“I joined about 18 years ago when my oldest was a baby. I was looking for a gym that offered babysitting so I could exercise. Over the years, the Y has provided my family with classes to meet our needs at every stage. As toddlers, both my sons participated in gymnastics classes and learned how to swim. My oldest was on the FSPY Swim Team from age 8 through high school. My youngest is a lifeguard here now and my husband recently joined the Men’s Basketball League. Through the years, the Y has helped me lead a healthier lifestyle. I attribute it to the instructors, who have given me simple, yet effective tips like drink more water and choose whole foods over processed foods. It’s developed into a mindset. I’ve also worked with Donna Peart (the Y’s Registered Dietitian), who has answered my nutrition questions and provided recipes. When I first joined, I was looking for a place close to home where there were friendly faces. I work from home, and these became my people. I come here to exercise but also because I need the human interaction. Over 10 years ago, inspired by my son’s swim training, I decided to take up swimming again. I participated in the Y’s Advanced Adult Swimming Class and eventually, with the encouragement of Y staff, found the courage to join the Y’s Tri Club and try my first triathlon. Now, I’m a Y swim instructor, but I still swim for fitness and fun with a few friends every Friday morning. Being around other people is motivation for me. As a longtime member who regularly exercises, my advice to others is just because you stop doing something for a couple of days, doesn’t mean you can’t start again. Over the holidays, I had a week where I didn’t get here. I felt it, but I went back to it. Don’t beat yourself up for not coming, just get back into it, the water, the exercise bike, whatever ‘it’ is.”