Find Yourself at the Y.
The Y is many things to many different people. At the same time, however, there is a common thread – an underlying, emotional foundation – that binds and strengthens everyone connected to the Y – no matter what, who, when or where. We may be different things for different people, but everyone is inspired by and drawn to the Y for the same emotional, spiritual and physical reasons.
Meet some of our Members and read about their impact stories. Have a story you would like to share? Please fill out the form below.
Personal trainer Christina and client Bonnie have one strong connection! Bonnie, an avid professional level bowler, began using the Valpo YMCA with the SilverSneakers program before she started training with Christina. After years of dealing with Osteoporosis, Bonnie watched her ability to bowl fade almost overnight. She had to step back from bowling but stepped forward into personal training.
“You don’t build bone back, but you can build your strength,” Bonnie shared. She loves knowing she is doing her exercises correctly and trying things she never would have tried outside of training. She also loves training with Christina, “she’s so friendly and helpful, everyone back here [in personal training] is.”
Christina shared not only does Bonnie complete all her exercises outside of training, but that the two of them have become close friends, “almost like a second mom!” They talk about everything while they train. Bonnie even brought Christina an Easter gift when she knew she wouldn’t be able to spend the day with her family. Christina loves her clients and coworkers, sharing she “wouldn’t trade working at the Y for anything!”
Bonnie thanks Christina for pushing her. The weight training and activity is good for her bones, builds muscle and keeps her strong. Bonnie is happy to report that she is back to earning strikes at the bowling alley – but she’s still working toward her goal of using her favorite 14-pound ball again. “I’m so much stronger now, and I wouldn’t be where I am without you.”
Bonnie is committed to the Y, personal training, and occasionally flexing her hard-earned muscles!
Michael Graves’s Y story started at the old facility on the racquetball court – but has grown through the years in relationships, family and spirit.
The Y has given Michael an outlet and an opportunity to build a strong relationship with his 15 year old grandson. “I’ll text him and we’ll get together to shoot hoops, practice free throws or lift weights. It’s a chance to bond and be in a positive environment.”
Michael and his wife exercise together, walking the track every day. “It’s good for our relationship! We bond over it.” It puts them in a good mood, keeps them healthy and full of energy.
Individually, Michael enjoys the variety of resources at the Y. He can concentrate and train for triathlons or enjoy a leisurely swim and a relaxing walk on the track. But his newest engagement at the Y is in Spiritual Wellness.
He began participating in Spiritual Wellness activities like the Advent Bible Study and the Lenten Lunch – noting the relevant content, supportive scripture, and how much fun he had. “Faith brings us joy,” he shared.
He appreciates this opportunity for spiritual growth and believes it fills a gap in our community.
Michael sees the importance of the Y’s work in promoting a healthy mind, body and spirit. “The Y has enriched my life. The opportunities and resources of the Y are essential for our community”
Nathan and Angel
Nathan and Angel are a part of the vocational Life Skills program at Valparaiso High School – learning skills to use after they graduate. This program is a stepping stone to working independently.
You’ll see Nathan and Angel working hard around the Y vacuuming and cleaning windows, tables and mirrors. Nathan and Angel shared they like to help and enjoy smiles from members. They also enjoy watching members play pickleball on their break!
Their instructor shared that members have been welcoming and the staff has been great and very kind. People will smile, say hello and share praise over a job well done.
They Y has been a great space for Nathan and Angel to enjoy, learn and grow!
Pat has always lived an active lifestyle with a passion for community volunteerism, and playing and coaching tennis. What many people don’t see behind this cheerful, giving and determined woman, is that she has battled Rheumatoid Arthritis for nearly 50 years.
When she turned 69 she realized her knees were in bad shape and she had to step back from tennis and her Y membership. At 74 she had double knee replacement surgery and came back to the Y after rehabilitation. She joined for the SilverSneakers program, but found she was ready for a different kind of challenge – Personal Training!
Pat’s personal and physical wellness took off when she started training with Melissa. She was surprised and excited by what she was able to accomplish, she “could do things she never would have done” on her own. She is now training with Tony two times a week and loves it! This experience has showed her that fitness and well-being “isn’t a goal, it’s a process, a commitment.”
Pat takes her commitment seriously and even trains when Tony isn’t available for sessions! She loves that the staff have gotten to know her – it helps keep her accountable. What’s more is that the staff is constantly inspired by Pat! The Personal Training room lights up just a little more when Pat walks in for her sessions.
Pat loves that the Y truly is for everybody, all walks of life, and all levels of fitness. The staff is experienced. The people are friendly. She is partaking in what the Y has to offer and loving it!