My Y Story

We hear amazing stories every day about how people’s lives have been changed at the Y. We want to be able to share those powerful stories. Every day, our members and program participants inspire us with the remarkable things they are doing to grow stronger in spirit, mind and body. Hear from those whose lives have been impacted by the Y and catch a glimpse of the hope, strength and determination of our community!

Meet Jack R. — Finding Freedom in the Water

Jack is an avid swimmer and a loyal member of the YMCA. One of his first Y experiences dates back to his childhood, when he learned to swim at a YMCA in Ohio. Fifty years ago, Jack was in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down and ever since then he has used a wheelchair for mobility. Swimming is an activity that keeps Jack healthy and allows him the freedom to be without his wheelchair. He is thankful that the Y offers adaptive aquatic equipment and has a lift for each pool (and a spare) to assist members with disabilities.

Thriving for over 50 years as a paraplegic, Jack is a swim enthusiast who has participated in open water endurance swims and competed in the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) Triathlon in La Jolla. In 2006, Jack was inducted into the San Diego Hall of Champions marathon swimmers exhibit and continues to inspire our community with his positive attitude. Jack is a multi-generational Y member and his biggest inspirations are his wife Elaine and their two children, Riley and Brooke. His philosophy of life is to assist others, embrace the gifts and opportunities we are given and accomplish the most we possibly can with them.

As a devoted swimmer and lover of exercise, the pandemic closure period was difficult for Jack. Since returning to the Y, he has jumped right back into his routine and has missed very few days at the pool. For Jack, the YMCA has been a “lifesaver” and he is thrilled to get back in the water and return to daily exercise!

Share Your Story, Inspire Others

What's YOUR Y story? Share it with us! Email us at [email protected] to share your Y Story.