Erika H

Not together, but never alone

by Erika Slife Hostetler | Apr 06, 2020


On March 15, Galter LifeCenter closed its doors to members in wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Although it’s only been less than a month since Galter closed, for many members, the loss of Galter’s sense of community, support and routine has been profound.

With doors shuttered “indefinitely,” as government and public health officials scramble to control the spread of the virus, the reality of an unknown has left many feeling apprehensive.

“My anxiety has shot through the roof,” said Geraldine Franco, pictured below. “And I’m walking around with a ton of bricks on my chest.” FullSizeR 2

So how do we cope amid this uncertainty, especially when under normal circumstances, we turn to the gym to help exercise the anxiety away?

“In this difficult time, we must find ways to stay happy, hopeful and healthy,” said Francie Habash, Galter LifeCenter’s fitness director. Francie suggests taking a walk in the sunshine, journaling and spending time with the loved ones you are quarantined with as ways to stave off helplessness and depression.

"We are working hard on bringing you even more ways to stay fit, mentally and physically as well as stay connected," Francie said.  "Keep an eye on our website and social media sites as this is our 'new normal' to communicate with you." (See Francie's whole statement below.)

Many members have turned to MOSSA MOVE, a website and app that streams 30-minute workouts that Galter members are already familiar with: Blast, Centergy, Core, Fight, Groove, Power and a cycling format, called Ride30. It also features Athlete30, a high-intensity interval training workout unique to MOSSA MOVE. The streaming service is currently free for a 60-day trial period at     

On Galter's Facebook page, group fitness instructors have been featuring one of the workouts every day, and encouraging followers to do the workout with them.

“Thanks to Galter, I still exercise five days a week right now,” said Jennifer Selucky. “I’ve been doing my MOSSA workouts in my living room, jumping up and down, disturbing my neighbors.”

Jessica Sedgwick says that working out alone in her home has changed her perspective. FullSizeR

"I have been trying to do two to three workouts on Mossa app  a week," said Jessica, pictured right with her son, Selden. "My favorite used to be Groove, but I’ve learned that part of the reason I loved Groove was the community aspect, how we’d turn to one another and dance and be silly. Groove in my living room is a little sad by comparison, so I’ve been
turning to Fight and it’s really helped!" 

Other members have taken their workouts outdoors. Linda Jin and her husband Jack have been doing a lot of jogging, she said, as well as walking their 13-pound Yorkiepoo, Fang.

"Fang has never gotten so many walks before, he might need therapy when this blows over," Linda said. "In this period of adjustment, what Jack and I really miss are the loving supportive people of Galter."

Amy Gaylord agrees.

"I miss my Galter family," she said, pictured below with Jennifer Selucky on the right, and fitness instructors, Sophia Panos and Carmen Costales, to the left. "The feeling of being part of this amazing community. I am so appreciate of what we have in Galter." imagejpeg

In addition to the MOSSA MOVE workouts, Galter's personal trainers and instructors have been working hard to provide additional fitness routines online. The at-home fitness workouts on YouTube feature a collection of videos (found here), ranging from high intensity interval training (HIIT) to chair work, from home workouts with kids, to exercises in the kitchen with canned goods and sacks of flour. There are even medication and Pilates videos.

Francie said that members should also be on the lookout for future surprises from Galter.

"You never know," she said, "there may be a motivational Galter LifeCenter challenge coming your way real soon!"

In the meantime, members might be comforted to know that while Galter may be closed to them, Galter's important role in the community remains steadfast. The building is now being used for vital hospital services, as well as extra space for hospital staff. And Galter employees have volunteered to work and help as needed.

"Many of our Galter employees have signed up to part of Swedish Hospital’s labor pool and are helping on the front lines to support healthcare workers and care for our community," Francie said. "We have an incredible group of people that are stepping up to the challenge to help defeat this COVID-19."

So as health care and other front-line workers race to care for patients of the outbreak, Galter staff hopes that you do your part, not just by social distancing and washing your hands, but by taking care of yourself and loved ones. Don't just take physical breaks, but mental ones, as well.

"I give myself a break if I don’t have the energy to do (exercise)," said Jessica, "but I do make sure I go outside once a day, even if it’s just to take the trash out, linger by my car or stare at bunnies for five minutes."

Linda said she's found some therapeutic relief in the taking care of house and home.

"Having everyone home bound is a lot of cleaning and cooking!" she said, pictured here with her husband, Jack. IMG_7034"Although cooking and baking from scratch had been heuristic, a sense of Zen and wholesomeness which had eluded me for a while, my wine collection is definitely taking a hit!"

Geraldine said she also tries to find healing from the unknown, with workouts, and a little bit of wine, as well.

"Centergy helps me regroup. And Fight helps me let out some of my feelings of frustration and helplessness," she said. "My husband and I are both working full-time and homeschooling. I’m an emotional roller coaster over here. But wine helps."

Jennifer said she's found some comfort socializing with friends online, spending time with her new boyfriend - the one person she's quarantined with - and cooking and cleaning.

"What a weird time we are living in!" she said. "There's been lots of crying, too, at different points. Tears for the nurses and doctors out there, tears for people losing their lives and for their families, for students who are living in these uncertain times, and for my mom, who is a nurse still working. I cried missing my Galter family because I know it is going to be a very long time before we are together again. But definitely, the regular exercise helps."

Statement from Francie Habash, fitness director of Galter LifeCenter

Hi Galter Family!  On behalf of myself, and our whole team, we miss each and every one of you very much. I hope that you and your family are safe and healthy. Have you seen the information on our website, newsletter and/or social media on ways to stay healthy and keep up your workouts during the shelter in place order? If you haven’t, please check out the resources we have available. We are working hard on bringing you even more ways to stay fit, mentally and physically, as well as staying connected. Keep an eye on our Website and social media sites, as this is our “new normal” to communicate with you.

In this difficult time, we must find ways to stay happy, hopeful and healthy. The weather is getting nicer, so nothing like a walk and dose of vitamin D, of course with physical distancing. Check out Kate Kinnie’s blog with awesome healthy recipes. Journal each morning something you are grateful for. Spend quality time with your actual family (instead of your Galter family), and be sure you are not social isolating yourself.

Reach out to us if you feel lonely – we are still here for you.

You never know, there may be a motivational Galter LIfeCenter challenge coming your way real soon! Now give me some virtual booya knuckles,Screen Shot 2020-04-06 at 11.48.12 PM and before you know it we will be back together again! 

Also, I want to let you know that many of our Galter employees have signed up to part of Swedish Hospital’s labor pool, and are helping on the front lines to support healthcare workers and care for our community. We have an incredible group of people that are stepping up to the challenge to help defeat this COVID-19.   


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"My life has changed since I joined because I feel better about myself instead of guilty for not exercising." - Karen