Tanya A.

University Y Student Center

Tanya was a supportive wife and identified herself as a caregiver, but when her husband died she faced an identity crisis. “I felt so overwhelmed by the possibilities ahead of me,” said Tanya. Life seemed so chaotic and facing it alone was a tremendous challenge. She sought the Y as a place where she could feel comfortable amidst the loneliness and chaos she was experiencing. “It’s the little things like not wanting to eat dinner alone. So I would get up and come down the hill to the Y.”

Tanya has been a Y member for 25 years. She joined the Tacoma Center downtown when she was in school at University of Puget Sound. She loves that the Y is a gathering place for a healthy “blend of humanity.” The community at the Y, the friendly staff, and positive energy kept her coming back. She felt like there was so much in her life that she couldn't control, but when she came to the Y she could focus on her workout and be in control of her body.

When Tanya’s parents passed away from cancer, she decided to funnel her energy into getting healthy, knowing that those positive choices would pour over into other parts of her life. Her friends and community supported her as she devoted herself to working hard and pursuing her health. Karen, her friend and personal trainer, is a big part of Tanya's journey.

Tanya and Karen have been working together for two years now. They are here at the UY bright and early, pushing each other to get better and to strive after their health. Karen has been a long-time advocate for the Y and her passion for the Y and its values inspire Tanya to want to give back.

Tanya is now in the best shape of her life, feels great about herself, and looks forward to getting married soon! Just as her body has transformed, so has her attitude towards life and the opportunities ahead.