Enabling Lifelong Healthy Living
John Kerrin began his fitness journey at Melcor YMCA at Crowfoot on January 1, 2017. Determined to take better care of himself and to live a healthier lifestyle, he became a member at the YMCA.
What made you decide to make a change in your lifestyle?
I used to joke that I was two chicken wings away from a heart attack and I needed to do something. That November, a very close friend of mine had a heart attack and died, and he was a bigger guy than I was. It could happen to me. I needed to take care of myself so I thought, alright January 1, I am going back to the Y.
What was your first work out was like?
When I came in to get my membership I was scared, I was terrified. I have never failed at anything and it was a true eye-opener as to what I needed to do.
I talked to a couple of the people at the YMCA and they suggested I start with elliptical training for two minutes at a time, walking and free weights.
My workout became cycling, which became a great release. I got on a bike for a half an hour and I started getting into a routine of cycling 15 clicks a day. I just created a habit for myself and that became part of my warm up.
What are some of the challenges you’ve had to overcome
Overcoming my own fears. When you are a bigger person, there is a stigma of being “the big guy” at the gym. I had to not care about the stigma. I am here because I want to take care of myself, because I wanted to be around for my wife and my daughters.
You’ve already lost over 50 pounds. How does that feel?
It was very encouraging because in the first four months, I probably lost about 30 pounds. I could feel a difference in myself. I felt like a million bucks! When I hit that 50 mark, I quite candidly sobbed like a baby, very emotional for me, because I didn’t think I could do it.
How did YMCA staff and volunteers continue to support you?
They gave me the guidance and tips that helped me get into the routine I have when I come here. YMCA is very community-based. It is a welcoming environment and I don’t think people truly understand that if they have never really experienced it. Whether it be for child care, for senior programs or for the gym, people need to be more aware of that.
How do you feel now about coming to the YMCA?
The YMCA is my sanctuary. It is a place where I can come and I can be myself and I can do my thing for two hours and just nothing else. That is the beauty of the Y ― you can go anywhere in Canada, walk in, show your card and off you go.
What changed for your wife and kids because of your choice?
A happier me. I have a different sense of purpose and different sense of life that I didn’t have before and I owe that to the Y.