Each day, hundreds of shoreline residents converge on the Valley-Shore YMCA for a variety of reasons. Some come for personal fitness. Others come to meet with friends and neighbors. Below are two essays written by YMCA members about why they come to the Y. Tell us your Y story!Please email submission to email@example.com -- What are you waiting for? Get writing!
Rita Corcoran: "I have been a member of the Y since 1997. I joined after being on hiatus from exercise for 2 years prior and wheezed like a dead crow after walking two miles, thinking I didn't want to ever be this out of shape ever again. I am one of the 'morning crew' who faithfully puts in her workout before work. I have participated in numerous exercise classes five days a week and was pretty cocky, thinking that I was in good physical shape for being here so much.
One day I saw an advertisement in the lobby for Boot Camp. A friend of mine goaded me into joining, promising that she already signed up. The first day my friend never showed and I spent the first
part of class worrying that I was going to die, the middle part worrying that I might not, and the last part of class wishing that I had. I'll never forget bear crawling across the gym floor in the first ten minutes of class thinking, "What the heck have I gotten myself into? I can't do this!!" as others breezed by me.
Over a year and a half later, instructor Jen Floydr has challenged me to keep pushing myself to get stronger, run faster and work harder. I have (finally) made my lifetime weight goal for Weight Watchers. I also ran my first 5K, which at age 47 is quite an accomplishment and something I could have never envisioned myself doing. The camaraderie of my class also makes me believe in myself, and we push each other to achieve as well. One of my favorite things (that I would NEVER admit to Jen) is at the end of a session when we do a relay race, forming two teams. Not only are we competitive, but we really try to show Jen much we have improved as we cheer each other on to victory. Most importantly, my entire mind set has changed. I used to approach impossible things as "Gee, I can't do that!!" Jen has inspired me to think "Let me try that". My hope is to inspire others who think that middle age means the couch and a remote. I am stronger than I was 20 years ago and look forward to working out another 20 years at the Y. This is what the Y means to me- community, friendship, caring and above all, fun!!"
John Wilson: "In February I was challenged by board member Lenny Goldberg to participate in the YMCA Corporate Challenge. Being completely out of shape and very over weight I jokingly said I'd join and sarcastically told everyone not to start exercising until I got there. But Lenny urged me to go and give it a month and see if I felt any better at the end. So I made the commitment to our team and attended everyday. I started off slow with sometimes only 5 or 10 minutes on an exercise bike but with guidance from the fitness room staff I was soon doing much more and using the weight room. Well, by the end of the third week I really was feeling better. I had lost some weight and my heart felt stronger and I had more energy. I had a decided at that point that I was going to continue my membership. At the end of the month Team Fish Tale had won the challenge and I had won one of the free year memberships along with teammates Courtney and Sarah. We edged out Chris by just a visit or two!
Having won the membership I decided to buy some personal training sessions with Jen. She is fantastic! I wish I could have just half of her energy and enthusiasm! Without her guidance and encouragement I wouldn't be where I am today. To date I have lost over 35 lbs, many of my clothes are falling off of me, and I can't remember my body feeling so energetic and strong. It's not just Jen giving me the energy and encouragement to continue on my road to wellness anymore. The whole Valley Shore YMCA community contributes. From the office staff and Sue, who greet me when I arrive each day to other members who say in passing "You've lost a lot of weight. You look great. Keep it up." The YMCA is more than a gym, or a pool, or a basketball court. It truly is a community, one that I'm proud to be part of.
I know that I've got a long way to go to achieve my goals but it's nice to know I've got new friends to back me up and help keep me on track.
Thank you VSYMCA for being there and creating this community!"