Wednesday, February 1, 2017

My Rye Y Story

Each year, Y staff and volunteers encourage members to share their personal stories, from the back stories that brought them to the Y to the successes and challenges encountered on the road to healthy living. Interviews are conducted in the Y's lobby in the fall, within a story "booth" made from a large gym mat. When I was approached by the staff at the Y about participating in their Rye Y Story project I was intrigued. I thought it was something like StoryCorps, so I agreed to do it. Once I started, I quickly realized that this was very much a marketing opportunity, where people could share their personalized testimonials. This was a bit awkward, since my experience there is very mixed. There are plenty of very friendly people, and plenty who are not friendly, and many who are very inconsiderate. I made the most of the situation I and enjoyed reading about other people's stories. Overall I thought it was a very positive experience and one of the many things the Y does to build and strengthen the community.

See My Rye Y Story below:

I grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, raised by a single mom on welfare. Now I feel privileged to live in Rye. Wherever I live I have to find a place to work out. About ten years ago, I moved to a five-minute walk from the Y and this was the gym for me. When my wife and I checked out the Y fitness center, and I mentioned that the dumb bells only went to 85 lbs., Brian, who was showing us around, asked me if I worked out. [I thought this was very funny.] I come six days a week, mostly to lift weights, and I’m glad the dumbbells go up to [120] lbs. now. After my workout I go to the train. The Y’s location is perfect.

We have a family membership. My wife takes classes and uses the fitness center. I bring my kids with me on the weekend to use the Expresso bikes in the annex. My family has been running in the Rye Derby together for the past five years.

We loved having the babysitting services when my kids were younger. It was very convenient and the women there are always really friendly. Even though I work out with my headphones on, usually listening to public radio, I am friendly with lots of the people at the Y and I like to engage with others when it comes to working out or discussing parenting.

Even if I can’t take advantage of all the services that the Y provides, I’m glad to know they’re there.

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