The YMCA of Central Florida impacts people all over the community including these four inspirational women leaders.
Think your local Y is just another swim and gym? After reading the touching stories of these four amazing women whose lives were impacted you will see the Y in a much different light.
Y Member since 1988
Valley National Bank – Senior Vice President and Regional Market President, Central and
We joined the Y when my child was three years old mainly for swim lessons. Eventually, more sports followed and the Y became part of our daily routine. We met other parents, developed friendships and stayed healthy as a family. I would say that the first 15 years we were members for selfish reasons. In 2000, I was asked to meet with the Y executive team to learn more about their mission. Although there are many initiatives happening at any one time, the one that stood out was focused on opening a Center near the Parramore – Washington Shores area. This select Y would give children and people of all ages a safe place where they have access to friends and role models. The Y’s passion for building a better community was so contagious, that I didn’t hesitate to get involved. Since then, I have had the opportunity to volunteer on boards and committees to help raise awareness and money. Everyone should have access to the Y and learn to live a healthy lifestyle. Looking back I admit our family joined the Y to learn to swim, we stayed with the Y and learned how to give back.
Y Member since 1998
Massey Services, Inc – President and CEO of Harvey & Carol Massey Foundation
I had been a “casual” member of the Y for many years before I really learned to appreciate the people and their mission to help our community. Seven years ago I blew out my ACL on a skiing trip. After extensive physical therapy, it was time to continue building strength on my own. Although tentative, I decided to start in the weight room. I was initially intimidated by this area with all the equipment. However, the Y members working out there took the time to talk and help me through my continued recovery, eventually developing relationships and even sharing recipes. As my confidence increased I started going to body pump and spin classes. I met some amazing women, all personality types and in different stages of life, but we bonded, they are my sisters, my world. I started feeling good and losing weight – about 65 pounds. Soon my husband and kids were racing 5k’s with me and I have worked my way up to multiple Half Marathons and Triathlons a year. In 2011, I joined the Y Board to give back to a place that has given me and my family so much. Everyone should be able to get into a Y. The Y is my home away from home. It is not a gym, it’s family, friendships and healthy living. If you would have told me eight years ago that I would have accomplished so much, I would not have believed it.
Y Member since 2000
VS Media Group – Principal
When on the road of life there are times when you see a car coming straight at you, you either stay on course or switch lanes. After beating breast cancer at age 37 and not wanting to ever have “regrets” I decided to switch lanes and leave a job that I had been doing for over 15 years – but no longer enjoyed. With my husband’s support I left my position and never looked back. I will admit that at first it was tough adjusting to this new lifestyle. My job defined me to some extent and leaving felt like a bad break-up. While the kids were in school I decided to focus on my health and started riding my bike to the Y. Then a friend told me about a new “Divas Tri Club” that was starting – where a group of women met at the Y a few times a week in the morning with Coach Torres and learned how to swim, bike and run. Yes, it was outside my comfort zone – but during this time I met some of the most amazing women, learned I was tougher than I thought and soon got my husband motivated to start training and racing together-eventually finishing Ironman Louisville in 2015. With everything the Y gave me, it was time for me to give back. Now I volunteer and spread the word on all the good this organization does for its community – scholarships, free swim safety, healthy eating programs and so much more. Honestly, the Y changed my life, it’s not just a gym it’s a place where after I work out and leave I know I am better than when I walked in – no regrets here.
Y Member since 2006
Ready, Set, Renovate TV Host and WKMG-Channel 6 – Former meteorologist
I met my husband in Miami when I worked at a local network. Ready to move to the next level I moved to Orlando in 2007 to begin my new journey at WKMG-Channel 6 as a meteorologist. To ensure my on-air “look” and stay healthy I joined the Y – as that is where my husband was a member. Soon I became pregnant and had a beautiful baby boy. Sadly, my husband passed away suddenly leaving me in a new city, no family, no friends, new job and new baby. To get a little time to myself and stay healthy, I returned to the Y. Being able to go to a place where I could leave my baby boy, know he was safe and not feel guilty that I could take a moment to myself kept me sane. Eventually, the pressure of working TV hours was too much. I began buying rental properties to gain some financial security. To get the homes ready, I started fixing them up and realized that I loved it and wondered how I could turn this hobby into a career. Once my passion was realized by starting my own TV project called Ready, Set, Renovate I was able to give back. I dedicating an episode to people helping children in the community featuring the Oviedo YMCA’s new child development center-one of my favorite projects. This 30-minute
segment will air at noon on Saturday, May 20 on WKMG-Channel 6. I’ve renewed my life and the Y helped me get back on track.