Impact Story August 2018

Generations of Love: Making Healthy Habits a Family Tradition


“Fall down seven times and get up eight,” that’s what Massillon Family YMCA member, Chelsey Church, lives by. Herself and her daughters, Caelyn and Aanna, have been attending the Y for seven years on an almost daily basis, but Chelsey has been involved in the Y since childhood for as long as she can remember, with her dad and aunt having gone to the Y devotedly each day. So when it came to starting a family, it was a no-brainer that she would involve her children too. Having grown up obese, Chelsey’s personal goal is to never be the person she used to be and to keep healthy, active, and motivated so that she doesn’t have to put back on the weight she worked hard to lose. In turn, she wants her children to embrace the same lifestyle changes that she has made, so that they may never experience for themselves the life she used to live.

She says, “Just keep going. The start is hard, but the finish is worth it.”

The family has stayed active and motivated in the Y community by getting involved in several different programs such as soccer, softball, gymnastics, swimming, and almost all of the different children’s events. The YMCA gives the kids a chance to enjoy the activities that are too expensive outside of the organization, such as school sports or the gymnastics and dance centers. Chelsey accredits the Y for being the primary reason that both of her children are able to swim and she is grateful that the Y has helped to make such beneficial changes in wellbeing to their lives. She says now they can, “do anything, go anywhere,” because her girls stay healthy, active, and most importantly, optimistic.

One of her main sources of motivation that keeps her pushing through to reach her goals is the positive people at the YMCA who encourage her along the way. Whether that be employees, fellow members, or friends, there is always someone who is there to spread the positive energy and Chelsey is ecstatic that such energy can be shared with her kids. The one thing she hopes her children take away from their experiences at the Y is the kindness that they have been shown and she wants them to want to put back into the community what they, themselves, have gotten out of it. She hopes that we, as the Y community, could gain from her story, not only inspiration, but more importantly, smiles.

And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you.

Matthew 6:30


By Emma Stefanick


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