November 18, 2013
My Y Story
My name is Ellie Martin. I am 15 years old and my Y story begins when I became a member in 2009. I first came to the Kroehler YMCA for adaptive swim lessons. Working with my coach, I learned how to improve my strokes and I began swimming for the WDSRA Special Olympics Swim Team. By the end of my first season, I qualified for the 2010 State Summer Games and won my first gold medal!! I continue to love swimming, and I was even able to compete in the Illinois State Summer Games again this year; adding another gold medal to my list of accomplishments.
Besides working with my swim coach, I have been lucky enough to have my own personal trainer here at the Kroehler YMCA. Coach Jim works with me on strength, balance, cardio and endurance. When I first started working out with Jim, I was only able to maintain a standing one leg balance for 7 seconds. My newest goal is 45 seconds! I have noticed improvements in my balance and strength also. Even my physical therapist, who I work with at my high school, has seen how well I am doing going up and down the stairs at school! I always look forward to coming to my sessions at the Y and working out. I know how important being in good shape is and I try hard to eat healthy and stay active.
Coach Jim set some fitness goals for me to work on in my free time when I’m not playing basketball for Team 2013 Special Olympics, swimming for WDSRA, having fun with jazz/ballet for teens, or doing rhythmic gymnastics for Special Olympics. This Fall, I will be participating in my first 5K on Thanksgivng, completing a 10 mile bike ride, walking the Herrick Lake Trail to Danada, running 1 mile on my own, AND completing 25 perfect push-ups, a 2 minute plank, and 45 second standing one leg balance. Hopefully, I will get my friends to join me on these fun Fall Challenges!!
As you can see, my Y story has been fun, challenging, and rewarding. I love setting gaols and working hard to make them happen. Being active at the YMCA has helped me a face physical challenges as well as the day to day experiences of being a 15 year old girl. Besides my fall goals with Coach Jim, I have set a personal goal to make it to the State Summer Games for Special Olympics again in 2014 for swimming, track, or rhythmic gymnastics. I am thankful for the programs and coaches at the YMCA who have helped me reach my goals, and I look forward to meeting any new challenges in the future!