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Invigoration starts here: Harley's journey to health

“A year ago, my fitness regime consisted of fighting the jets in the hot tub. Now, at 69 years old, I participate in TRX and yoga classes three times a week. Thanks to the YMCA, I have been able to drastically improve my balance, stabilize my weight, and increase my energy levels.

“I originally joined the Kelowna Family YMCA with my wife, Dale, who—unlike me—is very active. After attending my first group fitness class at the Y last year, I was horrified with how badly my balance had deteriorated with age. The Stretch and Roll class really opened my eyes and motivated me to stick with a fitness routine. Now I can pull up my socks standing on one foot!

“Although I have physically come a long way with group fitness classes, there are still some ‘beyond my capability level’ that I am working towards. All the YMCA, instructors are extremely welcoming and they encourage me to approach classes with a realistic and understanding attitude of what I can accomplish.

“I’m not out to become a superstar athlete; I just want to be healthy and fit. Dementia runs in my family, and I have seen firsthand the effects this can have on loved ones. Exercise is very important in helping to combat the disorder. The YMCA Seniors Health Assessments also provide me with a measuring tool to monitor any changes in my health while maintaining a record of my performance. I intend to improve my scores every time.

“The YMCA has given me the support I need to build a healthier version of myself. The impact that a regular fitness program has had on my life is substantial; I no longer huff and puff walking to the mailbox and it doesn’t take as much energy to get out of a chair. I really don’t feel my age.”

Although Harley does not rely on financial assistance for his membership, many do. The YMCA believes that success stories like Harley's should be possible for everyone, regardless of income. Thanks to our generous donors, we were able to provide 3,240 people with a financially assisted Y membership in 2016, giving each one the opportunity to work towards a healthier lifestyle, stronger self and brighter future.