Before the advent of various chain fitness centers, there was the cornerstone of community and fitness in most towns called the Y… the YMCA. If you didn’t know about the YMCA, the Village People, made it all the more accessible and anchored it in our minds. Few parties growing up ever went by without singing about the Y M C A.
I remember going there every Friday night as a kid with my friends. Long before working out was in for me as a teen; we played racquetball, we swam and played. It was a ton of fun.
I can still smell the scent from way back when.
I would say the YMCA installed physical culture in me early. I took to going the Y, which turned into going to the gym for decades to come. But I never forgot my Y.
And that has two meanings. Why was I going in the first place? The answer was simple. Training and conditioning are essential to living today. It’s forever true. Life is a lot like survival of the fittest. Staying fit for what you’re up to in your life enables you to endure and thrive. That’s always been compelling to me and why today I teach Performance Lifestyle because life is a sport.
Today, with a family we also know our Y. Our whole family goes to the YMCA in Livingston NJ and we love it. From Sauna’s to swimming to cardio and strength training, to classes… I could keep going.
As a former Gym Owner, of Olympia Fitness Center Verona, NJ and founder of a fitness chain called Major League Fitness, I can tell you that this is world class facility and it keeps getting better. I hear it’s going to go to a whole new level in the next 18 months or so, as in double the size. And that means a serious increase in amenities.
Recently, I was talking to Associate Executive Director of the West Essex YMCA in Livingston NJ, Cheryle Francione, about the expansion. I put in my request in for a Far Infrared Sauna FIRS, because the science of its benefits on healing and regeneration is growing strong, and we began reminiscing about my history with the Y. She then shared her Why.
She then shared her Why.
“I choose to work at the West Essex Y because it makes a difference in our community. It’s a place where people want to know your name, and really care how you are doing. Diversity is welcomed here, as we help everyone reach their goals at their own pace. Whether it’s our LIVESTRONG at the Y program for cancer survivors, our geriatric wellness programs, our special needs programs or our wide array of group exercise classes for all – this Y offers something for everyone. That’s my Y!!
It is most certainly a community builder and if you want to build your body, your esteem, your health, your fitness, your WHY, then go to the Y… MCA.