My husband had recently deployed to Afghanistan, and I moved back to Arizona to be around family. My sister got me to join the Southwest Valley YMCA so we could be workout buddies.

I was so grateful for the time I got to focus on bettering myself at the Y.

The staff in the child watch center were awesome, so I knew my children were well taken care of while I was getting my workout in.

Over the years between my husband’s military tours, we also lived in New York and Colorado and joined the YMCAs there. I even worked as a kickboxing instructor at the Y in New York. I loved being able to teach members and developed some great friendships.

When my husband came down on recruiting orders for the Army, we decided moving back home to Arizona would be the best option. We were looking for gyms, and although I loved the YMCA, we weren’t sure at the time if it would be our best option. We first joined another gym, but it became too expensive for our family, so we terminated our membership there.

Then I began pleading with my husband to join the YMCA. We were referred to the Southwest Valley YMCA’s military liaison, Jennifer Garcia. She was able to help us get a discounted military membership rate. I cannot express how much this helped me!

We have been so blessed to be back here and even more grateful for the YMCA in our lives. We have made some great friendships here at the Y, and even more, since I started working at the Northwest Valley Y as the Welcome Center representative.

The YMCA has blessed our lives, and I hope to be able to help others see what a great place the Y is!