I have a place I go everyday that has people whom tell me I can do anything. They tell me I am awesome, amazing and I can do this. They tell everyone that there and they will tell you all the same.  My place, there is success.  This place has short, tall, big, small.  They welcome everyone.

My presence is acknowledged by my name everyday.  My kids are welcome and my husband is welcome.  Is this place my home? Part of it, it’s my YMCA.

I wouldn’t be where I am today if weren’t for the employees, members and opportunities at the YMCA.  It’s not a place just for kids.  Though they do have amazing  opportunities for kids.  They have just as much for me and other adults.

Two and half years ago, I walked into the Y with my promise to myself. One year to stick to a healthy lifestyle.  That’s it.  I took advantage of all of the machines in the fitness center to help myself figure out how to get this weight off.  I was too uncomfortable myself to ask for help.  I was not a person who wanted to be told what to do.  I had been down this road so many times.  I knew what it was going to take to get this weight off.  I also knew my confidence in myself that I wouldn’t be able to perform what they wanted me to.  Looking back now I realized that if I would have taken the opportunities of the group classes I would have had more fun doing it.  My results may have been different who knows, but I don’t regret it.  All I can say I am so glad those doors were open.

I have met many fitness trainers and fitness class leaders.  None of them are there for themselves.  They are there for people who need help, at any stage.  I envy them.  Everyday they go in to make sure people know someone is cheering them on.  They use their own personal time away from the company clock to find music, choreograph, and talk with people on an issue they are working through.  These employees at the Y have a hard job.   They have to motivate the un-movtivated.  I know, I can whine like nobody’s business!  Haha. They will get you to believe you can do it. Or they just tell you to suck it up.  They are right.  A lot of the time these people have to deal with people who give up.  They are amazing if they don’t take it personal.  I have had a lot of people come to me and say  what’s your secret, I need to lose weight?  I tell them my story, they get motivated until they have to put the plan into action.  I have people promise to do a class with me and not show up.  I don’t feel bad for me I feel bad for them.  I want people to feel the way I do now.  I can only imagine what it must be like for a trainer.  If they could do this for free, I bet they would.

I have learned to be comfortable in a group setting with these people.  They have shown me the competitive spirit I have with myself.  I used to be apprehensive about the positions I had to get in for some of the exercises, but now I have the determination that nothing will beat me.  Working hard shows me that I will persevere and over come that doubt.  If I don’t do it, I am the one that looks different.  Everyone feels the same.  I used to make excuses that I couldn’t do dance or zumba because I had two left feet.  Well, left feet or not, I take on the challenge like I have with everything else. Just go out and do it.  People I have met in classes share these feelings too.  We laugh or moan and groan together! We have to encourage one another in in our faults as well as accomplishments.

I’ve talked about these ladies before, with their permission I’d like to tell you a little more on how they have inspired me.

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Lisa and I

Lisa is the first person that made an impact on my days at the Y.  She came to me and introduced herself.  Told me her 100lb weightloss story.  From that day just knowing someone was there to greet me and share stories of success and things I struggled with, was inspiring.  She is the perfect example of someone who can overcome anything.  She encourages, motivates, teaches and lives by the way of faith.  I appreciate her and everything she has done for me.  I have enjoyed watching her inspire others and lend her shoulder to people who walk through the door needing a start on a journey.  We have talked about our weakness in foods and the struggle with workouts.  I think we’ve inspired each other by just knowing that we have walked along the same paths in some ways and can keep each from walking too far off.  We maybe at different stages of our journey but I will always be there for her for whatever she needs! She is teaching classes at the Y now and taking classes for certifications.  So proud of her, she is truly an inspiration that you can do anything you have a passion for.

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Suzi and I

Suzi is a personal trainer, she also teaches muscle mix, zumba , zumba toning and crunch time (ab workout).  Lisa encouraged me to take her Pump (muscle mix now) class two years ago.  I was very nervous, talk about a fish out of water.  Mirrors on two walls so every where you looked you could see yourself, lol.  Her class was packed, I was  dead in the center and tried really hard to follow along and look like I knew what I was doing.  All I remember in that class was lunges and I have to move two of my body parts at the same time? Because of the weight I still had left to lose I had no sense of balance.  After the class was over, I was dead.  I was sore for 3 days.  For awhile her class was all I could take once a week.  She has attributed to 70lbs (give or take) of my weight loss with her class instruction.  She is an amazing motivator!  Every week she made me stronger inside and out.  YMCA-1Suzi is hysterical to be around!  She’s full of energy, she’ll tell you she’s not, then she fakes it pretty good then, lol.  She won’t let you cheat yourself. I have not used her as a personal trainer, but she’s been there for me for questions and suggestions anyway. I take almost all of her classes (except the evening classes) every week.  I appreciate her so much for her knowledge, believing in everyone she knows and for her infectious attitude.  Hundreds of people love her and admire her.  She’s blatantly honest, her famous quote is “You got this.” Which I have come to know as “You will do this.” and I believe it.  Her Zumba classes are wild and fun.  She has a great talent for choreography, keeping us moving and making it manageable for the amount of people she has.   Her instructions keep you on track to prevent injury and maximize your workout for best results.  Though she has been doing this for 12 years every one of her classes is given incredible attention.  Personal one on one training fills her days when she doesn’t have a class.  She is truly there for everyone who needs what ever they are there for.  Whether it’s weight loss, strength training, or just staying fit.  It takes a special person to wear that many hats.  As I have mentioned before, people like Suzi do this because they love it.  So many times they help people out and never see them again.  Well, she is a big part of my success story, I never would have gotten here with out her.  I value everything she has taught me and her friendship.

Christin is an Ironman and my spin instructor! How amazing does that sound?  Ironman, well woman. Anyway, she’s amazing!  When I first started her class I didn’t know what to expect.  I thought well I can ride a bike, shouldn’t be too bad.  Um, so I couldn’t walk for a few days!  It’s fast, loud and best way to burn up calories!  Christin motivates you to keep going, her famous words “Why are you here, what motivates you?”  This is always asked of us in class on the hardest trek.  The answer in my head is always the same thing, “No going back, always moving forward”.   She too, gets the best out of you.  She will be instructing on percentages and at the same time encouraging you to keep going.  

Christin and I

Christin and I

Her songs are choreographed with the rides, makes it fun and you’re able to get into the music when you ride with a vengeance.   As I said, Christin is an Iron man, she runs marathons, supports marathon runners, she teaches two cycle classes a week at the Y and another on the weekends at another venue.  She also has started teaching TRX, which I hope to take this summer with her.  She has given me so much support in acknowledging my weight loss and telling me what an inspiration I am.  What can I say about that?  She’s helped make me love to spin, it’s not an easy thing to get comfortable.  After the first couple of months with her I lost 2 inches off each of my thighs.  I’m heading into my 7 month, (although I have a little more to go for me personally) my legs feel super strong.  I know her as an instructor she loves to know we are having fun in her class, she wants to hear us.  I am so quiet in spin.  Christin, I’m having fun, if I’m not responding, it’s because I’m trying to breathe!  She motivates people to try marathons.  She’s run marathons with friends just for the purpose of being their cheerleader.  That is a an incredible giving person.

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Atsuko and I

Atsuko is a Dance cardio teacher and subs for Zumba classes occasionally.  She also teaches Karate at another venue.  I met her through the pump class and learned that she teaches a Dance Cardio class.  Her dances include basic aerobics, zumba, salsa, ‘Cumbia and strength training with weights.  I was able to start out with her class before I took zumba, it was a great introduction for me.  She does most of the same moves every week.  They are easy to follow and learn.  Now let me tell you, she can kick your butt with the strength training.   Lots of reps.  If this tells you anything Suzi has named her the Atsukonator! Atsuko is a very kind person.  She always throws compliments my way.  She too has played a role in this journey.  Getting me out of my comfort zone.

There are so many more people at the Y that I’m sure are just phemonmial as these ladies are for me!  I have developed relationships with them is why I am asking to single them out!  They are moms, wives and athletes. They are real people with the talent of caring for others.  They tell us about their families, their own fitness struggles and make sure we know we can come to them for anything.

I encourage everyone to find people like this.  Whether it be at the Y or a gym that offers a way to get to know people. I not only have these ladies that support me, there are countless people that I have shared classes with that constantly encourage me.  We have fun, encourage each to be there every week and suffer through the torture! Just kidding, it’s not that bad.

This Y has been such a blessing to me.  It’s a salvation for my attitude, my health and my pride.  So thankful I am here at this place, I have a better life now than I had before (and I didn’t think it could get any better)!


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