Josh Bramlett's YMCA story began years ago with a dive into the deep end. Now he's the Aquatics Coordinator for the Henry County YMCA.
My story with the YMCA began years ago. I began preschool at the Henry County YMCA in the early 90s. At this time the location was downtown and the building was a kid's dream. There were so many nooks and crannies and "secret" rooms to explore. My family was involved with the Y, and I was also active in many of the youth sports. There is one particular time in my life I would like to revisit because I think it illustrates how I feel about the Y pretty well.
The year was 1994. I was enrolled in preschool at the Y and was loving it! I was loving it until I found out we had to start swimming. I was terrified. Terrified may not even be a good word. I was petrified! My mom told me that every morning I knew we had to swim I would scream and cry. This fear boiled down my insecurities, fear of failure, and quite honestly fear of death. I was a very nervous boy and didn't know how to handle this new development in my life. One day however, that all changed. At the end of the class they would always have us jump in the water unassisted. This was my least favorite part, but that day my mother was there,and I wanted to show her that I really could do this thing… that I could overcome and make the jump. When my turn came to make the leap, with tears in my eyes, I let go and jumped! To my surprise, I didn't sink to the bottom and drown, I didn't even get water in my nose! Everyone cheered, and I think that was the first time in my life I remember overcoming an obstacle. The YMCA helped me do that, and I will never forget that memory.
Now I am an Aquatics Coordinator, a certified lifeguard instructor, and CPR instructor at the very same organization that frightened me all those years ago. I am also the leader of music ministry that has taken me all over the world and have wonderful wife and family that I cherish. The YMCA was catalyst for the drive that I have today. The Y helped me believe in myself and planted a seed in me to follow my dreams. Today I am blessed to be working at the Henry County YMCA. I have the opportunity to see youth and adults alike overcome obstacles and gain some self-worth in a Christian environment. I am humbled to be even a small part of this and each time I see the joy on our patrons faces it takes me back to that one big jump.
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