Four years ago marked the beginning of a major change in my life. I retired from a busy job (which I did enjoy – but not the long commute into the city!) and at the same time moved up to Severn Bridge to live.
Our home was just what we wanted and the surrounding area was beautiful. Every morning I walked an hour with neighbours and even in the afternoon did another 45 minutes … things were good. After a while, I realized walking was not enough for me and I needed some other forms of exercise. When living in Mississauga, I had belonged to a gym which was close to my house and I worked out regularly each week. I missed that and started to research facilities in the Gravenhurst/Orillia area. I looked at all the possibilities and finally decided to join the YMCA in Gravenhurst.
The only downfall was it would take me 20 minutes to get there by highway and I was used to only travelling 3 kilometres. I wasn’t sure if I would attend on a regular basis given the distance … would I get my money’s worth? Well, to my surprise, it was the best thing I could have ever done. I looked forward to every opportunity to go! If I didn’t go at least 3 times a week, I knew something was wrong! (I think if I lived closer I’d be there every day!)
The first thing I did when I joined the “Y” was to make an appointment with a Wellness Coach. I couldn’t believe that this was covered with my membership. They looked at my medical history, current physical condition and discussed my goals – and what I hope to achieve from my participation in the many programs offered. My coach established a program designed just for me! … she explained all of the equipment and programmed it into the system, with my own password I could keep track of my progress. As I improved she recommended changes that helped me achieve my goals. She was always there for advice and encouragement! It was so nice to have someone who cared and wanted you to feel really good about yourself. I was so impressed with the instructors, their knowledge, friendliness and how comfortable they made you feel if you were limited in any way. It made exercising so much more fun!
There are such a variety of fitness classes to become involved in – there’s something for everyone. As a bonus for me, the City of Gravenhurst offered Pickleball in the gym of the “Y”. I had never heard of the sport before so I tried it out and absolutely loved it. Since I was a member of the “Y”, it was free and offered three times per week … a dream come true.
Attending the “Y”, whether you are doing your own personal workout or attending any of the fitness classes I found you are always meeting people who have the same interests and sometimes great friendships are formed. It is almost like your home away from home.
I stopped my membership for the summer months as we get a great deal of friends and family up to our house (they see it as a cottage resort!) and was not sure if I would get many chances each week to attend the gym. I didn’t realize how much I would miss the gym and wish I had never left in the first place. I am now back and attending at least 3 times per week and starting to feel good once again. The YMCA offers a variety of aquatic programs and although I have yet to participate, I am looking forward to another adventure at the ‘Y’ and achieve even more of my personal goals.
Since joining the YMCA, it is definitely worth the drive to Gravenhurst!!