We became family members about a year and a half ago. I have a two-year-old daughter so when I first started getting some semblance of routine I was looking for workout activities that I could do. And my husband was doing triathlons, so he was looking for a place with a pool and a gym where he could go.

It took me a little while to get into a routine, because I had the baby, but it’s been very, very good for me. A lot of my friends were here and I met a couple of friends since I started coming here. Hope isn’t in pre-school yet so she goes to the Tot Drop on Monday mornings for a couple hours so I can do a run. Tuesdays I always do a yoga class and she’s been doing swimming lessons here on Thursdays, which she loves. It’s the highlight of her week.

The community is really, really nice. All of the women in the ChildWatch are incredible. I was very hesitant to leave my baby with anybody, but Gina and Susan and Selie-everybody is wonderful. It’s been a big huge hug as a new mom.

A quiet personal goal that I’ve set is that rain, shine, sleet or snow, I drop her off on Monday and I run 8 1/2 miles no matter what. I just dress for it and do it. I don’t use music, it’s kind of my meditative hour and a half to start the week and get myself in the right mind frame and think about what I did last week and what I could do a little bit better this week.

I wasn’t able to start running until after I started coming to the Y. Hope couldn’t be in the running stroller until she was about six or seven months. My husband works in the City, my parents aren’t close by and my in-laws are a little bit further away in CT, so I needed some safe place, some warm place to bring her. So my career as a running mother started once I joined here.

My experience here is, it doesn’t seem like just a gym. It’s hard for me to say “I’m going to the gym.’ The community is one that everybody asks, if I’m not going to be in swimming lessons next week, ‘where are you going, tell me about your trip.’ For someone who is primarily at home, it’s nice to see the same friendly faces at different times of the week.

Hope and I did the [Togetherhood] food drive, and it was wonderful. She said ‘why are we bringing food?’ and I said ‘we’re going to bring some extra food because there are some people who have a little bit of trouble finding food.’ She picked her things and put them in the bag and it was a nice introduction to service and to thinking about others, even at a small age like that. Hopefully, it will become second nature to her. So, I do love things like that.