Y Member Spotlight: Joy Vogel

We lived overseas for two assignments in a row, so I was pretty excited to get back to America and find a nice gym for our entire family! In Japan, my husband and I worked out at the gym on base, and in Italy, a gym is still kind of a luxury they don’t care much about, so we joined a tiny one (it didn’t even have A/C!). Once we moved back to America, I knew I wanted to join a gym that wasn’t HUGE like most out here are, so when I looked into the YMCA and took a tour, I got a really good vibe right away. I don’t think I’ve met a single employee there who hasn’t been friendly, personable, and a joy to interact with since the Sunday afternoon we joined! We became members at the Y about a year and a half ago, and honestly, it has been one of the biggest blessings for me and my family.

Right now my husband is deployed, and the YMCA has helped me cope on some of my toughest days. Taking care of two little children, day in day out, has me feeling worn down and going to the YMCA lifts me up every time I go. At the front desk, we are always welcomed with smiling faces as my son, daughter, and I are greeted by name. It feels like we’re family when we walk through those doors. I love chatting with the workers and am always asked about how my day is going by someone who genuinely cares! Sometimes, we’re late for our plans following the gym because I find myself deep in a conversation with some of the workers (oops!).

Almost every morning, I come to the Y with my two kids (3 years old and 8 months). My daughter starting coming with us as soon as she turned 4 months old (literally the day of!). The morning childcare workers have been absolutely amazing with both of them! When they notice my son is having a rough day, as this deployment has been difficult for him to understand, they show him extra love (as do the front desk employees and fitness instructors!). I have never met childcare workers who are so passionate about what they do, and it is apparent that they genuinely care about the children they are watching. I shouldn’t even just say “watching” because they play with, sing with, dance with, and just have fun with the kids! This is seriously my favorite part about going to the Y. I can drop my kids off feeling 100% confident that they are in a safe and loving environment every single time.

What else do I love about the Y? I love that it’s not overwhelming and has the perfect amount of machines and equipment for what I need. Typically, I use the treadmills, free weights, and cables. I am even able to go outside for a run around Goodyear Park, which helps my mood so much while my husband has been gone…that fresh air does wonders for me! Although I don’t go to the fitness classes, I hear great things about them from friends who go to them regularly.

Some of my closest friends work out at the Y, so that makes it even more enjoyable for me and my children. We love going swimming in the recreational pool, and the water buckets are a hit with my toddler! It’s always kept very clean, which is also a huge plus! I love the monthly Parent’s Night Out, and our son has the best time and never wants to leave when it’s time to go home! We even had our son’s 3rd birthday party here! All of our friends and family who came to the party kept complimenting on how smoothly everything went and what a great place it was to have a birthday party.

I am already sad thinking about when we move for the military again in a year because I don’t want to have to leave this wonderful gym we are a part of. So for now, I won’t think about that and just continue enjoying the Y every day we can!

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