"Financial Assistance is amazing. It makes membership affordable and Lori is one of the nicest people in the world- it's not a hard process." Carlos was uneasy at first about feeling out of place, but soon found that the people who work at the Y and even other members were happy to help him.
Carlos was first involved with the Y when his kids, now 15 and 17, were involved with Y youth basketball. Despite using a wheelchair, he coached their teams for 3 years and really enjoyed getting to spend time with them in a team environment. As a recipient of financial assistance, Carlos just started working out at the Y last year. Carlos says, "Financial Assistance is amazing. It makes membership affordable and Lori (our Financial Assistance Coordinator) is one of the nicest people in the world- it's not a hard process." He was uneasy at first about feeling out of place, but soon found that the people who work at the Y and even other members were happy to help him. Carlos likes to do laps on the Y's track in his manual wheelchair 3 or 4 times a week. When he first started, it took him 3 minutes and 36 seconds to get around the track, but his competitive nature led him to push himself to eventually getting around in 2 minutes and 29 seconds. For him, working out relieves negative energy and stress and really benefits him mentally. Doing something active also enables him to connect with something that he did before his accident. In addition, while at the Y, he's able to meet people and interact socially. He is happy to be able to bring his son with him so that he can be active and in a safe place . Carlos is excited to hear about some new equipment that's wheelchair accessible, coming in soon through a grant the Y received. Carlos says, "It's important to me to see that the Y is looking for ways of doing things to be more inclusive. Out in the world, that's not always the case for those with disabilities. "
They have gained life long friendships through Y gymnastics. With that they have also gained life long lessons- it's always better to work together, and without hard work you will not accomplish the goals you set out to achieve.
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