Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror and just think long and hard about how you could change? I know it might not be the case for some people, but we have all at some point looked at ourselves and wondered just what could we could do to better yourself.

If not, then I’d have to say you are one of the few… because that’s exactly how where I was.

My journey started about two and a half years ago. It was just a regular July night… I was out with my family by the bonfire, which wasn’t uncommon at that time of year, and I was honestly having girl problems. I always thought girls didn’t like me because I wasn’t the typical male figure. You know like broad, muscular, etc. I was actually the complete opposite… I was a whopping 120 lbs, 5’ 10”,  age 15,  going on 16. I know I was still young, but knew if I didn’t do something, then nothing about me was going to change. I wasn’t anorexic, even though some people thought I was. I ate like a bird, was insanely picky and ate very seldomly. I had and still have an insanely high metabolism rate. So which ever path I took to make my life change, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. So, I looked to my older brother Brent, for guidance. He gave me more than enough information about working out, and everything you can think of,  even all the way down to nutrition. There was just so much to learn and it was honestly terrifying to me.

My brother helped me out a lot and taught me the majority of what I know, but he wasn’t always around. At 30 years old, he had his own life to live….oh and he also lives in Columbus. So I started doing workouts by myself at home,  trying  to add a little bit of muscle mass. But after a couple weeks, I gave up because I didn’t see any improvement. I was very uneducated when it came to health and fitness at the time and was basically just throwing around dumbbells. When my brother found out about me quitting, I got reamed out. Telling me… well the truth.

The hard truth that I didn’t want to hear but needed to. So I got back into lifting again, but this time Brent was asking me daily about it…like,. “How was your workout today?” “What did you workout?” “What did you eat?” It was honestly kind of annoying, but it did me good, I started gaining weight!

After about a month or two I realized hmm… if I  want to keep going with this, I’m going to need some more equipment. So that’s when I first looked towards the Putnam County YMCA. Not knowing how much of an impact it was going to have on my life!

When I first walked through the doors of the PCY, I was very self conscious, I was scared of people judging me, but nothing like that ever happened. The Y has the most amazing atmosphere, it’s literally is like one big family. Everybody cares for everybody….this is not the usual gym setting, It was like 9,000 times better!! This YMCA is so welcoming it makes you want to come back, I still to this day look forward to going to the Y to workout.

 I have been taught a lot by my brother, but like I said he wasn’t always there. So with the YMCA it was great because I could go to him and we could use different YMCA’s  closer to him. And that’s when I really started learning a lot from him, because I was able to workout with him personally. Even when I wasn’t with my brother I was still learning… just trying new things by myself. Something else That’s amazing about the Putnam County Y  is their personal trainers. The trainer I’ve known the longest is Tony Morman. He has helped me out so much in the weight room with so many things. I can’t even explain what he has all helped me with without this story being 100 pages long and I cannot  thank him enough. Also Chance and Jenna are so knowledgeable, and  have also been there for me, and of course there were my friends long before they were trainers.

 So many of my closest friends today,  I met through the Putnam County YMCA,  not to mention my girlfriend :)…. but that’s a story for a different day.

All my friends have contributed to were I am today, and I know for a fact I wouldn’t be where I am today without them and the Y.

Today I am 6’2”, 190 lbs, and living my healthy life with only 13% body fat (but that’s just because I’m bulking up).

I now am also a building supervisor at the Y and have all the self confidence that any High School Kid could have.