Although I’ve written for several professional venues, I’ve been motivated by family, friends and industry peers to start my own blog sharing practical knowledge and experiences about life, business, sales and anything in between.
Being my first blog, I thought I’d write about one of the three things I value most in life… my health. If I’m not home you’ll more than likely find me at the YMCA as I spend more time there than any other place. Among the many things I enjoy there like spinning, yoga, Pilates, swimming or working out with my personal trainer, my favorite activity is coaching for the youth soccer program these last few years.
I was first introduced to the Y years ago when watching one of my nieces play soccer for the team my twin brother was coaching. That same season my niece asked if I would coach her team with her daddy and who could say no to that? As my niece would say “we’re a soccer family” dating back to grandpa who played semi-pro soccer, my Dad who played college ball and myself playing through high school. I jumped at the opportunity, soon after I joined the Y and the rest is history.
Before I go into everything the Y has to offer, I’d like to say that like many people I had some trepidation about paying more than most other gyms. Throughout my life I’ve belonged to just about every major franchise out there and the Y is so much more than just a gym and worth every penny. Some of the amenities include:
Group Exercise and Equipment
Not only does the Y have state-of-the-art exercise equipment for any of your fitness goals, they promote different events encouraging members to try new equipment and the many classes available. You’re certain to find something you like among: Body Ballet, Cycling, Yoga, Pilates, Boot Camp, Cardio Strength, Cardio Kickboxing, Abs/Core, swim fitness and even the latest fitness craze like Insanity and P90X. I’ve even tried Zumba and discovered I’m just as uncoordinated now as I was when I was clubbing in my 20’s. They also have a variety of kids’ fitness classes… my niece took one of the yoga classes and think she did better than me – Namaste E!
And parents… they have child care services to keep the kids entertained while you work out.
I subscribe to the Y’s emails and they do a fantastic job of keeping members engaged outside of fitness. They do something for just about every holiday and I’ve attended many events where the Y simply spares no expense. Some of the past activities include: farmers’ markets, Christmas at the Orlando Museum of Art, father/daughter dances, visits by Santa and Mrs. Clause, movie nights, cancer runs, health fairs and countless other family events. Whether it is to entertain the kids, a charitable cause or just to get out and meet new people… the Y is fairly certain to have something you can get behind, support and have fun.
Youth Sports and Camps
My parents did a great job of getting us involved in many different sports growing up and the Y has so many to choose from. Aside from playing, organized sports can provide kids with confidence, social skills and help them recognize the importance of hard work and being a team player. I think the athletic director sleeps there and they go over and beyond giving players and coaches the resources needed to make sure the kids have fun and learn the game. They look for coaches that align with their core values and honestly I think the parents have just as much fun as the kids at practices and on game day.
You can’t say enough about they Y’s involvement in the community through volunteering, fund raising, health awareness, educating youth and countless other programs. Their philanthropy efforts extend globally, nationally and in your community where you can volunteer your time or money. Of the few causes I support like my church, it’s nice to know that with the Y you know where your money is going and can even choose exactly where you want it to be spent. They keep you well informed of the impact your contributions make through social media and other outlets.
I work out five to six days a week and although I’d like to think I go for the sheer benefit of improving my health, a larger part of going is to socialize with the staff, friends and meet new people. I can’t think of a time where a staff member hasn’t greeted me with a smile or offered to help with something. And let’s face it, some of the classes there challenge you both physically and mentally. What better way to meet new people than bonding during a class where we’re all challenging ourselves?
It’s really just a matter of finding what motivates you to go be it health goals, music, socializing or as cliché as it sounds… being a part of something bigger than yourself. Once you start going to the Y and participating in the many activities, it’s kind of hard to stop the self-perpetuating cycle. Also, I’d like to add a quick caveat, but I wasn’t asked to write this for the Y. It’s just such a large part of my life and one of the three things I value most… perhaps I’ll write about the other two in another blog.
All I can say is that at the end of my day I can’t wait to get to the Y. I get a great workout and meet someone new virtually every time I go. A small majority of people truly enjoy working out and even if you get a bad workout you’re getting “a” workout and doing something for your health… one day at a time. You may not enjoy your workout while you’re doing it, but I promise that when you’re done you’ll feel better, be glad you went and will more than likely want to go back for more.
By: Cory Prado