We hope that you might find these stories inspirational.  Our author, Rachel Steil, is a Greater Grand Rapids YMCA employee and a graduate from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts. Steil an author, speaker, and a recipient of the Spirit and Outstanding Runner award for the Aquinas College cross country team and has received 6th place All-American accolades in cross country as well as 7th place in the NAIA track nationals.

From Treadmill Tears to Conquering Fears: Stories from the Buck Creek Run 5k

Chelsea Roche stepped on the treadmill at the Visser Grandville YMCA for the first time in years, and hadn’t even reached a mile before she burst into tears.

Back from college in Arizona, Chelsea felt defeated. “It was like I was falling backwards,” she recalls. She didn’t feel a sense of purpose or a closeness with the community. “The YMCA is where my parents thought I might get that back,” she says.

That, along with something else no one might have expected—running.  Read More..