Rye Y Story Project: Gretchen

GretchenI am serious about my exercise. I started running in the 1970s and did a couple marathons. I walked the last 5 miles in both. I decided I needed a more thorough, extensive kind of exercise so I took up wind surfing. I wanted, needed, to be really fit to do that sport. So I started coming to the fitness center here. My favorite machine was the rowing machine because it is the most like windsurfing.

I’m currently recovering from spinal surgery so can’t windsurf for another 6 months. Windsurfing is like a surf board with a sail. It is very scientific; you have to think about the wind, the aerodynamics, all sorts of forces. You have to assess where you are and the tides and all the risks. I never go alone. I’m using the spin bicycles now, focusing on my legs because I can’t exercise my upper body yet. My whole family is athletic; when we get together we all discuss our exercise and sports.

I love bringing my grandchildren here – we’ve done everything here. We’ll go in the racquetball court. We don’t know anything about the game but we have the greatest time. The staff is very helpful. Whenever I ask a question, they jump to help. I enjoy chatting with other members. The Y is very much a vital part of my life because of the welcome I get here and the people who work here. I can’t tell you how welcome I feel. That is very important to me.