Rye Y Story Project: Jacqueline

Jacqueline-WThe Y became a part of my life through the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program. I had finished my treatment and had been active all of my life. Cancer threw me for a loop and I didn’t know if I was still going to be active. I thought the diagnosis might change the way I live, but coming to the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program put me back on the saddle! Instead of lamenting and crying and feeling sorry for myself, I became active again by coming to the Y and Wainwright classes.

The people I’ve met are supportive and that has helped me through a really rough time. I am currently taking Tamoxifen and because it can cause weight gain, I need to focus on weight loss. Right now I feel good and I fit better into my clothes. I had a concept of the Y from a previous experience in the Bronx, but when I came to this Y my expectation was exceeded.

I love looking out over the brook and seeing the scenery outside while I’m working out. It’s a big lift! The Y is neat and clean, more than any other facility around. I am always greeted with a friendly warm hello and I made lots of friends in the classes, even when I was new; the other members were very nice.

Rye Y Story Project: Stephen

Stephen-N’m a veteran and was in Vietnam in the 60s. I have lived in Rye for 41 years and have been physically active my whole life. When I worked in the city at AmEx, I used the company gym. Since I retired in 2009, I come to the Y three times a week.

The Y has virtually everything you would want. I work out mostly upstairs in the Fitness Center but also use the “erg” for rowing. I was on crew in college and rowing gives you a great, full body workout.

I’m vain enough to want a flat stomach and you can get that here.

Rye Y Story Project: Samantha

Samantha-BI joined the Rye Y when I was in kindergarten when my mother signed me up for Gymnastics Camp. That was three years ago. Gymnastics was a little bit hard to do at first, but really fun. Gymnastics camp included swimming because it is really very good exercise even though it is hard work. Swimming is a big part of the Y.

I am now in 3rd grade and am still learning and practicing gymnastics at the Y. I have learned many skills like how to do cartwheels and forward and backward rolls that I learned in my first year. Right from the start, I made many friends, too. While I was in camp, I started having play dates with one of the girls I met here. I later found out that she went to my school.

From practicing the activities in the Gymnastics Camp, I decided I wanted to continue in a gymnastics group. I listened to my coaches and made very good progress. Next, I was invited into Talent Group. This group is for learning advanced skills without having to go into competition. I really like gymnastics and am lucky to have the Y here. All of the people are nice. The coaches are really nice and good. The coaches, like Tatum, who is funny, and Shelly, who takes gymnastics seriously, have prepared me to do very complicated skills. The warm-ups we do in Talent Group are challenging so I think Team, the next group up, must be very challenging. I am hoping to get into Team; this is where the competitions are. I’m not sure if I’m ready yet, but I hope I am.

Every year, I’ve gotten a small prize like a medal or trophy from my coaches. They give the prize to make people feel proud of the work they do. I have good skills from this work. I do feel proud of that. I hope one day to be able to be in competitions. I feel all these years of practice has paid off, and the hard work shows. I’ve had wonderful years at the Y. I give my coaches a thumbs up.

Rye Y Story Project: Sam

Sam-Komatreddy-I have been swimming for about five years. I started in the swim lesson program and went from Guppy 1 all the way to Fish. I am swimming on the Pre Team now also and my goal is to join the competitive swim team. I like being in Fish because that means I am so close to being in the Shark class.

The Y is a great place because the teachers are so encouraging. Mr. Scott is so nice and really encouraging. My favorite things to do in class are swim breaststroke, diving, and choosing what strokes I get to swim. The Y is such a great place to learn and so popular because it’s been around for 100 years so it’s had a lot of time to grow and become great.

I have made lots of new friends and can’t wait to swim on the competitive swim team.

Rye Y Story Project: Roger

RogerHI moved to the area from Taiwan 28 years ago. I tried other Ys in the Westchester area but after comparison – distance wise and convenience wise, I joined the Rye Y. In my first ten years, I came here only 4-5 months each a year due to my extensive travel needs. I found the Y to be a very nice place, even though it was small. I felt comfortable coming in – the people were all warm, nice and sincere.

Now after 26 years of being a member, I know everyone. It’s like family here and that feeling is good.

Everyone needs interaction with other people, especially these days with the popularity of the internet. That’s what makes people happy. I get that here at the Y.

Rye Y Story Project: Rachel

RachelGThe Rye Y has been a “lifesaver” for our family! We moved to Rye after living in London for seven years and we absolutely love the programs that are offered to young children. My five-year old, who entered Kindergarten this fall, has learned to swim at the Y and the swim instructors did a great job of building up his confidence in the water. He also participates in the basketball program and other sport classes. My three-year old is also enrolled in the swim program and is getting more comfortable after each class. He enjoys the “Mom & Tot” classes with Ellen Watermelon and Dawny Dew.

The babysitting staff is phenomenal and my kids love playing with the other children. The babysitting program allows me to not only work out in the fitness center and participate in the spinning classes, but I can also go into town and grab a cup of coffee. Our family also enjoys the family swim and open gym time on weekends. We attended the Halloween Party and we had no idea it was going to be so much fun. The Rye Y has helped my family maintain balance and get settled into the community.

Rye Y Story Project: Patty

PattyBI’ve been a member for about 14 years. Our family moved here from London. I had always worked out and I needed a place to go. When I first started at the Y, I mainly did Pilates with a little Zumba, but now I only take Maiju’s Pilates classes, here at the Y and also at Wainwright. I like the weights we use twice a week as it really helps me be strong and hit a golf ball a lot further.

For the past several years, I’ve been the class D.J., creating a new mix monthly. I have to work out to music. I studied dance in college. Pilates, much like a dance warm up, flows better with music. I feel that it’s like choreography.

I would encourage everyone to try Pilates. It’s method of exercise is important for strength, tone and flexibility.

I love it the Rye Y. It’s a friendly place. It’s a real gem in Rye.

Rye Y Story Project: Nancy

NancyWe have been Rye Y members for 22 years. In the beginning we joined for the kids’ programs – swimming, gymnastics, Mommy and Me with Ellen Watermelon. The Y taught all four of my kids how to swim and all my girls took gymnastics classes here. Debbie Schiff would go through the programs that where available for my kids and then help me navigate their hectic schedules. Debbie is a lovely, genuine person, who goes above and beyond what is asked of her. Who better to greet you as you enter the Y everyday!
Approximately 20 years ago, I started taking step classes at night with Maiju and her sister-in-law, Sharon Breese. The classes were held in the old gym. I remember sneaking in through the roll-up garbage door that was located off of the parking lot. We had a lot of laughs in that class; that’s when I realized the Y was a special place for the young, old and somewhere in between!

In addition to taking step with Maiju, I also take classes instructed by Diana, J.T. and Yvette. Diana wears many hats here; she is not only an instructor. She is an extremely caring and compassionate woman, she also goes above and beyond what is asked of her. I honestly can’t say enough about all the instructors here. They are so inspirational and upbeat, they know how to drag your personal best out of you.

I love coming here not only for the exercise but also for the people. The friendships that I have made here are for life. These friendships have taken us through some good times and some bad. I had a heart attack recently and the support that I received from everyone here was amazing. My doctors told me that my commitment to exercise has really helped my recovery.

My husband and kids are still coming to the Y as well. We are members for life!! I would like to thank the YMCA staff for all of the hard work and dedication that they put in day after day. You are keeping all of your members happy and healthy!!

Rye Y Story Project: Michael G.

Michael-GoWhen I was 35—I’m 62 now—I started taking yoga and meditating, and became a vegetarian. It put me on a path that allowed me to accomplish my goals. I met instructor Carol Stefanelli approximately twenty years ago at a yoga facility. When Carol moved from that location, I lost track of her. Over time, my physical condition began to deteriorate from what it had been when I was exercising in her classes.

I heard about the Rye Y yoga program and registered for the classes at Wainwright House. To my surprise, it was Carol Stefanelli who was teaching my class. I joined the Monday and Wednesday sessions and paid the daily rate. Over time, I observed that everyone else in the group was checking the column on the attendance sheet to indicate they were Y members. This prompted me to come into the Y, where I met the friendly staff and became a member. It not only made economical sense to be a member, but I started using the whole facility. This membership has changed my life.

I was running out of breath when walking up a flight of stairs. I intended to do something about this. The first program I enrolled in at the Y was tailor-made for me and others like me in my age range.

Diane Negvesky introduced me to an exercise program that made a difference. Today, Laura Laura works with me on maintaining the progress I have made. My first goal was to lose weight and be able to comfortably climb up three flights of stairs. My overarching goal was to develop a lithe body and now, thirty-eight pounds lighter, I am flexible and in excellent physical condition. Besides the rigorous program I was on, it’s amazing that this goal was more quickly accomplished through an exercise that I never thought I would do. Zumba. Now, I say, “Real athletes do Zumba”. I not only lost weight, I gained flexibility and endurance. There is nothing like dancing Zumba while listening to music.

I sincerely thank my three YMCA Zumba teachers: Junixsa, Angelica, and Martha. The folks in Zumba are like a family. The fact I most want to share (especially with the YMCA guys) is that I can now spend an hour comfortably on a treadmill and I’m wet, or I can spend fifteen minutes in Zumba and I’m wet down to my socks!” I never accomplished this result in any other exercise I have ever done.

Rye Y Story Project: Michael T.

Michael-T-SI’m a long-term member of the Rye Y. My wife grew up in the community and introduced me to the facility. I have seen the Y grow from one pool and a few exercise machines to a state-of-the-art facility we enjoy today.

I have been active all my life. As an avid runner who once trained for Central Park races and marathons the Y fit the bill, providing me with the tools to successfully compete.
Why did I join the Y? My membership is my assurance that I will keep doing what I enjoy doing.

Regardless of where in the world I go or have been, the Rye Y’s facility is amply outfitted and the staff is consistently helpful and accommodating, making it well suited for my needs. Amazingly, this dedicated staff creates a true community as well; I know just about everyone here. I’m sure members leave this building feeling better than they did when they entered. Exercising and chatting with familiar faces improves both the body and spirit.

I have never taken my health for granted. As a responsible adult I know I have choices. The adults who come here serve as role models for the next generation, who statistics tell us are grappling with obesity. Having membership at the Y entitles me to participate in this friendly and welcoming community. Together, eating right, exercising, and interacting with one another does make an impact on the larger scene. As we are making choices to respect our bodies, and maintain healthy life styles we are collaboratively serving as positive examples for younger people. I believe giving back with compassion and encouragement is important and am proud that by helping myself at the Y I am also a part of this community effort.