What is your Y story?
I have been a member of the Y for 29 years. I came here as a youth before I joined on and off. I became a member of the Y in 1986 after they shut down the basketball gym of another facility where I played with a friend. I wanted to keep up my exercise and basketball. I saw an ad in the newspaper that they had basketball games in the morning at the Y. I started paying for a day pass but realized that it cost more to pay for day passes than to become a member and so I joined. I have been a member ever since. I enjoy the social part of basketball and on other days I do a full workout. The YMCA is a gym where people are just people. I like the family environment as well. My family also joined, and there has always been things for my children, who are adults now, such as basketball and flag football. It was not just a gym for us, but a family atmosphere. Coming in now, I am retired and it is even nicer because I am able to set goals for working out and I still play basketball. I have been a board member before in the past and I have been involved in fundraising during my time here. When I was on the board, we worked very hard to make sure that the downtown Y would be able to stay open for many years. I was very happy when ASU came into the picture because I see the benefits of this partnership even today.
Over the past 30 years, I have been able to see the growth from one YMCA to a bunch of different locations. This is nice because there is one by my house that I go to in the morning. I go to this Y for the social aspect. I know the people there and we talk and get to know each other over snacks in the morning, and then I get a nice work out. After that, I come over to the Downtown Y for basketball. When other gyms entice people with their better rates and prices, I say that it is okay that people join their facilities for people looking to get a quick one hour workout. If they want to join the YMCA, they want to join for the family and community environment here. You don’t join at the Y to do a quick workout and leave, you join because you become a part of the community. At the Y, you can get family involved and can even network with other business people in the downtown area.
How has the Y helped your family?
The Y has impacted my family very positively. My son played basketball in high school but he started at the Y. My daughter played basketball and went on to play other sports as well. Our membership has been very beneficial in keeping the family doing things together, which we never would have had at other gyms. The Y also has helped me workwise, when I was traveling a lot for work, I always had a YMCA I could go to and work out. The YMCA is more than a workout facility, the Y gives you a whole lot more. The Y has given me good health, both mentally and physically. I can maintain my health and relieve stress at the Y. I would recommend that every family joins the YMCA because there is so much that a family can benefit from.