Crowfoot Member of the Month

I have had the privilege of meeting a girl named Madison Dickinson at Crowfoot who has truly inspired me.  She is our first youth for MOTM.  Over the last year I have become close to her and wanted her to be able to share her story.

Roughly 4 years ago, I was forced out of
my absolute favourite sport, gymnastics, and by my own body too. I was a
gymnast for 7 years and the moment I dropped out, I was torn apart. From
gymnastics, I suffer with wrist and knee pain that has actually stopped me from
participating in all the sports I’ve wished to participate in. The only thing I
have left from gymnastics is my flexibility, which is really important to me!

About 3 years ago, my life just shot me
in the back. I suffered from major depression, rebellion, also very poor eating
habits. One of the reasons I had such bad depression was from being forced out
of gymnastics by my own body. I can’t tell you how much I hated my body for
doing that to me. I beat myself up about it for 4 years! Thankfully, my
counsellor just recently got me to realize a lot of things that really helped
me, one of them was that, this is how my body is and that I just have to except
it. I may not be able to continue gymnastics but at least I got to experience

After a few months of counselling, just
after I quit gymnastics, I got my life back on track and decided to give
volleyball a shot. Everything was going great till half way through the season.
I went to dive for the ball at a tournament, my right leg slipped, turned the
wrong way and I felt sheer pain for a few seconds, then got up and walked away.
However, it wasn’t ok. Over the course of several months it was determined that
I needed surgery. Surgery went well and I was on the road to recovery, but
consistently hit road blocks. I experienced chronic knee pain following
surgery, but despite that, I wasn’t willing to give up and that’s when the gym
became a big part of my life. It helped me through a lot of things: depression,
anger, stress, a substitute for gymnastics and of course, to stay healthy and
in shape.

In conclusion, the YMCA has become a big
part of my life. I have come to know many of the staff and they have become a real
support for me, particularly Lena. She is like a sister to me and always has
the best advice, also always has time to listen to what I have to say.
The ability to come into a clean and
happy environment has really helped me to stay positive.