Category Archives: around the Hamilton community

Its almost race day!!!!

The Road2Hope road race series is almost here….just a few more sleeps!  As many of our members, staff and supporters get ready to race in support of ywcaencore, our running coach, Coach Kim, has some great last minute advice.  Thanks Coach!

Kim’s TOP TEN Race Week Prep Ideas

#1 Stay off your feet as much as possible when you are running your last couple of efforts (avoid standing in one place)

#2 Elevate your legs in the evening or when you can

#3 Maintain a happy and positive mood… fun things!

#4 Try not to change your diet too drastically this week.  Simply cut back on excess fats and fiber

#5 Sip plain water frequently

#6 Start laying out everything you think you might need on race day  (it’s November,  so think in terms of layers  and gloves)

#7 Start telling all your friends and loved ones about the great run you are going to have and where they can cheer for you on race day!

#8 Stretch frequently and gently,  but avoid static stretching on the morning of your race  (dynamic R.O.M.  is fine)

#9 Attend a Yoga class or at least breathe deeply several times a day!

#10 Visualise your event and see yourself crossing the line smiling,  happy and healthy!

Best wishes for a safe and successful day to one and all.


Can’t make the Road2Hope?

As you know, we are very excited to be a Charity Partner for the Road2Hope Race Nov. 1st & 2nd. If you are unable to walk or run with us, would you kindly consider donating to the ywcaencore program through the attached link. Anne Marie will be running the half marathon representing all the incredible women that have been through the program and those that are yet to come. Click on the link to connect with Anne Marie’s story of HOPE .

Hittin’ the road….for a run? Be safe!!!

The spring weather (we hope!) is (almost?) here and many runners and walkers will be hittin’ the road again! Great job!! This short video from Runner’s World reminds us to take extra care while out and about!

Free Health and Wellness Programs for Women

WA! winter2014flyer

My Breast Cancer Story: Stay Positive Always

October Breast Cancer Awareness Month
ywcaencore Stories of Inspiration & Hope

After 24 years of marriage and three boys, my life was turned upside down when I found a lump in my left breast at age 47. This was completely shocking as there was no history of breast cancer in my family.

After taking all the tests and receiving the bad news all I wanted to do was lead a normal life. I continued to work as an administrative assistant during my treatments. I never kept my breast cancer a secret, and found that the more people that knew, the more support I received from family, friends and co-workers. After a few chemo treatments, I was not able to work for a few months because my body was telling me to rest.

Almost immediately, my hair, which according to my husband I have spent a small fortune on in my life, started falling out. During this difficult time in my life, my youngest son, while away on a hockey tournament, shaved the heads of his teammates and coaches. They also wore breast cancer ribbons on their jerseys in support of me.

When I completed all my chemo and radiation treatments, I joined the ywcaencore program and connected with a great group of girls and very special coordinators. I really enjoyed meeting with them each week as we exercised, ate healthy prepared snacks, and, most important, discussed our journey amongst ourselves with some emotional crying and happy moments. You gain so much support by sharing experiences, thoughts and fears with other women fighting the same battle.

I am now a 20-month survivor, and loving life to its fullest…breast cancer has sure changed my outlook on life!

Stay Positive Always,
Donna Beattie


October Breast Cancer Awareness Month ywcaencore Stories of Inspiration & Hope

BIG OR SMALL SAVE THEM ALL – I wear that on a t-shirt and I do not take that message lightly. At age 43, I lost one breast to breast cancer and my drive and passion is to help and empower women who have also suffered this life-altering disease. I am honoured to be an employee of the YWCA Hamilton with their strong commitment to the health and wellness of all women, and ambassadors at reaching out to women with breast cancer. The YWCA Hamilton offers the ywcaencore program, a free after breast cancer exercise program for all women. This program runs three times a year, once a week for eight weeks. The program offers gentle therapeutic exercises on land and in the water to help women build strength and increase flexibility and mobility. The setting is fun and supportive and provides a safe environment for sharing and building lasting friendships. In addition, throughout the eight weeks, women are educated and empowered through relevant discussions and community speakers.

We have been privileged to share in the lives of over 130 women and we honour them this month. They have shown great courage in the face of fear; strength when the body was weary; compassion even in the midst of their own crisis and a spirit that is inspiring beyond words. With these women as inspiration, we are presenting you this month with various stories from women who have been through breast cancer and have been impacted through the ywcaencore program. They share their stories, their hearts and their lessons.

May their messages be heard by women everywhere and may it ignite a fire in you as it has in me, to continue this fight against breast cancer and to never give up.

Anne Marie

Anne Marie Collingwood
ywcaEncore Coordinator

Post-Labour Day #HealthyEatingTips

By: Allaina Mitic Sept. 3/13

Labour Day is the holiday best known for football, family/friends and deep fried food. While some of you may have been diligent in your weight loss efforts, I applaud you – for the rest of us, it’s time for some healthy changes. Here are 4 simple strategies that are effective in straightening out your eating habits.

1.Screen your current intake.
– What are you putting in your mouth? How much of it? When?
– Create a log for one whole day.
– This allows you to visually see the amount of intake you are currently ingesting and will give you a base to start all of your planning.

2.Analyze your intake.
– Sit down with your daily intake log and compare it to the Canada’s Food Guide. (
– Are you eating too much? Not enough?

3.Set goals.
– Notice where you have been lacking or over indulging in your diet and create realistic goals.
– Make sure your goals are specific with a timeline. (ex. I will increase my water intake by drinking 8 glasses a day by Friday Sept. 6/13)

4.Achieve goals.
– Achieving your planned goal is a great feeling. Sticking with the change and staying motivated will take some effort on your part but you can do it!

There is no better time to start than now. Why let bad habits grow when you can stop now, and form new healthy habits to be proud of. Practicing these 4 simple strategies will help you to keep your eating balanced and ensure you are getting the right amount of nutrients your body needs. Physical activity and a well-balanced diet are key ingredients to a happier and healthier lifestyle.

A YWCA Thank you to the Millionaire’s Daughter!

YWCA Hamilton wants to thank the Millionaire’s Daughter for the generous support of our Encore Program – a uniquely tailored exercise program for breast cancer survivors. The Millionaire’s Daughter raised $900 for the program. We are so grateful to have them as a partner!!! Thank you to Maureen, Pat and the staff at the Millionaire’s Daughter for choosing YWCA as the beneficiary of this quarter’s auction.


Bike for Mike 2013!

A great job by YWCA fitness staff person, Sheri Selway! Way to go Sheri!!

Bike For Mike by Sheri Selway

Sunday May 5 was the 3rd annual “Bike For Mike” fundraiser. All money raised this year is going to buy bikes and equipment (helmets, reflectors) for children at Queen Mary School. The Bike for Mike fund is at the Hamilton Community Foundation. Its goal is to make Hamilton a more cycle-friendly city and put the money raised to purchasing bikes for children. Last year Mike’s Bikes provided 110 bikes, helmets, locks, and lights to children and their families. Thanks to all my supporters, I raised over $600!

It was a beautiful day for a ride. The 45 km ride left Bayfront Park around 9:30 am. I rode with the 20 km group which all ages could easily enjoy. A 5 km ride rode through the historic North End neighbourhood.

The 20 km cyclists followed the Waterfront Trail, continued up Longwood Road and connected to the new trail near the Chedoke Golf Course into West Hamilton. Then we were on road into Dundas where a water/snack station was set up. And a bike repair station, which unfortunately I needed! My chain had started acting up! Unfortunately it couldn’t be fixed. However Freewheel Cycle had just opened and they fixed it up and within a half hour I was on my way with a new part! Thank you Freewheel Cycle!

Back at Bayfront Park, riders were treated to water, fruit and hot pizza which we enjoyed while listening to music. I had such a good time I think I will ride 45 km next year!!!

Photo: Here I am with 2 supporters Sandra and Peggyanne, members of our neighbourhood association, North End Neighbours, who set up an information table.


Pilates program for breast cancer survivours. Free for May and June

Hello everyone: We are excited to announce that during the months of May & June we will be piloting a Pilates for Breast Cancer survivors class. Since it is a Pilot Project, we are offering it for these 2 months for FREE!
Anyone is welcome who has experienced breast cancer.

Here are the exciting details:
WHEN: Thursdays at 1:30pm – 2:15pm for May & June

WHERE: YWCA 75 Mac Nab St. S. Hamilton in the STUDIO (on the lower level)

INSTRUCTOR: Robin Mech – an incredible instructor with years of experience as a Pilates Instructor and now with additional training in Pilates for breast cancer survivors
HOW: You do not need to pre-register, just come today or whenever you can start!

If you would like any other details, please contact Robin Mech, Fitness Supervisor, YWCA Mac Nab St. 905-522-9922 ext 138 or Anne Marie Collingwood ywcaencore Coordinator, YWCA Hamilton 905-522-9922 press 8…ext.24

We hope you will take join us in this new exciting opportunity!