“In my working career I have been replaced by a computer twice,” Pete Martin reflects, “but I know I won’t be replaced by a computer here at the Y!”
You don’t have to look very hard to see the impact the Y is able to make in an individual’s life, and in return those individuals have a much bigger impact on our community. Take Pete for example. He’s a familiar face around the Wellmark Y, and if you get the chance to meet him, you’ll discover he is a remarkably genuine, humble and inspiring person.
Pete works at the Welcome Center and has been a YMCA of Greater Des Moines staff team member for 21 years. He’s quick to share how much he loves working for the YMCA. “I like to help people,” he says, “instead of always being the one who needs help.”
“I like to help people instead of always being the one who needs help.”
Pete has cerebral palsy which has led to several challenges, including mobility — but he is very determined to reach his health goals. Pete and personal trainer Scotty Avitt meet for their hour-long sessions four times a week and go through a series of exercises like push-ups, heel raises, walking the track and using dumbbells.
Pete’s goal is to no longer need the assistance of his wheelchair, which he currently uses to get around and go long distances. “When I started at the Y, I was walking with crutches,” Pete explains. “When I retire, I want to be walking with crutches.”
Since starting this journey in April of last year, he’s already made great progress. Scotty will tell you one of the biggest changes — and probably the most important — is Pete’s increase in confidence and motivation. “You can see it in his eyes,” Scotty says. “He’s more determined.” Pete has also lost nine inches around his waist and is able to do his exercises with more repetitions and ease.
“When I retire, I want to be walking with crutches.”
“I look forward to the NuStep stationary bike,” Pete says. “I like competing against myself to do more and do better than the day before. At the Y, if you have a bad day you can always come do better the next day.”
And what are Scotty’s goals? “To keep Pete motivated and stay on track. Within the last year he has easily doubled to tripled his ability to do the exercises.” If there's one thing we could all learn from him, Pete says it would be to "focus on what we can do, and not what we can’t do!"
Need a dose of inspiration, words of wisdom or a few humorous thoughts about life? Pete’s your guy.
"Focus on what we can do, and not what we can’t do!"