Soraya E.

Tom Taylor Family YMCA

Soraya always considered herself to be athletic. She was an avid cyclist and hiker before an accident severely injured her ankle. After surgery, which left her with 12 screws and a metal plate in her ankle, she was bedridden for three months. She lost all of the cartilage in her joint and was told that she couldn’t do any high impact activities, like running or jumping.

“It’s been a hard journey,” Soraya says. “I was in so much pain.”

After two difficult pregnancies, Soraya gained a lot of weight and felt depressed. She decided it was time to get back in shape, but ended up canceling her membership when she didn’t see results. Doctors warned her that she might need another surgery to fuse her ankle and permanently lose range of motion and her physical therapist encouraged her to try working out again.

X-ray image of an ankle with screws and plates.So, she came back to the Y to sign up for a membership and try again. Despite the constant pain, she knew that even a small improvement in her health would make a huge difference. A friend recommended that she try some of the group exercise classes at the Y and invited her to try H.I.I.T. and BodyShred.

“I was scared,” Soraya remembers when she walked into her first class and discovered that none of her friends were there. “But I told myself, ‘No one’s going to do it for you, Soraya.’”

Despite needing to hold on to a spin bike for balance while doing a lunge and needing modifications for most of the exercises, she stuck with it. After five months of consistently going to class, she’s lost five pounds and felt her self-confidence improve.

“I keep going because it’s my personal journey,” she says. “It’s my fight. I’m fighting for my life, my health, my fitness. It’s going to be a long process, but I’ll be in great shape in five years. That’s my goal.”

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