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Confidence. With Every Stroke.

December 20, 2016

Allison Heller can often be found at the Benjamin Harrison YMCA Aquatics Center swimming many laps around the pool. She came to the Y back in 2013 and started swimming with the Stroking Onward swim team. Even at her young age, Allison had high levels of stress, anxiety was very shy, and struggled to get over these problems.

Gaining confidence with Stroking Onward

Fortunately for Allison, she met her soon-to-be mentor and friend, Sarah Bartolo, who was her swim coach. Allison used swimming with Stroking Onward as a way to escape her anxiety. When she started swimming with Stroking Onward, she only competed in a few events at meets. To her, this was all she needed. However, Sarah has a way of bringing the full potential out of her students.

Sarah encouraged Allison to break out of her shell and continue trying new events. She even would help Allison overcome her shyness by having Allison talk to all of her teammates before she could get in the pool!

Allison continues to excel at swimming, even to this day. She has graduated from Stroking Onward but still continues to help the program by volunteering to coach. The YMCA has even offered Allison her first job coaching and becoming a swim instructor.  Allison says her anxiety, stress, and shyness is now long gone and she has Sarah Bartolo, Stroking Onward, and the YMCA to thank. She is able to pass her newfound confidence on to her students.

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