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Member success profile: James

With the support of the YWCA Health + Fitness team, James has lost over 40lbs and is motivated to stay fit.

As a former professional race car driver, James had always lived his life in the fast lane.  Yet in the early 1970’s, James was asked to slow down by doctors who told him he had ankylosing spondylitis - a type of arthritis that caused the vertebra of the spine to painfully fuse together over time. 

When James first started at the YWCA Health + Fitness Centre he was over 265 pounds, a far cry from his once ‘fit and furious’ 220 pounds. Inevitably, the pain of the disease had caused James’ body to take rest and stop exercising.

In 2003, James was determined to get back into shape and start feeling better in both body and spirit. Since then, he has been coming two times per week to train with a H+F trainer. For James, traditional arthritis treatments did not satisfy his need for a challenge and the YWCA provided him with the ‘big gym’ experience he wanted.

“James has never missed a training session ... He never complains. He shows up, does his work and feels better” says H+F trainer, Sandy, who believes James’ motivation has been an inspiration and lesson to all of the trainers in the H+F Centre.

James says, “No matter how bad [I] feel going into the session, I know I’m always going to feel good when I come out”.  Because of his success and the support of his trainers at the YWCA, James has lost over 40 pounds and has experienced zero flare-ups in his arthritis.

“The biggest thing I remember is the pain and now I don’t.  That’s a pretty big motivator!” recalls James. 


Such an inspiration!

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