David Alford of Morris says he was in a downward spiral up until he stepped foot in his hometown YMCA. He had been recovering from multiple surgeries and struggling with his weight. He could barely walk. But the community atmosphere cultivated by YMCA staff and his fellow members lifted him up. Since joining the Y in 2015, he has lost 80 pounds (and counting) and no longer has trouble walking.
“I consider the people who’ve helped me–my doctors, my family and the YMCA staff—as the people who saved my life,” David says.
Early on, David primarily took classes geared toward seniors. The low-impact exercises were a sturdy stepping-stone on his path to a more healthy lifestyle. Until one day, his niece Harmony recommended Sarah’s Boot Camp, a more demanding interval strength training class. David admits that extremely difficult, but he stuck with it. Before long, he found himself signing up for specialty classes such as TRX Suspension Training and Tabata Cycle.
These days, David mainly keeps to a conditioning routine: working with kettlebells, medicine balls and slam balls. But every now and again, he likes to pop in a daily group exercise class, where he finds a sense of community and camaraderie.
“It’s hard for me to picture Morris without the Y,” he says. “Before, there weren’t any places like this. If you wanted to work out, you had to go to a commercial gym or somewhere else. [At other places], there’s just not the same kind of atmosphere [like there is at the Y].”