Since my desire to lose weight and subsequently run a marathon I have been told that, “You are biting off more than you can chew”. Well, I guess if that’s the case then I’ll choke, I would think to myself. Sometimes I would ask if they would be there to give me the Heimlich. Typically, however, if I did ask that question I didn’t get a verbal response; just an odd look. I lost my 98lbs in a short time over 1 year and I ran the 1st Kalamazoo Marathon in 4:09: and some seconds. I guess I have a large enough mouth and throat that choking isn’t something that happens to me, thankfully! It isn’t to say that I don’t have my own concerns about where and why and how and if but I KNOW that those thoughts won’t get me to where I want to go so I just keep on keeping on.
For some of you this blog post my be your first experience with Your Turn so I am going to give you a little history lesson of US.
Your Turn began like everything does, by a though. Since finishing the marathon I knew I wanted to do SOMETHING I just didn’t know what that something was. I wanted to contribute something, but what? Who was I; a mother of 5, a newly fit and trim woman, wife of an engineer…..but who was I? The question seemed to consume me, I wanted to do something that was me, MEL.
Months went by before I realized that I wanted to help other women by supporting them in achieving their health and wellness goals. As soon as I had the thought in my head I immediately called Ken, the athletic director of the YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo. He set up a meeting with me and a path had begun. That evening I had the conversation with him and Lexie Timpson, a registered dietician who also works at the Y, I KNEW this was it. Somehow this was what I, MEL, was meant to do. That very night I gave a talk about my weight loss and marathon goal achievement to a group called Let’s Lose. The feeling that the track I was on was right on the money was stronger than ever!
The next morning I met up with my friend, and now business partner, Dawn Marciniak, and told her about what had just happened. She loved the idea and was ALL IN!
The tale unfolds like most; bumps and bruises but success and determination pushed us through. We began talking to everyone and anyone who would listen to our idea and thankfully we received help and intelligent questioning along the way.
The Goal of YOUR TURN:
Your Turn is here to inspire YOU to become the healthiest you possible. Our mission is simple; to build a woman’s self-confidence by providing the tools and support needed to accomplish a wellness goal she thought was beyond her realm of achievement. By supporting the development of self-confidence we are creating healthy behaviors that become a positive influence for the woman, family and the community that surrounds her.
Here is what we, Your Turn, do: Your Turn organizes and facilitates weekly support gatherings within the community. The purpose of the gatherings is to connect women with one another, assist in establishment of goals and remove barriers (real or perceived). Your Turn engages and supports women in recovery from drugs and/or alcohol including collaborative activities with Kalamazoo County Drug Court and YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo. Women are engaged, mentored and supported to include exercise and healthy lifestyles to support their recovery from substance abuse. Your Turn organizes and provides support for ongoing fitness activities including walking groups, couch to 5k programs, and nutrition to 5K programs.
We ARE accomplishing our goal one woman at a time. We have women involved that within one or two gatherings stated their goals and in doing so realize that these goals are NOT unattainable. Once connections begin to take place conversations go from an idea to do something for themselves to running marathons, becoming gluten-free and trying new activities like Zumba and Yoga.
We have no barriers or limitations; if you are a woman then you can be in. Have a goal, state it. Aren’t sure, listen long enough to other women and you will want one. Let’s do this TOGETHER ladies! Be inspired by others and become an inspiration to them.
Your Turn Inspirator