A place to share your Y story
The YMCA is more than a gym. It's a community. Meeting new friends, gaining the support you've always wanted, and finding inspiration in others is what we're all about.If you have a story you want to share, pass it on! Simply contact our Digital Media Specialist, Maegan Shinkle, with all leads.
Staff member, Maria Hamilton has been a part of the Y since she was 15. Maria joined the fitness staff while in graduate school and has impacted many lives over the years. “Years ago my father gave me great advice -- find a job that you love so that going to work doesn’t seem like work. I have been lucky enough to have found just that here at the Y as a fitness professional. For 25 years I’ve had fun, met great people, and improved my own health and fitness tremendously. Most of the time, it really hasn’t felt like work, and I consider myself blessed to have such an enjoyable and rewarding career!”
Maria and her entire family are regulars at the Y and have stayed physically active through the stages of life. “The Y has helped everyone in my family stay healthy throughout the years.”
“God’s wish for all of us is for us to become ‘the best version of ourselves’, and the Y has been instrumental in helping me towards this goal. The Y helps me improve my physical, emotional and spiritual health.”
Jayna Laubsch and her sons, Miles and Dean, have built a connection to the Y through the LEAP, Learning through Activity, Education, and Play, program. The Y partnership with RBBCSC provides an academic enrichment program for grades K-5. Jayna loves that the program offers a structured format for kids to complete homework first and then have time to play. When the boys come home they have more time as a family because the homework is already done.
Through the LEAP program, the family has a great connection to the Y. “I think it’s good that they know the YMCA is there. The Y is a great outlet for them. They play basketball, love to swim, and it’s a great place to be active. It’s nice to be a part of the YMCA family.”
As a child, Lindea Bray had never stepped foot inside of a YMCA. “When I grew up, I didn’t know anything about the Y, but I knew it was there. We went to church and played outside.” While at Indiana University, Lindea joined the Y staff as a Play and Learn teacher and quickly realized how much the Y would mean to her in fitness and everyday life. She credits the Y for keeping her grounded and helping her keep many burdens off of her shoulders.
“I love the atmosphere, it’s so peaceful. The people here are always smiling. Encouragement keeps me coming back. The Y staff is my motivation and my support system.”
The children she taught also helped her stay motivated. Many times a day, she would hear children claim they can’t complete something, but Bray knew differently. “I know for a fact they can, if you just have it set in your mind, you can. Know you can do it!”
Tim credits the Cardiac Rehab program for staying on track for a healthy, active lifestyle. The
program provides a friendly staff that gives him the attention needed to track his progress and
the motivation to want to keep coming back. He enjoys the social aspect and seeing the
friendly faces every day.
Tim feels the entire experience has helped his overall health, and he goes as far to say,
“I might not be here if it wasn’t for the Y.”