The ranks of YMCA personnel are filled with Y kid stories who become leaders in the movement when they become adults. Marcus McAlpin, branch operations director of the Frankfort YMCA locations, is one such example.
“I was a Y kid,” Marcus told us. “My dad coached me in football, basketball and baseball at the YMCAs in Louisville. I was a summer camp kid, a Black Achievers’ kid, a ‘try to sneak in the facility’ kid. My entire youth was in-and-out of Ys.
“When I was finishing my Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at UK, my goal was to find a career I would enjoy each and every day. Little did I know at the time that the Y would become my career family,” Marcus added.
Since recognizing his path in life was a Y career, Marcus has worked at the North Lexington Family YMCA for four years, then moved to the Northwest Y in Rochester, NY for two years; and finally, his family moved back to Central Kentucky and he has been with the Frankfort YMCAs for the past three years.
“These moves across the US have been fun, and I’ve learned so much along the way. From this I’ve gained a much deeper understanding about each person’s health journey,” Marcus shared. “From my education I mastered the science of exercise, nutrition, behavioral change and community health needs. Through experience, I’ve come to better understand a person’s mental and personal struggles, his or her goals, and the little barriers that may not always be discussed when a person tries to become healthy."
“The Y has helped me perfect my craft in getting the ‘every day’ person on the right track to a healthy lifestyle - physically, mentally and spiritually.”
Along with his degree in Kinesiology, Marcus has earned a Masters in Exercise Physiology, and has been a certified personal trainer for 10-plus years. “My experience and training enable me to impact lives, and I believe I can truly make a difference in somebody’s health – so they can be better, do better, and positively keep going day-after-day.”
Along with Marcus’ passion for helping people, he is focused on his relationship with God, and his family. “Right now, it seems all my time is spent with my wife and three-year-old daughter; and personally, training for an upcoming Ironman competition.”
When we asked Marcus what comes to mind when he thinks of the Y, his focus on people was illuminated in his answer.
“Diane, Dora and Angie. These three members came into my life at the beginning of my Y career. They inspired me to keep going every day, whether the day was good or bad,” Marcus said. “These three watched me struggle, stress over school, deal with family issues, get married, have my first child, move far away, come home, and well, just grow up.
“I will always be grateful for all of our conversations and moments that we have had, and continue to have every day,” he added.
Good luck training for your Ironman, Marcus, and we are glad you are focused on impacting lives each and every day at the YMCA of Central Kentucky.