Woman finishing a 5k race

At last year’s Turkey Trot, hosted by our Reidsville YMCA, we all got to experience the touching moment in which Gena Hardy crossed the 5K finish line which for her meant more than just finishing a race. For Gena, finishing this 5K road race was a symbol of her determination, the reward of challenging herself and her first big milestone in her selfcare journey.  

“I cannot express enough how thankful I am for the Reidsville YMCA,” said Gena. It all started when her husband was offered personal training sessions from the hospital which were paid for through his workplace, but to her surprise, her husband continued those sessions even after the hospital sessions ended. Personal training helped him to continue a healthy lifestyle.  

Then, Gena was invited to attend a SilverSneakers class which she claims to be the best decision she has ever made. “From there I met friends who are more like family. I challenged myself in the wellness room and in new classes,” she said. After challenging herself at the Y, Gena decided it was time for an even bigger challenge - the Turkey Trot 5k race. Gena is grateful to the Y as she acknowledges it was the resource and community she needed to be “rescued” mentally and physically.  

“I was a mess before entering those YMCA doors. Physically and mentally, I needed to be rescued. When I say I’m better now and have blossomed all you would have to do is see the smile now on my face. I believe that it was a God Wink that led me here to have the resources that are available to me in order to make the necessary changes for a happy healthy lifestyle change!”  

But Gena’s journey does not end here. She looks forward to continuing to challenge herself through the Y’s programs and the challenges her wellness journey will present. ”My journey started here, and I will continue to push forward and I know I have so many supportive friends here! We laugh, we love, we cry, we do everything together. We are family,” said Gena. “The staff are always encouraging and welcoming to you and what once was a struggle for me to even come through the door is now exciting and can’t wait to see everyone.”  

She will continue to prove to not only everyone else but especially herself just how determination can push you forward and help you become a better you.  

We thank everyone who supports the Y! Without people constantly showing up for the Y, through donations or volunteering their time, life-changing stories like this one would not be possible.  

Interested in joining our 5K Turkey Trot race? We are only 6 months away! Register today.  

Published on May 15, 2024