Mo Geraghty hadn’t been retired as recreation coordinator at Loveland’s Chilson Recreation Center for more than a moment, it seems, before she was back in the pool and on the mat, teaching fitness and yoga classes to students who had come to love her.
Geraghty has taught fitness classes at the rec center for a dozen years and served as coordinator for six of them before retiring at the beginning of September.
The self-professed people person has been channeling her high energy into yoga and fitness classes for 30 years after being introduced to that world at a Loveland health club by her co-workers at the dental practice she managed.
She was so hooked that she went back to school and earned a graduate degree in exercise kinesiology.
“I love teaching any kind of fitness, but yoga is definitely my lifeblood. If I hadn’t found it years ago, I would probably be dead by now,” she said. “I was a highly stressed person.”
1) What is/was the favorite part of your job — either as fitness coordinator at the Chilson Center or as a water aerobics and yoga instructor?
My favorite part of each of these jobs has been knowing that my staff and myself help keep people healthy. I have said many times that we are lucky to work in a job that saves lives, by keeping people healthy and happy.
I was proud to work with an amazing group of dedicated fitness instructors when I was the recreation coordinator. Many have been teaching for over 30 years. That is dedication. They are all loved and respected by their students.
2) Talk about the satisfaction you get from teaching people and helping them improve their fitness.
If we can create a positive experience that keeps people coming back, we are making a great contribution to their lives. The wellness/fitness field is not the highest paid profession, but the benefits are many.
3) Share with us a fun memory from teaching fitness.
There are many fun memories, but one of the funniest ones was when I taught an entire yoga class in Spanish, and toward the end of the final relaxation part of the class I accidentally told them to relax their men instead of their shoulders. (Hombres instead of hombras.) Everyone laughed, and the class was pretty much over then.
4) Besides the obvious shutdown in the early weeks, what is the biggest impact the coronavirus has had on the Chilson Recreation Center?
It was devastating for so many people. Our instructors had literally been teaching for years, many never having taken more than two weeks off. To suddenly not have that be a part of your life was difficult.
I think that many of us really thought we would be back up and running in a couple of weeks. The loss of contact with our members was likewise very difficult. I believe I can speak for many that the uncertainty was difficult.
While I did not get furloughed, it was difficult surviving the furlough, and for those who were furloughed the uncertainty was challenging. The hardest part for me was not being able to bring back all of our instructors and classes right away.
We also think about those who used to come to our classes and wonder how they are doing. Where are they? Have they not heard about the virtual classes that are available, or is the technology too much for some to manage? Have they given up on exercise?
We all get excited when we run into a previous member and know they are OK. For those who have not come back either virtually or live, know that we miss you.
5) If you weren’t teaching fitness and yoga classes in Loveland, what would you want to be doing, and why?
I would be teaching in Mexico or some other place that is warm in the winter. I plan to start up my annual yoga retreats again as soon as people feel safe to travel, and Mexico is definitely a part of that plan. In the meantime, come see us soon.
Maureen “Mo” Geraghty
Career: Recently retired recreation coordinator for fitness/wellness at Loveland’s Chilson Recreation Center and still teaching yoga and water aerobics classes there. Longtime yoga and fitness instructor in the area and former owner of Old Town Yoga in Fort Collins.
Years in area: Born outside Philadelphia, grew up in upstate New York. Loveland resident for the past 12 years but had been back and forth to Loveland several times over the years.
Family: Sister Kathleen lives in Loveland.
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