Jamaal’s Y Story

In 2011, Jamaal Williams was at quite a low point in his life. He found himself overweight, had just gone through a divorce, and was struggling to keep his head above water. He chose to join the Lancaster Family YMCA and started to make some positive changes in his life. He would strictly use the strength machines, as the free weights were intimidating, but came in consistently. As Jamaal kept making an appearance day in and day out, it was made clear to his friends, family, and YMCA staff that this man was determined to better himself, and so they encouraged this awesome behavior Jamaal was demonstrating.

6 months after joining the YMCA, Jamaal lost around 130 lbs! He acknowledged the support he received from his friends and family, and in particular, Evan, Troy, and Mandy of the Lancaster Family YMCA. One day a friend of Jamal’s, Ron Turnpak, convinced him to join a Zumba class. Jamaal went into it head on, but decided it was too high energy for him at the time. However, Jamaal did not give up on Zumba that day.

Today, Jamaal finds himself in a much better position in life; socially, mentally, and physically. He attributes a lot of his stress relief and physical gains to Zumba. He states that “the atmosphere allows you to have fun, let out that daily stress and express how you really feel.” Jamaal feels very passionately about Zumba and the opportunities it has given him, as well as the people he has met through the classes. Jamaal was very adamant when relaying that Zumba truly gave him a second chance and that, “[he finds] joy in seeing other people’s happiness radiating at Zumba.”

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