YMCA member Zach Lafferty at the C.M. Gatton Beaumont Y

Like a lot of members, Zach Lafferty came to the Y with a general goal to improve his well-being. "I joined the Y trying to kickstart a healthier lifestyle. I tried working out at home, but I never found a routine I enjoyed or that was sustainable," Zach shares. Though he wasn't really sure where to start, he quickly found a rhythm - and a place to belong. "I was nervous when I first joined. I...was worried about feeling silly or out of place, but I never felt out of place at the Y. From the first day I went, I felt comfortable and supported. It’s a such a great community."

Overcoming the fears that accompanied his first days at the Y, Zach began a journey that has not only proven sustainable, but also transformational. "The Y has completely changed my life. I lost 160 lbs in 18 months. I’m happier and healthier than I have ever been," he reflects. Zach's commitment to his new lifestyle - almost daily cardio and weight sessions at the C.M. Gatton Beaumont YMCA - has even been rewarded, as Zach has been part of the YMCA 250 Club two years in a row. Even so, he's found the Y is so much more than a gym. "It’s so positive. Everyone is very friendly. From the staff to the other members, every interaction I have is pleasant." And the real reward is what he can take from the Y to his family: "I’m able to do things with my wife and children that would have been a real struggle before. And I get to set an example of a healthy lifestyle for my kids."

When he's not at the Y, you might see Zach playing guitar in bands around Lexington - most recently “Nicholas Jamerson & The Morning Jays” and the “Bolo Mules.” A lifelong musician, he also is a sales rep at Willcutt Guitars.

We're so proud of you, Zach, and love hearing reflections on your journey! Thanks for being a part of our community and sharing your experience.

We'd love to hear your Y story! You can share your story here or reach out to our marketing team directly at marketing@ymcacky.org.

YMCA member Zach Lafferty at the C.M. Gatton Beaumont Y