February 27, 2015
I joined the Y for general fitness and went 2-3 times a week for the first six months of my membership. I experienced shortness of breath and saw a doctor who ordered a stress test with an echocardiogram. Shortly thereafter, I was diagnosed with severe regurgitation of the aortic valve and was told by my cardiologist that surgery was in my future.
To mitigate the recovery time, my doctor recommended I exercise six days a week at zone 3 cardio activity. Since then, I have rarely missed six sessions a week at the Y. In January 2014, my cardiologist told me that she no longer saw surgery in my future. She said I did what most people never do: I changed my life permanently.
I couldn’t have done it without the support of the Y. The staff has been an incredible support system. They are always available to assist or offer encouragement. Jennifer Fulton has been the biggest impact on me. Without her the Y would not be the same.
Many of us are running so fast in life that we don’t stop to help others. The Y has a building full of people who are willing to go the extra mile. There are also many of us who don’t ask for help. This is the camp I am in. The Y made it easy for me to get the help I needed to focus on my health.
I attend fitness classes three nights a week and have made friends there, making the Y part of my social life. Many of those friendships have expanded beyond the walls of the Y. We joke that I am the mayor of the Y. I try to make new members feel welcome and encourage them to try new things like classes. I know many of the other members by name and notice when they have not been to the Y recently. My hope is that everyone will enjoy all the benefits I have received from my membership.