About three weeks after my friend Kelly’s wedding, I sat on my couch, binge-watching more reality TV than I care to admit. As I reached for another handful of chips on the side table, something caught my eye. It was the gift card for personal training at the Y, which Kelly had given me as a gift for being her maid of honor.
I’d been a YMCA member, off and on, for the better part of a decade. But, because of some health issues I’d never really become serious about it. At that time, I was at my highest weight ever, so I’d brushed off the gift as a well-meaning gesture. Personal training wasn’t something I could do, was it? I figured I was too out of shape and wasn’t the right kind of person. But, in that moment I knew I had to give it a shot, because something had to change, and I couldn’t hide behind my health concerns forever. I quickly picked up the phone (and put the chips down!) and called the Y before I could change my mind.
Four days later, I was a nervous wreck as I waited to meet my new trainer. I had visions of him yelling “go faster” or “work harder”. I thought about making a run for it, certain this was a mistake. Instead my trainer, DJ, and I spent an hour talking about my goals and setting up a plan to achieve them. At first getting up the motivation was tough, but DJ continually focused on the goals “we” were achieving. Suddenly it wasn’t just about me, and that made all the difference.
If you’ve never been a part of the YMCA, you’ve never experienced the community you quickly become a part of. I learned, even on days when I didn’t feel it, I could turn toward so many people at the Y and find the accountability I needed to keep going. I have friends who expect me to sweat it out with them during group exercise classes, the staff at the front desk know my name, and DJ will constantly assess how I’m doing and suggest new routines to keep me motivated and seeing results. This community, this network, this family has encouraged me, even when I want to give up.
Since I started working with DJ, my life has changed drastically. I’ve lost a total of fifty pounds and have completely changed my lifestyle and my eating habits. Going to the Y is now part of my daily routine.
In all honesty, I truly never thought I would lose this much weight or have this much drive to keep going. The YMCA has helped me to build both a mental and physical strength I didn’t know I was capable of. The support of this community has only made my success sweeter. Today, I have to keep going for myself. I have not yet reached my fitness goals, and I don’t see myself stopping until I do. The rest of my YMCA community hasn’t given up on me, so why should I?
The YMCA provides health, hope and community to so many individuals like Shelby. Your support of our mission helps us ensure that no one is ever turned away. Become a part of the YMCA family and donate today.
“Since I started working with DJ, my life has changed drastically. I’ve lost a total of fifty pounds and have completely changed my lifestyle and my eating habits. Going to the Y is now part of my daily routine.”