October 01, 2016
Meet Maria Kasher, our Live Wire, Club Saturday Night, and Birthday Party Coordinator (she is a woman of many talents)!
Maria was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She moved to Chicago in 1990 to work as a bilingual teacher in the Chicago Public Schools. She is fluent in English and Spanish and has three kids- two of whom work at IBY! She is really excited that fall is upon us because she loves how excited the kids get for Halloween and dressing up herself. She also loves to cook and entertain for Thanksgiving and all of the Black Friday deals!
After having her 3rd child, Maria found herself unhappy with her weight. In the Summer of 2006, for no particular reason that she can pinpoint, she put on a pair of running shoes and started running- kind of like Forest Gump. Back then, she could only run for ½ mile. Every month she increased her mileage. By mid Fall, she realized that she really enjoyed the workout so she started looking for an indoor running facility. She also had a 2 year old so it had to be a facility with a good childcare program. Indian Boundary YMCA was the most complete facility she could find for her and her family. By winter she had reached her weight loss goal so she decided to take on a new challenge. She signed up to run the Chicago Marathon! It took a whole year, 5 workouts per week, to reach that goal. After that, she decided she was going to tackle triathlons. She took swimming lessons at IBY to become a more efficient swimmer. Since then she has completed 16 marathons, 1 ultramarathon, at least 1 triathlon per year, and is now a member of the 50 States Marathon Club! So far she has completed a marathon in 13 states with 4 more to be completed by early January 2017.
Maria often says she feels so lucky to be able to work and exercise within the same building. She also likes that our facility provides services and employment to individuals with disabilities and enjoys working at a facility with Christian values.
Overall, she says she feels very proud to represent the mission of the YMCA and watch young people get their first jobs here after they themselves have grown up at the YMCA (like her kids!). She loves to hear all the stories of members who, like her, have found health and well-being at our facility.