The pool brought me to the Rye Y. I love to swim and have been swimming since I was seven. I grew up in a lower-middle class family in Colorado and the local high school had a pool. Swimming was the one sport to which I always had access. No equipment required other than a swimsuit and a quarter.

As I aged and went to college, I could always swim by myself. The hours were great. I didn’t need a friend to do it and could swim year round. Swimming helps me relax, de-stress and get exercise. I used to swim three times a week but now two times a week. I build my life around the warm pool schedule.

I’ve taken exercise classes here, yoga and weight training but swimming is the constant. I don’t get any of the injuries associated with higher impact sports, like tennis elbow. Even when I’ve had injuries I am always able to swim, at least to use the kickboard. But I do get green hair!

When my kids were younger, it was before the Y had babysitting. So we would go to family swim and there was also a lap lane. I would swim laps and my husband played with the kids and then we switched off so he could swim laps. All three of my kids grew up here; the youngest is now 24. They were on the swim team; two worked as lifeguards; one was a gymnastics coach. The Y was huge, not only in my life but in my family’s life.

I like that the Rye Y is inclusive and that is one of the reasons I come here. It is not like a private club where someone can tell me I can’t join because they don’t like me or my politics or my color or my religion. I love the Rye Y!