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I’ve been in Rye for almost 30 years and have been with the YMCA at least two decades. My older son Syd is 17 years old and I think when he was six months old we started coming to the Y very regularly.
We came to do his little activities. Ellen [Watermelon] would do something with the young kids. One day he went missing and he was found in the weights room! He was playing with all the weights and he was about 2 years old.
My kids learned swimming here, which I really appreciate because I’m not a good swimmer. I have two boys 17 and 15 now—and they were on the Y swim team. Now they do crew and they had to pass a rigorous swim test for that.
My oldest comes here to work out sometimes after school. I come in to use the gym sometimes and love the Zumba classes which I try to attend at least thrice a week. In the past, I did personal training with Kaleena but I stopped because Zumba took over. The instructors are great! Since I work, I do things according to my schedule. I’m the one who uses the Y the most. This year, after nearly 20 years of being a member, my husband started using it on the weekends.
I really love my association with the Y. It’s convenient and is a community that we belong to. I’m a loyal member and don’t want to go anywhere else.
My son Anthony was born in October 1996 and my family and I moved to Rye from New York City in March 1997. We joined the Y a few months later. My wife would take my son here when he was a baby for the many activities that the Y offers for children. We met many different people at the Y and it helped us integrate into the community.
We joined with a family membership and have held it for the last 20 years. Every member of my family takes advantage of the membership. My son Anthony, who is 20 years old and in college at NYU, plays in the adult soccer league when he is home from college. My daughter Isabel, who is 17 years old, still comes and swims. My wife comes periodically and I try to use it on a weekly basis. Generally, I use the gym, and that is what keeps me somewhat fit and not completely out of shape!
Twenty years ago I was the new guy in the neighborhood, now I feel like a veteran. In my neighborhood, we have had about four new neighbors in the last six months, mostly young families with kids. I talk up the Rye Y to all of them and tell them how wonderful it is for them AND their families.
I am a solo practitioner attorney and have an office in Port Chester. I make my own schedule, so when I don’t have court in the morning I come to the Y as a stress reliever. If I had the time, I would be here more often. It is a wonderful place and a great institution; truly a jewel in this wonderful community of Rye.
I love coming to the Y; it is like an extension of my home. The people and staff are friendly and very helpful. The Y has been a part of my life for the last two decades, and will hopefully continue to be for the next 20 years or more. I hope to age gracefully, and if I do, the Rye Y will have a lot to do with it!
In July 2009, I had just graduated from college and I was looking for a part-time job. I knew I would be commuting into New York City to go to graduate school to get my master’s degree. Peggy, who works in the yoga department, had worked with my mom and she said ‘the Rye YMCA is always looking for people to work at their front desk, you should inquire.’ I wasn’t sure if they’d accept me because I could only work a few days a week but I came in and met with Barbara and she interviewed me. She was so warm and wonderful. She was like ‘no problem!’
So I started working at the front desk in the summer. In September or October, I started thinking ‘well, if I’m going to be here, I might as well start doing things here so when members come I can what everything is like.’ So I started to take group fitness classes and I started taking Diana’s classes two or three times a week. Mind you, I hadn’t worked out in years! But I said ‘let’s just try it.’
Diana approached me after one of the classes and said ‘you have great form.’ I pretty much laughed at her but she said ‘I’m launching a new program here called Group Power. I’d love for you to do the certification.’ I had known Diana from the past so I trusted her but I was still apprehensive. But I thought to myself ‘Let’s just do it. What do I have to lose?’
I got certified in Group Power and I had never taught an exercise class in my life. [In the beginning], I worked with Maiju and Diana and Gina and we rehearsed two or three times a week, practicing the choreography. I taught Group Power for a while and then Diana said ‘how about you get a group exercise certification? At this time, I was taking a full load of four classes, I was working at the front desk, I was teaching Group Power and I was working in my mom’s office. It was crazy. But Diana took me under her wing and I shadowed her in every freestyle class that she did for a few months. A year or so later, I started teaching on my own.
A few years later, I got certified for the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program, which has been a wonderful experience. That led into my spinning certification. And I still worked at the front desk all through graduate school. After I started teaching—I teach 7th grade social studies at Port Chester Middle School—the opportunity came up to lead a spin class on Sunday mornings so I phased out at the front desk. I’ve been teaching group exercise classes ever since.
I never in a million years thought that a part-time job would lead to being such a huge part of my life. I’ve become great friends with Diana and El and Christina and Tanya and Laura Laura and Lisa Miller. I’ve made so many connections. I’m working with the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA and developing those relationships and a lot of those participants are now coming to my classes. I volunteer with the Rye Derby, helping on the course. It’s been awesome!
I once told my mom, ‘I’m never going to exercise a day in my life!’ Now fitness has become a big part of my life. When Barbara first interviewed me, she said ‘just so you know, the Y is going to become part of your life and your family.’ At that time, I was so busy with other things I thought ‘how is this ever going to fit into my life?’ But it becomes part of your life and you enjoy coming.
I’m someone who enjoys helping others—that’s my career. The Y is the perfect venue for that. I’m so inspired by all the members I’ve met.
A year ago we moved to Rye Brook from Massachusetts. We are a family of five with kids ages 7, 9 and Ethan is almost 2. We were drawn to the area because of the great schools and because my husband’s family lives nearby. My in-laws are members of the Rye Y and brought us here. We enrolled our two older children in swim lessons right away. Being from Cape Cod, they already knew how to swim, but didn’t know many strokes. They have both progressed nicely and our older child was able to pass the swim test for sailing school.
My husband exercises in the Fitness Center and sometimes meets his parents here. I just started “Gym and Swim” with Ethan. It’s the first thing he’s done here. He went from being scared of the water to jumping in on his own. He is comfortable underwater now and blowing bubbles!
I teach in the city at the NYU School of Visual Arts and it isn’t easy to find time to exercise here. I’m still running outside. We tried Child Watch once last spring. As nice as the staff was, Ethan didn’t want me to leave. But now he waves to them. I’ll have more time in the spring and we’ll try again then. I’m looking forward to Family Swim and Family Gym as the weather gets colder. It has been so wonderful to come here as a family.
I became a Y member when I moved into the area in 2001. I was a member of the Y where I lived before and I swim. It’s really hard to do lap swimming without a Y. I come every two or three days. My goal is to stay fit. I do bicycle riding on my own outdoors. And I do rapid walking outdoors. And I do yoga at home. I’ve taken enough yoga classes that I know what I need.
This place is close, it’s convenient, the pool is large and I don’t really know any other competing facilities in my area. Everyone is friendly.
I became a member at the Rye Y as I live in Port Chester and wanted to join a gym that was close by. I also wanted a nice clean gym as I love to work out. I thought at first the Y was expensive but it was well worth it coming here after a few times with all the amenities and things.
The YMCA plays an important part in many peoples’ lives. Everyone has some sort of fitness in their life. The Y has space and is open all the time. It offers many options such as weights, swim and much more.
I used to come in and just lift weights. As I got older and became more appreciative of different aspects of fitness, I now swim, do yoga with Naomi, and take JT”s HIIT class.
I feel that the YMCA made improvements in my life. I am in better shape than I ever was. There are so many options and trainers here at the Y to help you.
My family and I moved from the Washington DC area to Rye in 1995 and joined the Y in 1996. I have been using the Y for more than 20 years as a place to work out and learn from the excellent trainers. All of my children also used the Y’s facilities when they lived at home. For instance, my youngest daughter learned to swim at the Y.
I also appreciate how the Y offers opportunities for community involvement. I was happy to participate in the Centennial. I am particularly interested in how we as a privileged community can help provide services in neighborhoods surrounding us.
The friendly staff and “regulars” make it a pleasure to come here.
I’ve been coming to the Y for a few years now. My three children first brought me here; I enrolled each of them into summer camp. Thereafter, I enrolled each of them into the basic swim classes. Luke, the youngest, recently learned to swim. They also partake in Family Nerf Night and take karate classes. They love it here at the Y and since I was spending a tremendous amount of time here I decided to join a few classes myself.
It’s crazy to say, but I have a small gym in my basement. I never make it down there but my husband does. I need someone to work out with, so the class atmosphere is exactly what I needed and the music makes workouts fun. JT, I must say, reeled me in from the start. Motivation is important to me and he’s a great motivator. I love his energy, it’s so contagious. Coming to the Y and attending my fitness and yoga classes three times a week is a win and my personal goal. Otherwise I’d get in a rut and it’ll be weeks before I make it to the gym again and then I’m sore for much longer. So far I’ve been able to accomplish this goal with the Y’s motivation.
Everyone here is super friendly and that’s huge for me. They make you feel comfortable, from the valets to the instructors and other members. Especially the women in babysitting; Luke and I just love the babysitting service. It’s a life saver. It’s a reason I’m able to attend classes. The smiles on everyone’s faces is nice and it makes for a good gym day, motivation everywhere.
I’ve been a member of the Rye Y for about 20 years. But I was a member of the Westside Y in New York City for about 15, 20 years also. I joined this Y when I moved to Rye. I think I was still a member of the Westside Y at the same time because I used to play four-wall handball down there. I was probably going to both for a little period of time.
When I first joined the Y—I’m 76 years old—there weren’t many health clubs around at that time. So the Y was the choice. Initially it was to play four-wall handball and do aerobic classes. I stayed at the Y for a long time. And then a few health clubs came along and I joined them on and off.
When I moved up here, a few years later, I joined the Rye Y—initially for running. There was a group that used to run out of the Y, about eight guys, we’d run five miles three to five days a week. Then my knees started to bother me with running, so I did the treadmill for another five or ten years and then I started to swim. So now I’m primarily a swimmer. I swim here Friday, Saturday and Sunday. But I also have an apartment in the city, which I’m fortunate, has a pool. So I swim there the other days of the week. I also play a lot of golf.
The Rye Y is convenient –I live only about a half a mile away. The price point is fair. This Y has a particularly good swimming program, in terms of availability. It’s very clean. Hospitable. My goal is to keep fit and loose, to just use the body, period. At my age, I don’t think you have goals any more; you have maintenance!
I was at the White Plains Y and then I switched here because I was doing the [pre-endurance] swim classes with Cathy. Also, I’m a member of the Tri Club and most of my club mates train here. So I just thought it made sense to switch to this Y. I’m liking it so far.
I started doing triathlons back in the eighties. I’ve had some breaks here and there because life gets in the way. I stopped for quite a while and started up again in 2014. It had nothing to do with turning 60 but it happened to be when I turned 60. As a triathlete, I’ve always been bicycle heavy and neglected the swim and the run. This year I did my first half Ironman and I really wanted to work on improving my swim technique and bump up my running. I have seen some improvements in my swim time so I’m very happy with that.
I’ve also been using the weight room. Yesterday I did my first indoor cycling class. I need a workout schedule where I’m getting the heart rate up and I find that’s easier to do indoors. I enjoyed it and will probably do more, particularly as the weather gets colder. I’m also going to keep working on the swimming.
Since I turned 60 and entered the 60-64 age group, I’ve had several successes. I won the age group three years in a row at both the Sleepy Hollow Sprint Triathlon and the Westchester Triathlon. This year at the Westchester Triathlon, I competed in the Aquabike and came in second among the women in that division. Aquabike is swimming and biking only—in the Westchester triathlon the swim is 1.5K and a 40-kilometer bike ride. Also this summer, I competed in the Multi-Sport World Championships in British Columbia. In the Aqubike division it consisted of 3K swim and 120K bike. In less than 2 weeks, I’m going down to Florida to compete in the National Aquabike Championships and hope to qualify for the world championships again!
I like to think that this is keeping me young. I see people younger than me who can’t do half of what I’m doing. It’s helping me stay active. And the competition—I like challenging myself. I like to see how I stack up against other people my age. It gives me something to aim for. Sometimes if I don’t have a race or something that I’m shooting for, I think ‘do I really want to go to the pool? Do I really want to go to the weight room?’ I find it helps motivate me and I’ve made a lot of friends.
You all have a very helpful, friendly staff here. I really love the new locker room. I waited very patiently for it but it’s really quite nice. I feel a little bit like I’m going into a fancy health club.
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