Meet Meghan VanSleet

Being a young, single mother isn’t easy, but Meghan VanSleet, a thirty-one-year-old mother of two, found solace in the YMCA.

“After I had my second child, I didn’t bounce back like I wanted to,” Meghan said. “I decided enough was enough.”

Member spotlightMeghan returned to the YMCA five months ago, and checked-in to the Greenbush YMCA almost every day with her boyfriend, Nicholas Colandro, while her girls did their own thing.

“I’ve been back and forth between gyms and I always come back to this one,” Meghan said. “I came back because its family oriented. When you’re a single mom, child care is a big factor, and my kids love it here.”

Meghan, a graduate of Averill Park High School has always been focused on her family. First and foremost, she’s a mother of two girls—a ten year old and a four year old. Meghan was in search of a place where she could be her healthiest, happiest self, while making sure her children were being cared for.

As Meghan found, it’s hard to find the time to be a mother, and still find the time to work on yourself. That’s what Meghan decided on the Y. Her journey to wellness began with a career change.

“I was working for a security company and I just wasn’t happy, so my boyfriend told me to quit.” She wasn’t sure if he was kidding or not, but he insisted. “He said that if I wasn’t happy, then I shouldn’t stay.”

So she did. She went in search of something different. That’s when she found the perfect job. Meghan began working as a teacher’s aide in Averill Park, working with children with disabilities.

Member Spotlight Greenbush“This is the first time I’ve been happy to go to work.”

Thanks to her boyfriend, Nick, Meghan is able to love what she does for a living. He was also a major catalyst in helping her create a workout routine.

“We worked out together every day after work,” Meghan explained. “I used to do push-ups on my knees. I’d never even tried a real push-up before, so one day I decided to try. Now I can do 30, no problem.”

It’s been difficult to maintain a workout routine while balancing children, work, and aftercare, but Meghan continues to work out at the Y every possible day, and try new things.

“I love how the Y offers many options for workouts at all levels,” Meghan explained. “You don’t have to feel intimidated as you can in larger gyms when you’re trying to achieve a better you.”

You can the strength and perseverance in Meghan’s eyes. She works every day to create a healthy lifestyle for herself and for her children.

Her strength can be felt beyond the gym. On October 18th, 2016, her boyfriend Nick passed away at the young age of twenty-four.

“I’m doing this for him. He would be so proud of me.”