My first contact with the Rye Y was many years ago. I called to ask about the water aerobics classes. It seemed too expensive so I said “thank you very much, goodbye.” Then I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. My doctor said, “you need to swim.” I don’t swim but I came to the Rye Y and became a member right away for the water aerobics classes. I said “this is for my health, so I’ll do it.”

I’ve taken a variety of the water exercise classes and like some teachers better than others. Sheila is in a class by herself! Now I take Aqua Jog in the shallow section of the big pool.

Coming here has set the tone for my healing. I no longer have to take medication for rheumatoid arthritis or see my rheumatologist. I was shocked by my doctor’s news. He said “You’re doing so well, you don’t need to visit me anymore.”

I like the social part of coming here too. I go to all the lunches with the water aerobics class participants. We go every couple months. I’ve met some dear friends, friends who are such good friends and so supportive that I think we will be lifelong friends.

I’m impressed by the outreach and variety of programs the Y offers – especially LIVESTRONG at the YMCA. I have recently been dealing with the cancer of a family member and two friends and see how helpful this program could be. It would have been perfect for them. The Y also has great youth programs. I see moms and children coming here for babysitting and the kids here during camp.

When I can’t come to my class, my body says “you should have been there”. You have to keep it going, especially when you get older. I like to smile – it makes other people feel good and makes me feel good. The older I get the more I appreciate good health and that makes me feel upbeat.