Friday, May 29, 2009

A Year Later

A year ago, I laughed at people who worked out in hotel gyms...I mean, really you're on vacation. A year ago, I was winded if we did anything physical including running after my own kids. A year ago, I was uncomfortable in my own skin. (and I still am most of the time) A year ago I worried about the physical activities that my husband wanted our family to participate in...could I walk two miles, ride a bike around town, canoe around Lake Tye.

Instead of wondering anymore last year I made a change. I joined the YMCA. This is not the first time in my life that I had joined a gym. I think my record for membership at any gym prior was two months. But this time was different. I had found something more than just a gym. I found a community that made me accept myself for where I was, encouraged me to believe in myself and strive towards new goals.

In the beginning, I thought I was a star if I made it 30 minutes on the elliptical at a level 8. I had arrived or so I thought. Remember my first day at the YMCA. (Who can forget?) Months later I joined the ranks of Boot Camp, Zumba, Strength Conditioning, and other classes that pushed me further, made me laugh, connected me with others on the same health goals, caused me to sweat and make my muscles shake in intensity.

Gradually pounds slipped away and in nine months I wore out a pair of tennis shoes. Was that even possible? Wear out a pair of tennis shoes? Come But I did. I might not be the fastest, strongest or thinnest but every day I was dedicated to changing me.

Currently I'm training for a 5K. Big deal most of you think, but for me it is epic. I don't particularly love to run and my body aches from only a couple will be a huge achievement for a girl that couldn't even run a block last year. You can pray for me on July 4th that all my aches and pains subside on my big race day at the Everett YMCA.

The YMCA has supported me at every level of my health changes. They were there when I completed my first mile. They were there when I cried and didn't think I could go anymore. They were there when I had days when I didn't want to exercise. They were there when I celebrated small victories, and they will be there in the years to come to maintain when I get to my overall goal.

Nearly 50 lbs later I'm still working on it. There are days when I think...why am I doing this? But I look at my family and remember that each pound grants me more opportunities with them. And hasn't been easy every day. But the rewards have been amazing. The ironic part in just one year I've gained so much from the YMCA: friends, a community, a healthier me and a job...all of this from one membership.

Yes, I work for the YMCA now in member services, administration and marketing and couldn't be more thrilled. What a dream to share my YMCA story with others, to pass on the passion I feel for what the YMCA can do in someone's live if they only believe in themselves.

From inside the little blue bungalow,
Katie Jean


Charlee said...

Congratulations Katie! I completely understand what you mean about getting started with running - I did the same thing 6 months after my first baby. I'm with you on the baby steps in getting started and building up to that 5K. I had a July baby, started running in January and gave myself a month to build to a mile, each month build to the next mile until I would be ready for the Klompen Classic at Tulip Time the next May. I'm SO happy for you! It IS a big accomplishment! Since I started (Jan. 2005)I've kept with it and today (yes - I need to leave to meet my carpool!) I'm running the Dam 2 Dam in Des Moines - a 20K.

Keep up the awesome work you're doing!

Charlee (Gililland) Eekhoff

Sam said...

Way to go Kate-o!