Growing up with a rare leg disease, physical activity wasn’t allowed until I reached high school. The majority of my childhood was spent in hospitals and treatment centers, and by the time my leg healed, I had completed the ninth grade.
At this point in my life I knew I was given a rare opportunity to take back my life, my abilities and my health. That year I became employed by the YMCA of Barrie, where I worked in aquatics and Child & Youth for a number of years. The YMCA gave me a second chance at my childhood, allowing me to learn all over again what it meant to play, be included, and lead a healthy life. Most importantly the YMCA introduced me to Yoga, which helped heal the scar tissue in my leg.
To this day I compete in yoga competitions, teach fitness classes and work as the supervisor of Child & Youth at the Innisfil YMCA, as well as remain an active member of my Y community. I catch myself looking back at what seemed to be a lifetime ago, and can’t help but feel forever in debt to my Y. And now, I have the opportunity to help heal others, provide a childhood to many, whether they can afford it or require assistance, and coach a staff team that fosters crucial relationships like the one I needed. My Y is a community, My Y is inclusive, and my Y belongs to everyone.