In my life, I have belonged to a lot of different kinds of gyms, mostly back in Chicago. I belonged to the big no frills gyms, the fancy David Barton beautiful people gym (that year I went like 8 times, and ALWAYS felt out of place), and then the small, neighborhood cozy gyms. It wasn’t until I moved to Trumbull that I ever even thought of joining a YMCA. But, about 5 months after we moved here, enough people I knew were members, and said enough good things, so we decided to check it out. There was a lot I did not know about the YMCA, so I decided it was worth sharing some of that with all of you out there, who may be looking for a place to work out, or send time with your family, need a place for classes, or something else entirely. So here goes:
Child Watch – Each time I work out, I get 2 hours of free childcare. What that means is even if I work out for an hour, and shower, I still have some time left over to hang out in the lobby, read, work, or just, you know, hide from my kid.
Kids Programs – My kids have done gymnastics, soccer, dance, and even a program called stepping stones, which is like pre-preschool. My boys did several sessions of it when they were 2 and I really felt like it made the transition to preschool WAY easier for them. Plus, I got 1 hour and 45 minutes away from them, I could leave the building, and the only time I got called back was to change a diaper. WINNING!
Free Coffee – Do I need to say more about this? There is also tea for you hippies.
A Multi-Generational Experience – I love the fact that I am on a treadmill next to a 70+ year old dude one day, and waiting for the rowing machine for an 80-year-old boss chick to finish up her 2000 meters. To me, it is just good for society for different aged people to be around each other. These senior work out kings and queens inspire me each day at the YMCA and remind me that if I take care of myself, I can be doing this for another 50 years.
Classes – For the first 6 months or so, I shied away from the classes, but now, I regularly take yoga, spinning, active together (which combines step cardio, weight training, and balance and flexibility with some core work) I feel like I just keep getting more and more out of my membership.
Swim Lessons – for those locations with pools, classes are very reasonable to very highly recommended
Birthday Parties – they have a ton of options for different age ranges, and if you are e member, the prices are very competitive with other birthday venues.
Camps – there are so many options for camps at many of the locations – each one is different so I would recommend contacting the ones that are the most convenient for you.
The Outdoor Center – In the summer, our Y has a location in Monroe with a pool and other outdoor activities that carries a completely separate membership.
The Community – I NEVER go to the Y without seeing at least one person that I know, and stopping to have a quick chat. Being a member of the Y remind me that I am part of a community and there is a lot of comfort in that for me. I am not the new kid on the block any more, but I always appreciate the opportunity to connect and make friends, I can always do that at the Y.
If you have never checked out your local Y, please do! There really is something for everyone. And the membership rates are worth every penny. Especially if you add up all the free babysitting and coffee. I can guarantee you I come out ahead every month. If you haven’t checked out one near you yet, you can Find your local YMCA here.
Kelly is a mom, friend, wife, daughter, sister, neighbor, writer, movie freak and a reader. She fancies herself a parental outlier in that she is an anti-helicopter, free range, hold-on- loosely kind of mom. She promises to be honest. And make you laugh. And think. And learn. And find more ways to revel in this journey of motherhood and personhood.