I joined the YMCA when I retired and moved to Virginia Beach, and it has been a tremendous blessing. Over the years I have belonged to several gyms, some of them large chains with good reputations. The last gym I belonged to was definitely top of the line with beautiful facilities, two pools, one inside and one out, the most up-to-date equipment, free towel service, even that little spinner that wrings out your swimsuit. Yet none of them measure up to the YMCA in my book.
The YMCA is not simply a gym. It is a community of people who care about each other. I am always greeted with a smile and acknowledged by name. None of the other gyms I belonged to ever knew my name without looking on their computer screens. The group exercise instructors know all of their regular participants and are concerned about them when they don’t show up for awhile. Even the class participants get to know each other. People who were strangers quickly become friends. After yoga we sit down in the lobby and swap life over tea.
“Did you find the right dress for your son’s wedding?”
“Congratulations on your grandson’s diving trophy!”
“I’m so sorry to hear about your mother.
“Why don’t you come dancing with us Friday night? Bring your husband along so we’ll have somebody to dance with.”
Recently I heard that the YMCA is changing its name to simply the Y. At our little after-yoga tea party we commiserated about the difficulty of singing the YMCA song when it’s reduced to one letter, but I can assure you that those three letters will be the only thing that’s missing. If you are looking for a place that revives your spirit as well as your body, run, don’t walk, to your nearest YMCA and join up. And tell them Susan sent you.