"Before the Y, I was always the fat kid. Gym class was a nightmare. I would come up with the wildest excuse to get out of any class, but especially during the Presidential Physical Fitness Test. I went from being a fat kid to a fat adult, steadily gaining weight until I topped out over three hundred pounds after I graduated from law school.
When I joined the Y I was too scared and too self-conscious to take a class. I started slow, using a recumbent bike and the elliptical. Eventually I sucked it up and signed up for a bootcamp session at the Riverfront. That changed everything. They turned the kid who hated to run into a runner, and I actually enjoyed it.
More than pushing the physical barriers, the communal support at the Y help me push through the mental barriers. Now I feel empowered to try new things that I never thought possible. I've run Dam to Dam and several half marathons. Last year, I signed up for the HyVee Triathlon even though I hadn't jumped into a pool in a decade. The tri was such a great experience that we are now training for a half Ironman in July.
Now I do about every class at the Y, except Zumba. I may be in better shape but I still have no rhythm.
And along the way, I dropped 140 pounds and have managed to keep it off for two years.
Sometimes I forget how much life has changed in the last four years. I don't want to go back to the 25 year old that got winded walking into school. But with everything I've learned, I don't think I will."
—Meghan Gavin, Riverfront Y Member
Meghan's story is both inspiring and unique, but you can help make the opportunities she had at the Y accessible to all, regardless of ability to pay. Click here to see how you can help!