Ryan’s Journey Of Transformation

Ryan Branney began coming into the Y to exercise every morning at 5:15 AM. This dedication allowed him to gradually increase the speed and incline on the treadmill, allowing him to shed 123 pounds in six months. Ryan described his transformation by saying that, “the pounds just dripped off me! I feel 100 times better about myself. I used to be tired and miserable. Now I’m always upbeat and positive!” 

“My overall health has done a 180 and I can’t thank the Green Family YMCA enough! I went from 311 pounds to 188 pounds. My waist shrunk from 44 inches to 33,” continued Ryan. “I couldn’t have done it without the Y’s support and encouragement throughout my journey. I never used a trainer, but they were there every day with a smile on their face, always happy to see me.” 

Ryan no longer looks at exercise as something he has to do. Now he enjoys it and is always looking for new challenges. His wife and kids are really enjoying participating in activities at the Y, too. 

“I’m more confident in everything I do. I have more energy and I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been!” 

Like Ryan Branney, survey respondents from the Akron Area YMCA’s health and wellness programs report the following impact: 

97% experience improved physical health. 
96% experience improved mental health. 
96% experience improved self-esteem.

Going the Distance – In the Pool and Out

As a Green High School swimmer, Laura Lindsay trained at the Green Family YMCA pool.  She became Green’s first State qualifier in swimming, and while training at the Y played a role in making that achievement, she found she had benefited from her work at the Y in many other ways. 

By her senior year, Laura was in the best shape of her life, had developed time management skills and found that she was up to taking on new challenges without hesitation. 

Another benefit of swimming was meeting so many people, making new friends and traveling to different places. “Swimming has not only taken me across the country but it has given me experiences that not everyone would be able to have,” said Laura. 

Laura earned a scholarship to the University of Toledo, where she made numerous accomplishments as a member of the swim team.  Her sophomore year she ranked in the top eight in her conference and her junior year saw a Division I NCAA Swimming Championship where she became the university’s first All-American swimmer. 

By the end of her senior year, Laura was a four-time conference champ, held three records, was a two-time All-American, and ranked ninth in the country. To top it all off, Laura earned her undergraduate degree and qualified for the 2012 Olympic swim team trials!

Laura, now working on her graduate degree in the Gerontology program says, “I still workout recreationally and swim on a regular basis. I have built many friendships along my journey that will be life-long.” 

Her rigorous schedule taught her to look at the positives, “I face challenges head on with a smile. I love meeting new people and being involved in the community.”

Like Laura, survey respondents from the Akron Area YMCA Health & Wellness programs reported the following benefits:

97% experience improved physical health. 
97% enjoy social interaction with others. 
96% experience improved self-esteem.

The Y Is A Big Part Of Our Life

One of the first things the Baldwin family did when they moved to Akron was come to the Y. Rosemarie was advised by her doctor to exercise regularly to control her cholesterol. The family’s budget did not allow for the cost of membership, so the Baldwins were excited to learn about the Y’s Annual Campaign. The financial assistance they received made it possible for their whole family to join.

“I started exercising and my numbers started to go down. That motivated me to healthier activities,” explained Rosemarie. She continued to enjoy working out at the Y and Zumba became her favorite class. “I loved it so much that I became an instructor and now even teach at the Green Family YMCA.”

Rosemarie shared that the Y staff made her feel very welcome as a new employee and member. Her family comes to the Y regularly and can frequently be seen at the pool, taking classes, bringing their youngest to Preschool, or the older kids to the Kids Zone.

In Rosemarie’s words “The YMCA has become a big part of our life. Thank you from the entire Baldwin family!”

Like Rosemarie, survey respondents from the Akron Area YMCA Health and Wellness Programs reported the following benefits:

97% experienced improved physical health.
97% enjoy social interaction with staff and other participants.
96% developed at least one passionate interest

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