Y Member Spotlight: Pastor Paul Witkop

I grew up in Springfield, Illinois. My parents, not good swimmers themselves, faithfully drove me to swimming lessons every week for many years. I might be the only person in history to flunk the YMCA swimming classes of tadpole and minnow twice each. The problem was fear. I was absolutely terrified to go under the water and hold my breath.  Something happened to me as I listened to the Y swimming teacher and watched a trusted friend swim so effortlessly. That friend dared me to swim, to take a chance.  His encouraging invitation made all the difference.  I passed the rest of the classes on the first try and now I am at home in the water.

More than just swimming

The Desert Foothills Family YMCA has been a wonderful way to connect with our community.  I usually go to the Y several times each week. The other day, for instance, I met some of my friends to play half-court basketball. Another friend called me aside and asked if I would pray with him about a challenge in his household. The Y is much more than a place to work out. I am very committed to physical fitness, and the Y is a key part of my quest. However, deepening current friendships, making new connections, and the opportunities to serve the community have all helped me to strive toward a more balanced life. I am very grateful for my Desert Foothills extended family.

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