There was a “Pot Luck” dinner with a large number of diverse families. After an amazing meal, we went off to play. There was swimming, basketball, and bowling. The bowling alley was manual and the older kids were permitted to set up the pins. That was my favorite activity.

When I was in high school, my parents gave me the gift of a lifetime – a membership at the Nyack NY YMCA. This Y was like no other. It was a virtual Y made up of two brand new tour buses. We rode those buses through Canada and the USA for 6 weeks. Saw all the major National Parks. The staff masterfully navigated both the country and 80 teenage boys and girls.

After college, I joined the Y in Naperville, IL. They had a pool and swimming was the perfect way to spend my lunch hours. It was always a novelty to drive through those harsh winters and swim in that warm indoor pool.

When I finally retired and moved to Phoenix, there was the Ahwatukee Y. I often find myself far from home so visit Lincoln, Tempe, Chris-Town, Chandler/Gilbert, and Mesa Y’s. They all say “family” to me with a nice blend of ages and diversity.

You might think that with over 60 years of involvement at the Y I’d be some kind of an athlete. Not even close. I have never had any interest in the organized sport. My dedication is to exercise as the key to a fuller life. An hour of cardio and 30 minutes of weight training three times per week is made bearable by watching movies and listening to my favorite music or podcast. But then I can hike, do heavy labor, or maybe just squat down to pick up a pencil effortlessly.