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 Soren and Rindi – A Story of Overcoming Fear and Gaining Confidence

Soren Martin has spastic cerebral palsy, which affects how his brain connects to the affected part of his body. It also means that his muscles are a bit tighter and involuntarily spasm at times. He has always liked being in the water, but he was not a confident swimmer, until he started taking swim lessons every Friday evening at the Y.

Soren and his mother, Rindi, joined the Rancho Family YMCA through the Challenged Athletes Foundation scholarship program with one goal in mind: to improve a valuable skill that could benefit him in the future. Getting connected at the Y was easy — the team was supportive of his goal and set him up in swim lessons with a great coach.

Before taking swim lessons at the Y, Soren couldn’t put his face underwater for more than a second or two. At the request of Soren, his mother would join him in the water and hold onto him while he swam. After a few lessons with Coach Leslie, Rindi saw a tremendous difference in her son’s confidence — he was less fearful and more comfortable in the water!

I thought swim lessons would be something fun to do, to improve my skills. It's a helpful life skill that could possibly be really useful in the future. Before I couldn't put my face underwater, and I when I started I could only do it for a second or two. Now I'm able to do if for awhile longer and now I can actually swim laps and swim long distances!

Within two months of lessons, Soren gained the confidence to tread water on his own. Now, he can confidently put his head underwater for a while longer, swim laps and long distances. Swim lessons at the Y built a confident swimmer and taught valuable water safety skills for Soren and can do the same for you, too.

Watch Their Interview

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