People Taking Action: Zumba teacher is an example of overcoming adversity

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - It’s a full Zumba class at the Kempsville Recreation Center in Virginia Beach.

Still, sneaking up on the unsuspecting winner like we love to do wasn’t easy as she was the one teaching the class.

Several students wrote us about Pat Woods, her inspiring personality and her desire to keep them healthy.

This 25-year Beach parks and rec employee is more than just a fitness instructor to her students. Several of them wrote News 3 about Pat and her loving ways.

I had Cris O'Brien read part of her nomination letter.

“Last summer she was diagnosed with cancer and would show up with a positive attitude to teach her class," Cris read. “She was there after getting chemo. She remained positive and showed by example how to deal with adversity. Pat greets every new person and makes them feel like part of the group.”

And Pat’s big heart extends outside the classroom as well.

“Pat asked that no one give her birthday presents, but to bring in food for beach bags and she filled up her SUV with donations," Cris said.

She tells me she has just as much fun as her students and she feels good knowing she’s lifting spirits while keeping people healthy.

“This is called 'exercise in disguise,' so that you have enough fun so at the end of the hour you think, 'Yeah, I got a good work out, but I forgot about it because I was having fun,'" she explained.

News 3 presented Pat with a People Taking Action award along with a $300 gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank.

“You guys lifted me up like nobody’s business, you keep me going, you encourage me, and I have fun with you every time I’m here," she said. “When I see smiles, it's all worth it.”