Remember how I went from couch potato to the long lost cousin of Lance Armstrong? Or how miserable I was when I moved from Chicago to the cornfields? Well, I could have never done it without the YMCA. You know how some people go to church every Sunday to feel that sense of community, right? Well, after twelve years of Catholic school, the Y is as Christian as I get these days! We do not go to church anymore, now we go to the Y, and you'll soon discover why I chose the Fishers YMCA.
As most of you know by now, almost a year and a half ago we got transferred to a small suburb in Indianapolis called Fishers. It was the middle of the Summer and I was at the pool every day, trying to enjoy the weather, but inside I was miserable and didn't take my new suburban lifestyle very well. There are no good restaurants around here, Enrico! Can't you see that we are surrounded by Stake & Shakes! I can't take it anymore! Yep, that was my very first week in Indy. I remember unpacking all the boxes and smashing half of my old china against the floor (on purpose!). I was mad. I was sad. I wasn't happy at all. I was miserable.
One afternoon at McAllister's Deli (yes, another chain!), I met a very friendly couple from Ecuador. You have to join the Y, Nina. They have great pools, gym, daycare; it is a great place for families. The Y? As in the YMCA? Was she kidding me? I remembered the Y in Puerto Rico and it pretty much was a place for the elderly, but then again, I didn't really knew too much about it either. They have classes for the kids, karate, family activities...She kept on saying. Sure, sure, I'll check it out. Thanks! In the meantime, I kept on going to the parks and the Monon Center's pools and didn't really give too much thought to the YMCA.
One Summer afternoon, Enrico said to me Nina, I have a couple of co-workers that go to the Y. Maybe you should check it out. I guess it was time to go check out this famous Fishers YMCA that everyone was talking about. So I did.
Oh my God, I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful this place felt. Everyone was welcoming, the pools were outstanding, the gym facilities brand new and the locker rooms very clean and nice. I immediately became a member and started going to the Y on a daily basis. The two hour free daycare gave me some me time and, as you know by now, I started exercising for the first time in my life. I can't really pinpoint how it happened, but cycling became my outlet. I felt free for one hour every day. I didn't have to think too much about the fact that I missed all things Chicago terribly. I just connected with the bike and fell in love with it; to the point that I became an instructor.
The Y has also given me the opportunity to make a difference. By being a cycling instructor I've been able to motivate others with my energy, classes and music; and I've been able to help others achieve their fitness goals. Whether they cycle to become healthier and fit or just to be able to increase their wine and chocolate intake (like me!), I'm there week after week to help them out and to keep them motivated.
Less than a week ago, one of my fellow instructors and I were able to work on a special Halloween fundraiser event where, with a little help from our friends, we managed to raise money for the Y's Strong Kids Campaign by giving them 90 minutes of pure indoor cycling fun. Just another reason why I absolutely love this place.
So, why the Y? Well, aside from the obvious (free daycare, free daycare, free daycare) I just love that it truly brings a community together. I feel like it is my Zen garden, my church, my Cheers (without the booze, that is!). My kids love it and it is a great family oriented place where it is all about building strong kids and even stronger communities.
As you can see, I totally drank the Y's Kool-Aid! Ay Mama!