Ms.Debra’s Success Story


In 2015, Debra Coleman started attending water aerobics classes at the Washington Park natatorium. She was enjoying these classes but was looking for something more. She asked her fellow classmates if they knew of any local places where she could try out a yoga class. The following week, she attended her first yoga class at Urban Perform.

I thought I would do yoga and keep doing water aerobics.  After I got here and started yoga I saw you had other classes. I started doing strengthen & lengthen and some of the other classes. Then I started slowly doing the 6pm classes and then started to do both evening classes. I slowly just started building my strength with the weight bearing classes.

It has been over a year since Ms.Debra started at UP with her initial yoga class. She’s seen a lot of changes in the past year. She shared some of them with us:

Initially I knew I needed to lose weight. ! I caught myself right in time before  I was supposed to go on high blood pressure medication. My doctor wanted me on medication but I told her I didn’t want it and I could work it off. [After a few months at UP] I went back to my doctor and she said I was doing really well with losing weight and my blood pressure was coming down. It started at like 150/90 and now it’s 120/82. I have a family history of high blood pressure, diabetes and hypertension so this is great.

Urban Perform has been influential to Ms.Debra’s health journey by:

I have a small group setting to motivate me to lose weight and to give me motivation. They [UP staff]  give me little small steps on how to reach baby goals. They help break it down so it isn’t just a massive big project. I learned about being realistic about health – UP taught me very early on that those things aren’t realistic, things like biggest loser and stuff. You got to do something that’s realistic for yourself.

Ms.Debra said this about UP’s impact on the community:

I think it is GREAT in terms of people can walk to the gym. Sometimes going down the street I’ll see this little guy with his yoga mat and I’ll know exactly where he is going. I can ride my bike if my vehicle is out of commission. Being close by makes it so you can’t have an excuse. And two dollars, you can’t beat that.

In the future, Ms.Debra hopes to start running and complete a 5k, 10k, and maybe even a marathon one day! We’re sure that she’ll be able to achieve any goal she sets as she’s done with losing weight!

I just doubled down and did what I needed to do. I told them it won’t come off over night, but in time it will –  and it did!