“I believe that everyone deserves to live their best life, free of pain, and there’s no shame in asking for help,” says Moorings Park at Grey Oaks Exercise Specialist, Leana Girón.
Specializing in the specific needs of those with chronic conditions and disabilities for whom exercise could be especially difficult, Girón went into her career with a clear understanding of her passion: helping others.
Passion for Her Career
The first-generation Cuban/German-American was born in Long Island, New York, moving to Orlando, Florida when she was a child. Though, before eventually settling in Naples to start her role at Moorings Park Communities, Girón lived in New Hampshire and Tennessee.
In 2019, Girón earned her bachelor’s degree in Sport Exercise Science and Human Performance from the University of Central Florida. What inspired her to follow this career path, you wonder?
“I spent years learning what kind of exercise worked best for my body until I discovered that I could get a four-year degree on the subject! Ultimately, I decided during my first semester of study that I wanted to work with people whose bodies might not work the same as those who are able-bodied,” Girón shares.
She realized everyone's bodies and needs are different; therefore, everyone's exercise routines and goals should be divergent.
Sustainability Over Perfection
Girón, who has been at Moorings Park at Grey Oaks for nearly a year, teaches various classes including Aqua Tone, Ultimate Stretch, Barre Basics, Groove, To the Core, and more. She enjoys connecting with her clients on a personal level and notes that it brings her happiness when she can empower members by addressing their weaknesses and strengths with vigor.
What’s the number one tip she gives her clients?
“It’s not about perfection, but rather sustainability. That’s how you see long-term efficacy, like the proverb says, ‘many little streams make a mighty river,’ success comes one day, and one good choice at a time.”
Effort That’s Worth it
As a lover of dance, Girón notes that she enjoys incorporating certain moves and upbeat music into her exercise classes. She strives to help residents have fun while maintaining their health.
“Everyone wants to feel better than they do, but there’s so much confusion, and so many obstacles to overcome, that it feels easier to never try. To be able to make S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound) goals that improve all the Dimensions of Wellness, making people feel better inside and out, that’s the most rewarding thing.”
Though her studies, she’s also aware of the Zone of Disability, the period in one’s life where they’re no longer capable of being completely independent.
“Of course, this period can’t always be dashed completely, but it can frequently be delayed. And if we can delay this period for just a day, and that day is beautiful, then the effort was worth it.”
This Moorings Park at Grey Oaks partner believes her greatest skill that she brings to the community and her department is the ability to prescribe progressive exercises that maximize performance for all populations and walks of life.
“There’s always a better answer, a new modification – an improvement that I’m eager to make [for my clients].”