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Y Life: Chapter One

I'm starting out the Y Life Challlenge at the West Bay Y.

I’m trying something a bit new this year, thanks to the folks at the West Bay Family YMCA. A few weeks ago, I was approached by Jackie Emrich, health and wellness director at the Y, who asked if I would be interested in participating in the Y Life Challenge.

For those unfamiliar with the program, it’s a 12-week challenge where you meet with Y trainers twice a week with your own “team.” Within your group, you motivate your team members, learn healthier lifestyle choices from your coaches and work on a better you.

I could tell you that I’m doing this because I believe in the Y Life mantra. That I’m doing this because Jackie really sold me on the program. That I’m a huge proponent of helping my hometown improve health and wellness. That I want to help foster teamwork. That I want to show off all the awesome stuff our local YMCA is doing to help improve the lives of North Kingstown residents.

But, that’s not why I’m doing Y Life. (It's part of it, but not the whole story.)

January 2013 was not a very good month for this editor. Though I won’t go into details, I’m sure many can relate. It was simply just one of those times where you really learn the meaning of “when it rains, it pours.” We’ve all been through those sort of months before, but what sets us apart is whether you let it defeat you or if you use it to your advantage.

January was filled with circumstances and situations that, though cruddy, were out of my hands. Rather than focus on the fact that I felt helpless about what was happening around me, I decided to do the opposite and focus on what I could change. What I could control.

And that was when Y Life fell into my lap. It was an absolute “duh” moment for me that the greatest thing I could focus on that was totally within my control was, well, myself.

I’ve tried different lifestyle changes in the past, but usually failed. Why? I just didn’t have the conviction or the support to consciously make a big change. Now, I have a structured program, great trainers and a team that’s fully behind me.

This time I’m ready to make a change and work on me. (For real this time!) I’m not looking back at January, or rethinking of all the times I’ve failed at making lifestyle choices in my life. That’s not going to get me anywhere.

After all, you can’t write the next chapter in your life if you keep re-reading the last.

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