have a few more of those little stations where people can bring their stuff and do some exercises,” she said.

Bridget wants the Y community to know that the wellness floor is for everybody and that the staff is always ready to answer any questions that will make you feel more comfortable during your visit.

“People might feel intimidated or feel overwhelmed [on the wellness floor]. I want people to know that our wellness center with our weights and our machines are for everybody. We can accommodate all different types of people with different concerns,” she said. “I’m hoping this can be an open invitation for people to come up and try the wellness floor and explore our equipment even if they’re a little nervous.”

Bridget said coming to the Y “is like a big party” and will leave you wanting to come back soon.

“You’re going to see people you know and you’re going to strike up conversation and you’re going to want to come back because it was a socially successful time,” she said. “It’s not just about the workout or the class or the pool or the judo tournament. It’s actually a little city in here… everybody is welcome here and everybody is encouraged.” “I want people to know that when they come in there they are definitely going to find that connection with people,” Bridget said.

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