The Laurier Brantford YMCA pool deck (including sauna and changerooms) will be closed for the annual pool shutdown from October 13th to19th. Click here to see the changeroom schedule.

Christine Barnes was forced to reinvent herself after a devastating car crash almost 20 years ago left her with a permanent brain injury. Though Christine, 37, speaks slowly and often searches for words, she loves chatting and communicates her thoughts well. And while she relies on a walker for support, she is able to walk on her own and works out five days a week at the Hamilton Downtown Family YMCA.

 “Christine is among our toughest, hardest-working members,” said personal trainer Ben Devine, who leads strength training and conditioning class she frequents. Christine is also an avid swimmer. “The full-body workouts in these fitness classes help Christine maintain the mobility, strength, endurance and coordination needed to preserve her independence while swimming provides a great cardio workout,” said Ben.

Christine’s passion for physical fitness dates back to childhood when, growing up in small-town British Columbia, she swam and played on her school’s volleyball team. Then, at age 18, her life changed forever when she was a passenger in a horrific car crash. After a long recovery and extensive rehabilitation, Christine moved to Hamilton where she had family, acquired brain injury services, bus service and a YMCA near her home.

Christine first started visiting the Hamilton Downtown Family YMCA 12 years ago. “I’ve made lots of friends here,” she said, adding, “I’m a work in progress but I’m doing great. Who knows what life will bring, so be grateful for what you’ve got.”