We joined the Rye Y because I was looking for activities for our kids and looking for an alternative to our health club. It was really expensive. For the cost of a membership for my husband and me there, our entire family could come to the Y and have money left over for Child Watch.

My toughest challenge is finding the time to come in. I have to plan for it. You can’t just do it because you have to. It is so rewarding when you get in and get on the machine and find your joy. You have to find what works for you and for me that is thinking of it as a fun activity. Otherwise, I’m not going to roll out of bed at 5:30, 6:00 to get a workout.

Mainly I do the Arc trainer. That is my favorite machine. I dance on the machines. I get some crazy looks from time to time because I make it a party. I don’t want exercise to feel like a chore. I smile while I exercise. Smiling is like taking emotional vitamins. As hard as that is to do, it is life- changing. They say fake it until you make it and eventually the happiness bubbles up inside. Sweating out the bad stuff makes me happy. Zumba with Martha is amazing – it is so fun. If you can feel joy while moving, it makes for a healthy lifestyle.

The best part of the Y is the people who work here – from the minute you walk in the door. The people I meet at the Y are energetic and positive. That always surprises me. The trainers in the Fitness Center are always willing to answer questions. There is no judgment. I’ve worked with Amanda for five years and no matter how many times I fall off, she follows up with me. No matter how many months, weeks, days, it’s been since I’ve been to the gym, when I come back I’m welcomed back with open arms.

I know that if I’m struggling, she is there for support – whether I’m getting personal training or on a cardio machine. All the fitness trainers are there to answer questions and help – about a machine or a stretch or about form. They are willing to help you. That makes the experience top notch. It’s great customer service and I put that above any membership fee.