By Mo Breden
I’ve never been an advocate for organized anything. I’ve always been a bit of a loner. This is different from lonely. I am not a lonely person, but I enjoy being alone, having my alone time. I spent close to forty years listening to the public, hearing complaints, solving problems of employees and organizations, so in my retirement I was enjoying nothing better than just peace, quiet and alone time.
Before I retired I looked into the programs at my local YMCA. They have a huge outdoor heated pool and swimming has always been one of my loves, but I did nothing about joining until about a year after I retired. I got in my car drove down there and talked to one of the YMCA representatives in the lobby. I got a tour of the entire YMCA, including the pool, a listing of all the programs available, and I joined and went swimming the next day. I have not been the same since that day, and for the better. My journey in the pool will be the topic of many more blog posts, but today I want to talk about my YMCA experiences.
At my home YMCA, the lifeguards now know me by name, they know when I have a new bathing suit in a smaller size and they are always encouraging, helpful and friendly. Most of the reception desk personnel also know me by name or face and we even have jokes about the time of morning or night I’m swimming, the weather and a number of other things. There is always a good feeling for me in arriving at my local YMCA. I feel at home, as if I am a part of the place, and I am.
This week, I traveled to New Jersey for the second birthday of my twin great niece and nephew, Valerie and Quinn. My goals for the trip were, to be of help to my niece with the twins, to be present for their second birthday, to give and get lots of hugs and kisses! I also hoped to get them to say my name, Monka (family nickname), to spend a day in Central Park, and to swim at the Old Bridge YMCA. My niece tells me that “of course” I was a help to her, I was present for Valerie and Quinn’s second birthday, I gave and got lots of hugs and kisses, as I expected, they now call me KaKa. Yea, KaKa, but I’m good with that! Last, but not least, I spent a beautiful and fun day in Central Park.
When I went to the Old Bridge YMCA, the employee at the front desk welcomed me, almost with open arms! He had me fill out a brief form, called my local YMCA in Florida, and confirmed me for use of their pool. It took less then five minutes. The lifeguards at the pool, made sure that I had a lane that would not be needed for scheduled classes so I could swim my entire workout, uninterrupted. On one of the days, they did move me to another lane, with less than a second of interruption to my workout, because they moved all of my on deck items for me. I felt at home and very comfortable. I had great swims in their pool.
The local YMCA’s have many programs that are fun, allow you to gently, at your own pace, achieve an active lifestyle–regardless of your age. Most have day care, so the kids go with you and have a fun active time too. Your children learn from what you do, you set the standard and the example.
While improving your life, you also enrich your children’s lives and set them on a path to active, healthy living. As I said, many, many programs at all levels of fitness and many, many activities for you and the kids.
Thanks for stopping by to read my post, see yas’ next week, for Life with Mo.