One Step at a Time text with a photo of Jeff Francis

“Once you get sober you recognize everything that you were doing and it’s like holy cow, my life has become a complete mess so I have to turn things around.”

That statement summarizes a key reason for Barberton resident Jeff Francis to join the Lake Anna YMCA to get back in shape and to build on the AA 12-steps for complete health of his spirit, mind and body. Today, Jeff’s 60 lbs. lighter in weight but larger in his commitment to live his best life for his family. “I’m a family man. I've actually went from being completely on the streets getting my own apartment. a car, I got and custody of my, all three of my kids.”

Jeff’s hard work, his dedication to AA, his belonging to the Y, and his faith in God are steady partners in his progress.

Jeff visits the Y about 4x a week to do a rotational routine in the fitness center. He says that he starts by praying and then running through the 12 AA steps as he moves though the machines and his walk on the track. “It gives me the strength and the power - and it feels good.”

What also feels good to Jeff, is the sauna. As part Native American, Jeff bears witness to the healing power of the sauna that he says allows him to feel calm and healthy. “I really love the sauna,” he said.

Jeff, who is now an AA sponsor, is also finding that he loves his second chance at life.

“I can't even imagine that I went from being completely on the streets and having no place to go to having my life back and doing super good and being able to go into YMCA, meeting all kinds of really nice people and actually helping them to change people's lives.”