Rye Y Story Project: David G.

David-GI’ve had a tough time with weight issues for a good part of my life. I started putting on weight in high school and as a result, gym class became my least favorite class.

After high school, I went to college for a while and then worked at IBM. Then things went downhill for me and I fell into a depression. I felt like things were falling apart around me. My Mom got breast cancer, my Dad had a heart attack and both my grandparents died. Around that time, I was also diagnosed with high blood pressure. I had been living with my grandparents and had to move. I finally decided I needed to pick myself back up and get in shape.

The thought of joining a gym was intimidating. My uncle works for the Rochester YMCA and suggested that the Rye Y would be a good place to join – for my mother and father too. My mother started the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program and then my Dad started exercising here. The Rye Y’s financial aid program made it possible for me to join. I had been out of work for a long time and needed some help to get started.

I joined last September. I started with the Group Active class which was perfect because it is a good balance of everything – cardio and weights. Then I started with the Fitness Center. Laura and the other staff helped me get started, not just with how to use the equipment, but how to eat as well. I’ve lost about 35 pounds and gained muscle. I’ve been very focused about getting healthy. To my surprise, I was inspiring others to continue working towards their goals. A few months ago, Barbara and Diana approached me about working at the Y. So now I work at the Membership Services Desk and the Fitness Center.

I feel wonderful now. It is like night and day. I was pretty miserable for a long time. I’ve learned to never give up on myself. I enjoy the time I’m here and my new friends so much. My confidence is boosted – I’m making headway with my music and voiceover career. The Y brought out my real self.