Rye Y Story Project: Diane N.

Diane-NI came to the Y eight years ago as a part time exercise instructor, my third or fourth career. I have been an Assistant VP of Human Resources and a college Admissions Director. I am also a YMCA coordinator at the Wainwright Yoga Center, a YMCA floor trainer at the Osborn, yoga teacher, and a personal trainer.

My life was changed four years ago when I got out of bed and my legs wouldn’t hold me. I was terrified. I was hospitalized for a week and underwent dozens of tests, including MRIs and a spinal tap. I never got a concrete diagnosis but was told I had neurological issues due to spinal cord injuries. I was totally dependent on my husband and was home for a month. The pain was terrible. I pictured myself as an invalid forever, being carried around. That got me out of bed. Yoga helped me move my spine and over time I learned the amount and type of movement most beneficial for me. Gradually I began to heal. Watching the trainers and instructors at the Y was very helpful.

I still have nerve damage and some limitations. I thought I would never walk again. I feel I have a bond with others who can’t take their health for granted. Once your health is in jeopardy, you really have to work at it. Coaching the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA participants is inspiring for me. At the Y you can see people working day by day to get healthy. Being sick isn’t a life sentence. I have the opportunity to get to know a variety of people here – whether it is a tri-athlete or someone whose health is compromised. It’s not competitive here. No judgment.