It took two YMCA Open House tours, cholesterol medication, and the poor health of his wife and seven kids before Bernard decided to change his life and join the Tong Louie Family YMCA. "My whole family was unhealthy and now everyone is lean and mean!" Bernard has now lost more than 70lbs and has gained a love of fitness and volunteering.
Bernard gives credit to his YMCA family for helping him achieve his goals. It was the care and concern of staff and volunteers that motivated him to change his life. "The YMCA is like a big family gathering," says Bernard. "People are nice, no one sees you differently and everyone looks out for everyone else."
Bernard used to pass by Cyclefit classes and think, "It's not for me." But another member literally dragged him to class one day to change his mind. Believe it or not, Bernard now teaches Cyclefit and is loving every minute of it. "It's all about members helping members," he says. Bernard now also enjoys yoga, running, weight-lifting and circuit classes.
Life has indeed come full circle for Bernard. "I'm lucky I have the Y," he says with a big, warm smile. "I took so much from all our volunteers and if I can make a difference in someone else's life, what more can I ask for?"