Rye Y Story Project: Deborah

DeborahI had surgery twice this year and also the year before. So for me it’s been two long years of physical therapy and hard work. It has been a long journey for me.

I decided that I needed to get connected with a gym, something with water exercise. So, I started to explore. In the past, I belonged to several commercial gyms, but it wasn’t a good match for me. They were too impersonal, too crowded and you had to pay for parking.

I was looking for a place that would be very personal, a community where I would feel comfortable. I’ve also been a member at other Y’s, so even though I live outside of Rye, I decided to check out the Rye YMCA. It was the best decision I made. The first person I met was Debbie Schiff who had such a beautiful smile, was friendly, and understood instantly what I was looking for. With the information she provided, it helped me to make my decision very easily. As I went on a tour of the Y, I found that staff as well as members were friendly.

The very first time I went to the Aqua jog class, I couldn’t believe how people welcomed me. I got that attention every time I went to Aqua jog or water aerobics. The camaraderie and warmth blew my mind—it really was wonderful.

These were baby steps. As I got a little stronger, I was connected with Laura Laura. She is the most inspiring person. She said ‘you’re going to be fine here,” and she oriented me to the equipment in the gym. I started using the equipment in the gym, and continue going to the aqua classes. I was getting stronger and was thrilled! From there, I began to challenge myself. I went to Pilates and then I took a big step. I decided to get a personal trainer. I observed the personal trainers and finally signed up with one of the trainers –George.

I enjoy coming to the Y for all of the classes I attend. Each experience enables me to grow physically as well emotionally. Sheila has helped me stretch; Offut, Natalie and Sarah help me get fit in the water. All of the instructors are so, so special and classes are a lot of fun.

Family members and friends have said to me ‘you look terrific. What are you doing?” My reply to them is “I’m going to a wonderful place. Come along with me.” I hope to encourage others to never give up. And to all of the Rye YMCA staff…Keep up the good work!!