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Charis – Collingwood YMCA

I’ve been a member at the Y for a long time. I actually can’t remember when I originally got my membership. It went unused (for the most part) for MANY years. I have been an active and regular member since about 2009.

At first I was 2 times a week here and there, but not regular. Now I’m generally at the Y 4-5 times a week, sometimes more. I believe it was 2010 that I started volunteering with the Y to lead indoor cycle.

The Y has had an immense impact on my life, in a positive manner. The Y has truly changed my life. It helped loose 80lbs pre baby and maintaining that loss, as well as 45 pounds of baby weight! Now, holding strong, I’m actually lighter, leaner and stronger than I was pre baby!  The Y has also has helped me to achieve physical fitness goals that I would’ve never dreamt were possible for me when I was 80+lbs heavier.

The Y has also helped me see the champion and the fighter that has always lived inside of me, but was too bogged down in negativity and poor body image to be able to let shine.The Y has helped and improved my overall self confidence in and outside of the gym, which has ultimately made me a better person, friend, wife and now mom. The Y has also helped me realize and achieve new life passions and goals, as I am in the midst of attaining my certification to becoming a personal trainer.

The Y has also taught me that everyone is truly important and special. I always felt that before, but now I feel I truly understand what that means. The Y is truly a part of who I am today.

We use many group fitness classes/registered programs, the pool, the conditioning room, personal training sessions with Sofie (who has become a dear friend and a true asset to my well being), childminding and parent and tot play gym. All of these listed are of great importance to myself and my family for various reasons.

For my family, our daughter LOVES coming to the Y. She always has a great time in both childminding and in the play gym. The play gym gives us opportunities to be silly together and literally dedicate time to just playing. It has helped our daughters confidence in being left in the care of others and enjoying herself and being comfortable with the idea that mom and dad are coming back for her. She also LOVES the pool, which can only benefit her comfort level in the future with being in and around water. So important!

And I can’t say enough good things about Sofie! She has been such an incredible support over the last 4 years in my life. She’s amazing to accommodate me with some personal training sessions where I bring Gracey, if care isn’t available for her. I also feel it’s so important that the Y and physical fitness be a normal/regular part of my daughter’s life, in hopes to set up good life habits and healthy choices for her in the future.

We chose the Y to donate to for multiple reasons. Our daughter wants and needs for nothing. It was our hope that in this donation, another child (or children) would be able to participate in Y services and programs as we do. All children deserve to have a sense of belonging and importance and the Y provides that for anyone of any age, but especially children. In a perfect world, all children would be granted the right to have equal opportunities and privileges in life. In the real world, this just isn’t so. I truly feel that the Y helps open doors for children (and again, all ages), that perhaps may not have even been shown to them, let alone opened, in other aspects of their lives. I truly believe that if children are encouraged from a young age to dream big, they can achieve big and they’ll have a better running start at creating their dreams and living them out.

Kids are our future. When we provide them with opportunities, we’re laying down a strong foundation for our community’s future. With our idea of birthday donations, it was also my goal to promote an overall sense of community. We only have each other in this life, so anything we can do to help build each other up is instituting a positive change.

Lastly, the Y means so much to me, as stated above, for changing my whole life, that I consistently want to put positive energy back into the very place that helped save me from the negative life I used to lead. I actually get emotional just thinking about it, in a good way. I whole heartedly believe in the Y’s mission

I absolutely feel there is a need for more community support for Y programs and services. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t really realize, or understand, the magic that waits inside the walls of the Y. It’s not just another gym (to me anyway), it’s a second home, a second family, a place to seek refuge (on multiple levels), a safe place to be vulnerable and feel free of judgement, a place to achieve, a place to succeed, a soft place to land, a place to connect, a place to belong, a place to get active and have good old fashioned fun with your family. When you’ve had a bad day and you don’t feel the motivation to go and get active, sometimes all you have to do is walk through the doors and let your Y family take care of the rest.

My Y is… Incomparable

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