YMCA Stories

March 24, 2014

Sole Sisters: Monique's Y Story

When it comes to preventing diabetes, nothing is more important than friendly support.

Monique Wright-Williams joined the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, a personal training program and the Y’s running group to learn more about her condition and control her diabetes-related symptoms.

“Diabetes is not completely in my control, but what is in my control I try to do something about,” said Monique, whose mother died of diabetes-related complications. “When you know better you should do better, so I try to do better.”

After she and her friends realized how much better running made them feel, they founded the Syracuse Sole Sisters, a running group of their own.

“I could always get women to join the prevention program, but getting them to exercise wasn’t easy because there was no one to monitor it,” Monique said. “That’s what the running group gives them now... Running gives us a way to actually combat the diabetes.”

Formed in August 2013, Syracuse Sole Sisters has grown into a supportive community of 27 women who run weekly at the Southwest YMCA. They ask members to run at least 15 minutes a day because that gives them essential cardiac movement, and then they can run more after that if they want to.

“We had women in this group who, when they first started, couldn’t even walk around the track without stopping for a long break. Now they jog around the track together and even run races. Not everyone is ready for the 15 minutes when they first start out, but they push themselves to do it.”

The group’s co-founder, Andrea, is their biggest success story, Monique said. Andrea never ran before and struggled with the 15 minutes when she first started. But now she runs numerous 5K and 10K races and is currently training for a half marathon.

“I think it’s watching her that makes the other women more motivated,” she said. “They think: ‘If you can do this, then I can do this.’”

Monique said that the Syracuse Sole Sisters has helped her become a “healthier and better me.”


Filed under Health
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