YMCA Member Zane Hadzick
Height: 5’ 10”
Weight: 180 lbs
BS in Environmental Science and Policy, University of Maryland
MS in Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan
Looking back at my 18 year old self, I was a skinny, unhealthy, and an unhappy college drop-out. I battled extreme hypoglycemia and my doctor warned me I could become diabetic. I was unhappy with myself and my life, and I decided to start making changes. I focused on my health and fitness, re-enrolled in college, and started discovering my potential. Through dedication and hard work, I graduated with a 4.0 GPA from both my undergrad and graduate school, spoke at my college graduation, published scientific journal articles, won numerous awards, and I am now happily pursuing a career in a field I am passionate about. I applied the same mentality and work ethic that I used for school to my fitness goals and I’m now 60 pounds heavier, healthy, and in the best shape of my life. I achieved my goals with the help and support of many people in my life and continue to be inspired by and learn from a wide array of people. The YMCA provides the community, support, and positive atmosphere that helps people achieve their goals and I would love to share my experience and inspire others to meet their personal and professional aspirations while living a healthy lifestyle.
YMCA programs change lives! Here are some true stories of the Y’s impact.
Penny has been a member of the Salem Y since she was 60, back in 1981! Both her mother and grandmother suffered with severe arthritis, and Penny attributes coming regularly to the Senior Class as her reason for not having the problems they did with arthritis. Not only does she attend the class, she has also volunteered as a substitute instructor for the class. Previously, she taught an Aquacise water exercise class as a volunteer for the Salem YMCA.
She feels like coming to the YMCA has made a huge difference in her quality of life! Recently, Penny, along with 20 of her friends from the Senior Exercise class went out to lunch to celebrate her 91st birthday! We’re looking forward to having her be part of the class for many years to come.
The Buswell family
The Buswell family didn’t know quite what to expect from swimming lessons when their three children, Elijah and twins Sophia and Oliva, started taking YMCA lessons at Walker pool during the summer of 2010. The three started off in the beginning pre-school level of Pike. Now less than two years later all three are swimming laps in the Main pool on the swim team. Elijah started swimming on the team last summer and the girls started this February.
It’s not often that children this young progress through all YMCA swim lesson levels or make it on to the swim team for that matter. Craig and Angelina attribute their kids’ success to being persistent in continuing to take lessons all year long and not missing any sessions. They also attribute much of the success to instructors who “saw the kids as being capable of doing what they asked of them and not just really young kids. They had expectations that they reached their goals.” Also, the kids themselves have put in a lot of work taking lessons four days a week during the summer months. Angelina states, “as home school kids it’s been a great way for them to stay physically fit and a good way to get their P.E. time.
When we asked Angelina what the YMCA meant to their family, she said, “The YMCA has helped my kids learn how to work hard and reach goals. It has been a great place for my kids to make friends and that is so important when you homeschool. It might sound like a cliché, but the YMCA really feels like family to us. We know and love all the staff and I really feel like they know us!”
The YMCA has helped the Buswell family keep their kids swimming through a partial scholarship to aid them with their monthly membership dues. This has helped make it possible for the family to continue participating in a sport they love.
Great job to the Buswell family! We wish you much success on the Sharks Swim Team and in the future.
Meet Dawneka - A busy working mom who joined the Y last July and quickly became a member of the community.
As the mother of a busy 16 month old and an employee at Willamette Valley Grill, Dawneka knows first-hand how hard it is to fit a wellness routine into a busy life. Motivated by the desire to keep up with her son as he grows, Dawneka tried the Y at the suggestion of a friend. Right away, she found the Y to be the supportive place she needed to make changes and keep the momentum going. “The classes hooked me so fast!” she said. “I never thought of myself as athletic or anything, but I just love the classes”. In fact, she loves them so much that she now volunteers to teach a Body Flex class twice each week.
Like many others who have experienced “starts and stops” in the pursuit of wellness before, Dawneka credits the YMCA community for helping her maintain a regular wellness routine. She claims the people, the classes, the instructors and many friends she finds at the Y have expanded her awareness of wellness in many areas besides exercise. “I’m much more aware of what I eat now”, she says.
When asked if she feels she’s making progress toward her goals, Dawneka has many successes to report. “I’m happier, I sleep better, my whole outlook on life is different”, she says. “I’ve lost 40 pounds and I feel so great. I’ll be able to do more with my son as he gets older. I won’t be a mom on the sidelines.”
Time with family is precious and in short supply for many these days. Both parents’ and kids’ schedules can be so crammed with activities and obligations, often little time or energy is left over for just being together and having fun.
This issue of YMCA Connection tells a short story of a father and son who have found a special way to fit some fun time together into their busy daily routine.
Most weekday mornings before school, Jonathan Clark brings his first grade son Benjamin to the Y for 10 to 20 minutes of basketball, racquetball, tossing the football, or any number of other forms of sports play, depending on their mood. It’s an easy morning stop for the pair. The Y is on the way to school, plus stopping at the Y can be a great motivator for getting out the door and off to school on hectic mornings.
When asked how this all began, and what inspired him to get Ben’s day started with exercise and father-son time, Jonathan said: “We started doing this when I opened my law practice in Salem a year or so ago. I used to commute to Portland every morning, but now that I don’t make the drive I have extra time in the mornings”. Jonathan also noted that he saw this as a way to establish a pattern of regular daily exercise in Ben’s life. “He’ll just grow up with this as part of his daily routine”, said Jonathan. “Plus, we start the day by having fun together”.
Jonathan started coming to the YMCA when he was a youngster, and like so many generational members, also spent time with his family here while growing up. The Salem Y is a part of Jonathan’s family history, and now it’s a part of Ben’s too.
Eric Grant Young is a familiar face to many at the Y. A regular exerciser every week-day, Eric is very committed to his workout and has seen great results. Eric first came to the Y almost five years ago looking for a place to help him grow psychologically. While doctors presume it was a brain injury that limited Eric’s physical movements and speech, neurologists have been unable to find any evidence of damage. Undeterred by this mystery, Eric takes charge of his recovery plan. Through social interaction, physical exertion and determination, Eric has seen great improvement in his movement and thinking, and has lost nearly 50 pounds!
Eric’s regular workout includes riding a stationary bike in the Moore room, and social interaction in the lobby afterward. When he’s not visiting with staff or other members, Eric spends his time in the lobby meditating—an exercise that has helped him conquer paranoia.
Not one to quit after these successes, Eric has two goals he would like to achieve: 1) Return to school and earn a Doctorate in Chemistry, and 2) Develop a software concept called “packaging”, which is an advanced program that can re-write itself. A possible application for this software would be in solving complicated scientific problems, such as physics, biology and chemistry problems. This might sound like a stretch for many intellects, but not for Eric. He has a Masters Degree in Physics from Michigan State University.
Members are encouraged to stop and visit with Eric. Your interactions will help him in his daily exercises, and you’ll likely gain something too—a new friend!
I’ve gone to the Y for years, attending the noontime aerobics class since my work place is just a block away. In 2004, I had a re-occurrence of breast cancer, necessitating a mastectomy with a TRAM flap reconstruction, followed by several sessions of chemotherapy. While I had always been active, this was a huge setback. I worked myself back into being able to walk several miles a day to slowly recover from surgery, I was anxious to get back to the Y.
I joined the Y again in July 2005 and it was difficult to realize how my body had changed from surgery. I didn’t think I would ever be able to do anything again and agonized about it often! I kept at it for several weeks and slowly began to increase my activity. I thank God every day for what happened next. Tina Earhart began to teach and share her expertise and training during the noon-time classes. I came to realize that if I wanted to be serious, all the tools were in place. I had gained a lot of weight from the chemo experience and decided in February 2007 to change my eating habits by joining Weight Watchers to go along with the cross-training Tina was providing us. Trying to stay one step ahead of cancer and being 55 years old, I feel so great and am down to a size 6. I’ve never been that size in my life and it’s not about being skinny. I would say for the first time in my life I feel fit and toned. It’s about a whole journey which includes spiritual, emotional and physical well-being. I couldn’t have met my goals without all three of those elements or without the YMCA and the great instructors it has. The road to wellness and being fit is available to anyone wanting to take advantage of it…..I’ve worked hard, I’m proud, I feel great and I’m so blessed with being able to take advantage of the Y’s facilities and instructors.