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Ryan was tired of his regular, busy life which he felt was missing passion and zest so he decided to embark on a year of 'new'; New activities, new confidence, new everything. He is now living a life where an adventure is waiting at every turn... Filled with passion and purpose. He has leapt out of his comfort zone and has vowed to never go back.

The whole of last year Ryan was feeling a lack of enthusiasm.

“It wasn't that my life was bad,” Ryan explains. “I just wasn’t feeling fulfilled. I was living an automatic life that was uninteresting and I wanted to be inspired; to feel like I was actually 'living' rather than simply existing.”

So Ryan chose to start a blog called Scale My Life and do exactly that — put his life in perspective, and fill his next twelve months with SMART goals that will keep him grounded and teach him a thing or two. Each month Ryan takes on a new journey and challenges himself to accomplish one of twelve goals he set out for himself back in December.

“My challenges have consisted of cooking something new every day for a month, living on $250 for a month and most recently, to learn to swim 2000 metres in one day — which I am happy to say I accomplished last Thursday!”

Ryan had been training for his swim at H2O Adventure + Fitness Centre with the help of YMCA of Okanagan staff and the Kelowna Tri Club team. He has found it one of the most challenging goals both physically and mentally, yet it has also been one of the most rewarding.

Ryan had never been much of a swimmer.

“I was always the kid in the hot tub rather than the one splashing in the pool,” he explains. “Before I started my swim challenge I would rarely choose to go on a friends’ boat and didn't feel comfortable near the water unless I had a life preserver or was ten feet away from a dock.”

Ryan was almost sure he was going to drown in his pursuit to learn to swim but he chose to do it anyway; to take a step forward and finally stop his general avoidance of water from affecting his life plans and goals.

Because of this decision Ryan has learned that anything is possible. He started at 25 metres, then 50 then 100, then 500 and just last week swam the 2000 metres in one go at the Gyro Loop with friends and supporters by his side.

Ryan still admits that he doesn't always feel 100 per cent comfortable in water but he feels his swim challenge has opened up opportunities for him to pursue other challenges — such as a triathlon — which he has always wanted to do. Though many of his friends participate in triathlons, Ryan’s lack of comfort in the water has always held him back from participating.

Ryan is enrolled in the Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim coming up on July 16 and is now working to perfect his swim technique in an attempt to make the day enjoyable rather than a “grueling battle”.

Ryan's story is one of determination and personal growth. It demonstrates what we can all achieve if we make smart goals for ourselves and stick to them. Everyone's life plans, aspirations and interests are different but the application is the same.

Choose a goal or two or ten and write them down. If those goals are health related, don't hesitate to reach out to a YMCA expert for help. We are happy to provide advice and hold you accountable to your own personal challenges.

To follow Ryan's swim journey and his other challenges visit

And for more details on learning to swim at the YMCA visit or drop into the Kelowna Family Y or H2O Adventure + Fitness Centre.

It's never too late to learn something new!