Ronnie’s Road to Recovery

Many stories from the Y are about people making an effort to lose weight and maintain their weight loss through a healthy lifestyle. When Ronald Clay came to the Kohl Family YMCA at University Park, he had lost 122 pounds, but not by choice, and he definitely wasn’t feeling healthy.

“It had been a year for me in the hospital with a sudden sickness. I had no strength, and I was feeling depressed.” Ronnie’s wife convinced him to join a Silver Sneakers® class specifically designed for older adults.

Mary, his instructor, told him to give her just two months and she would get his strength and stamina back. After only one month, Ronnie was leaving his cane at home, had more energy, felt stronger and was motivated to take more classes, like line dancing and yoga.

Yet the benefits he discovered go beyond the physical. “The classes are wonderful, but the real enjoyment comes from the positive motivation you get from the others in the class. It’s a family.”

The Y team recognizes the importance of connecting with members and guests. “They call if they have not seen you for a couple of days to make sure everything is okay.”
“My whole experience at the Kohl Family YMCA at University Park has been nothing less than AWESOME. I look forward to going every day, seeing the people and working on my road to recovery.” 

Like Ronald, survey respondents from the Akron Area YMCA healthy living programs reported the following benefits:

97% experience improved physical health.
97% enjoy social interaction with staff and other participants.
97% reported their spirit, mind and body have been positively impacted.

Overcoming Obesity

Tired of feeling like an outcast, Romona Robinson began her quest to overcome obesity in April 2011. At 395 pounds, she couldn’t take 10 steps without gasping for air. She had high blood pressure and was border line diabetic.

Romona started her YMCA journey with a 12 week wellness program designed specifically for her at the University Park Y. She raves about her Wellness Coach, Joel and her Silver Sneakers coordinator, Mary. They both keep her encouraged and motivated to continue striving toward her ultimate goal of weighing 130lbs and wearing a size 10.

Nine months into her personalized exercise and nutrition plan and regular interaction with her supportive Y family, Romona has lost 65 pounds and her blood pressure is in the normal range.

The friends she has made at the Y have played an integral role in helping her regain her confidence. Regular exercise, good nutrition and social interactions at the Y have helped her to think more clearly and feel better about herself. As a result, she is embarking on a business venture and is very optimistic about her future.

Romona has developed a passion for providing hope to those suffering from obesity and the associated risk factors. She feels good about herself and what she has accomplished. By sharing her story, she hopes to help others overcome obesity too!

Like Romona, survey respondents from the Akron Area YMCA’s healthy living programs reported the following benefits:

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

Laila Blossoms

“I was kind of scared at Summer Basketball Camp when I started. I was the only girl and was afraid the boys would make fun of me,” said Laila Thompson. “But everyone was really nice and I had lots of fun. I loved all the kids and coaches.”

Laila’s mom is so happy that her daughter overcame her fears and made new friends. She credits this accomplishment to the encouragement and support Laila received from the coaches, parents and kids at the Kohl Family YMCA at University Park.

“By the end of the basketball camp Laila was able to make a shot. It was something she was afraid she’d never do,” said Laila’s mother while Laila smiled at her with pride. “She felt so special when Coach D presented her with a medal for being the only girl to complete the program.”

“I had so much fun! I feel good about me — I’m really strong and healthy,” Laila said smiling and flexing her muscles. “Grandpa and I watch basketball together now. Spending time with him makes me feel good too!”

Like Laila, survey participants from our youth camp programs, report the following impact:

95% are making and keeping friends.
91% are learning they can do things they didn’t think they could.
97% feel good about themselves.

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