Why I love the Y

I love exercising, I love teaching Group Fitness, and I love getting a break from Motherhood on  a regular basis.  Thus, the YMCA has become part of our lifestyle.  Most weekday mornings, the kids and I go to the Y for 2 hours.  Two glorious hours. The kids go to the Child Watch, and I go to the treadmill or teach a class.  Because sometimes running 5 miles is easier than staying home with 4 kids.  And so today, as I exercised at the local Y, I felt compelled to confess my love of the Y to the world.  Well, at least to those who read my blog 🙂  So here it goes:

1. Warm atmosphere.  No meat-heads, no half-naked people, no posing in the mirror.  Just a whole lot of grandmothers and grandfathers and moms who look like me-struggling to herd the kids into the gym before they eat gum off the street.  True story.  I’m pretty sure we burn more calories just getting to the Y than actually working out.

2.  Child Watch.  CANNOT SAY ENOUGH.  These angels in Y t-shirts watch my children for 2 glorious hours.  And not just watch them, but engage them, play with them, love them.  They become part of our family and I’m eternally grateful for their service. (Special shout out to Miss Beth…the kids miss you!)

3. Did I mention TWO HOURS?  It’s a break from the kids.  It’s a break from the housework.  It’s a break from myself.

4.  I work out to zone out.  Exercising gives my brain a break.  It’s kinda hard to think about anything other than ‘how many more miles???’

5.  Mental preparation for the rest of the day.  After I work out, I often hide out in the locker room for a few minutes to pray and practice mindfulness techniques.  It gets me ready for the rest of my day.  It’s similar to the locker room huddle before the football team hits the field.  Except instead of cheering crowds, I get poopy diapers and pre-nap meltdowns.

6.  It’s a great place to have lunch.  Throw some yogurts in your bag and tell the kids that after they let Mommy work out, we’ll all sit together and have a picnic in the lobby.  They interact with tons of people of all ages, and there’s no kitchen to clean.

7.  There are Y’s all across America.  Which comes in especially handy when on an open-ended road trip with your 4 children.

ymcaThis is us this morning at the Jamestown, NC YMCA


Here’s some fun facts about my life with the YMCA:

I once passed out in the lobby.  In a bathing suit.  7-months pregnant (I thought the baby was sitting wrong and that swimming would help.  Turns out I had kidney stones. Go figure.)

I leaked breast milk on the stretching mats while doing push-ups.  I was mortified and quickly exited without wiping it up.  Dear Traumatized-By-Unknown-Fluid-On-Mat, I’m sorry about that.

Most days, the kids’ lunch consists of a soft Philly pretzel sold in the lobby and an apple.  Best $1.50 spent all day.

I LOVE sitting in the sauna with the elderly women.  They ooh and aah over my “taut, wrinkle-free skin” and ask if I’m even old enough to have children.  When I’m pregnant, they often say they didn’t even notice.  And when I’m not, they point out how ‘fit’ I am.  Way to make a tired mom feel good!

I’m the slowest swimmer in the pool.  One day I was trying to keep up with this elderly man.  I couldn’t.  Later, he got out and grabbed his walker.

Every day as we leave the Y, I thank the children for offering the gift of letting Mommy work out and have some alone time.  They puff up their chests and give a hearty “Aw, you’re welcome”.



9 thoughts on “Why I love the Y

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  1. I have also been a YMCA group fitness instructor for about a million years now…. and my kids were raised on 2 hour a day Child Watch with ladies that loved and taught and encouraged. And though I make more money teaching elsewhere, I love and stay with the Y because of all that you wrote and more. It is so much more than any other gym and it is where our family feels right at home. Thanks for building us up on here. Kristi http://www.angelspiratesthieves.blogspot.com

  2. I miss you and my babies also! I really miss my big hugs :(. I am so happy you guys are doing great. 🙂

  3. Tommie, this is absolutely delightful as well as inspiring gratitude. Thank you for your gift. Where can I donate to you? I want to keep these coming.

  4. You are a superwoman! Thank you for sharing openly and honestly about the sometimes struggles of parenting. I feel so lazy as a single, mostly unattached person who manages to squeeze in some exercise at home. I couldn’t imagine scheduling exercise if I had mom responsibilities. Thank you for the dedication you have to your family. Sounds as if ya’ll have some good ones growing up in your household. I love picturing those puffed out chests saying “you’really welcome”

    1. Thank you! Oh I dream of the days of working out at home. Unfortunately in this season of life, it would end in me inevitably kicking a child accidentally as I attempt kickboxing 😉 So I guess the Y keeps us all safe. And sane 😉

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