Paco's great adventure

Kirk Family YMCA member Paco will tell you that two years ago she was not in a good place.  She was depressed, stressed and 130 pounds heavier. Her neighbor told her about the YMCA, and her therapist agreed that it would be a great place to be.  She came in and took a tour, but still felt a little uneasy.  She didn’t know how any of the equipment worked and didn’t know what physical activity she could handle.  That’s when she met Andrew, a personal trainer in the Wellness Center.  She told him that she wanted to avoid stress in her joints, so he suggested water aerobics.  She tried this form of low-impact exercise, and before she knew it she lost 20 pounds.  Paco’s first step in the pool was the beginning of a journey that led her to learn how to use the equipment in the Wellness Center and then take group exercise classes like cycling, Zumba, Body Pump and more. 

“I’ve been able to take on so many things I thought I’d never be able to do because I had gained so much weight,” said Paco. “The YMCA has been a physical, spiritual and emotional change for me. I’ve met so many good instructors who have kept me coming back through their encouragement.”  Each time Paco wanted to try something different, she would go back to Personal Trainer Andrew to help her take a step in the right direction.  She wanted to learn how to swim, so naturally she signed up for a swim class and can now swim laps.  She was interested in strength training, and tried out our weight room.

“The Y has taught me so much about making and achieving goals.  So many people ask me how I’ve done it, and I tell them that I have Weight Watchers and the Y to thank for this.  I’ve learned how to clear my mind and I’ve learned that I can achieve things.”

In just two years, Paco lost 130 pounds and has made her way through the Y…trying group exercise, water exercise, cardio and strength training.  So, what’s next for Paco?  She’s going to tackle the YMCA’s Salem Sprint Triathlon this June. 

It is said “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Paco has traveled that journey, and the YMCA is proud to be a part of it.  As you make your resolutions, we invite you to come into the Y to see how we can help you take the first step.  Ask our Welcome Desk how you can sign up for a FREE Wellness Orientation or FitLinxx to track your progress.  Come talk with a personal trainer or one of group exercise instructors.  We are here for you as you start your journey.

Happy New Year from all of us at the YMCA of Roanoke Valley.