“I got off my bike and felt very fatigued. After sitting down, paralysis began to kick in. I ended up spending four months at St. Joseph’s hospital and they actually declared me paralyzed at one point. They ultimately never found out what happened but I ended up getting about 40% of the nerve response back. I now wear two orthotic braces to assist with walking.

I joined the Desert Foothills Family Y in October 2009. I needed a place to do the workouts my physical therapists instructed me to do outside of our sessions. Having grown up in Cave Creek, the location of the new Y was a perfect fit for me.

My goal was to get more passionate about fitness and my physical health but my obvious needs were to strengthen my legs. Over the years I have slowly but surely grown stronger in many aspects like my legs, my cardio and so much more. My goals are always changing and my injury is never fully gone so I deal with challenges in the form of new goals and my ever-changing body. I have dealt with those challenges by simply putting one foot in front of the other and taking it a day at a time.

For me, well-being is living a life that challenges me but also respects my body. It is having strong mental and physical health. The Y has been the destination for me to challenge myself throughout the past ten years in continually changing ways, all contributing to a stronger me both mentally and physically.

I have accomplished many physical goals over the past ten years, but the most significant accomplishment would have to be the friendships and relationships I have built with some of the community members at the Y. To me, community is one of the strongest aspects about the Y. I have developed countless friends, memories and relationships by speaking and interacting with people at the Y. I could not imagine my community without the Y.”

Alex is a big part of the Y family and attends regularly. He currently serves on the Healthy Living Committee as a volunteer and will be joining the Desert Foothills YMCA advisory board fall of 2019.