If you don't know the YMCA's mission it is to put Judeo-Christian principals into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. This is something that I didn't take seriously until I started working for the YMCA 6 summers ago at YMCA Camp Grady Spruce. I was all for keeping the body healthy. I was active. I exercised. The problem with me though I wasn't active with my spirit and mind as well. It led down a path that was a lot bumpier than I wanted it to be.
I got terrible grades me first semester at college. I can still see my parents' disappointed faces. I remember really struggling with respecting myself and the person I was, which in led me not respecting others. While I struggled spiritually and mentally, I thought my body would be ok. Well, it slipped to illness and part of that is that I stopped taking care of myself because I wasn't happy. I got pneumonia lost 13 lbs and if you knew me now and back then 13 pounds is a significant amount.
After my sophomore year of college I learn about the YMCA mission and it took a while and I still do struggle with it but I have strived to find that balance between spirit, mind and body. It has a made a world of difference in my life. I am not saying my life is perfect and I am happy all the time, but I have a belief system to fall back on that helps me get out of those holes instead of staying in them.
I found my faith in something more than myself (Love and loving others). I focused on my education and taking an active role in it (I have a print journalism degree and wrote for the student newspaper). It took me sitting down and really focusing what I needed to do. Not mention I had some help from others.
Something that has always been there for me though has been my family. Without support from them and helping along that life path I would have never been able to find that set of beliefs that I have now. Even though I have struggled being a good son, my parents have been there for me and have always been there for me. Something that helps my spirit probably more than anything.
One of things that I am very thankful for this year is the creation of a new program out at camp and it is called Camp Active. It is a program that encourage family time and a healthy spirit, mind and body. We will be having family run/walk days. I will go to a park in San Antonio and Austin and you can come out with your family and enjoy an evening or a day walking around outside and spending time with people that you love helping your body and spirit. There will also be a Camp Active worksheet for campers that if completed you can get a discount out at camp or a free 2-week gym membership at one of the San Antonio branches. It will be released after out first family walk on Feb. 23rd (if you come to the family walk you might get it a little early). Be on the look for an email with more information.
My goal with the program is not to get you or your family a 6-pack of abs but a balanced life that leads to happiness. Which is something that I think we all agree is something that everyone deserves.
Now I am going to leave you with a picture that helps my body relax, my mind be put at ease and makes my spirit on fire.
Mt. Vesper at YMCA Camp Flaming Arrow
Remember to live, laugh, Love and look up.