I originally joined the Y because I was overweight. At the time, I was helping to take my friend to doctor appointments at UCLA But, because of my weight, I had a difficult time walking from the car to the doctor’s office. I started taking the water aerobics classes. When I was 65, I began swim lessons here. It took me 5 years of lessons to learn to swim, but I never gave up. The day that my instructor told me I did it (I was officially a swimmer!), was one of the best days of my life. I remember waking up the next morning, and throwing my hands up and saying, “I did it!! And I can do ANYTHING!”. Now I’m doing a “triathlon” thing; I do the elliptical, cycle, and swim (24 laps!!) 6 days a week. I’ve lost 60 pounds, and I’ve never felt better in my life. This hasn’t just been a physical transformation for me, but an emotional one too. For the first time in my entire life, I feel like I live each day with a complete sense of peace and fulfillment. I have confidence in myself, and truly believe that I can do anything. I’m still taking my friend to her doctor appointments, except now I practically run from the car to the doctor’s office! I’ve been told that I’ve inspired other ladies like me to work out and get in the pool to swim. I never knew that I would be able to inspire others this way. What a blessing!

- Francis
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