The Value of My YMCA Membership Is About More Than the Programs
Blog by Angela Hjelseth
Member, Morgan Family YMCA
I've been a member of the Morgan Family YMCA for seven years. When I first walked into the Y, I was on the hunt for a job that would not only provide me a paycheck, but would fill my bucket on a daily basis — a job that aligned with my passions and values. A close friend of mine recommended the Y.
A few short months later, I was hired on as the Gymnastics Director at the Morgan Y and that's where my love for the Y all began. I was sold on the Y during my first interview with then-Executive Director Phil Carter and Associate Executive Director Heather Norris; I could see the love and passion they had for serving their community.
Fast forward a few years, and we were pregnant with our first child. I knew it was such a blessing to be surrounded by so many amazing people who would help me raise my children. After having our son and going back to work, we decided it was best for our family to have me stay home. It was one of the hardest things to step away from a job I so loved, but the time I was going to have with my children was priceless.
For the past two years, I have been a stay-at-home mom with my two boys and the Y has been an important part of our weekly routine. In fact, we are there almost every morning during the week.
We go to the Stroller Fitness class at the Morgan Y three times a week. This class has been my saving grace. I love working out alongside other parents who push me to give it my all and at any given moment, if my child is in need of help, or if I need support, there is always someone willing to give a helping hand. My favorite thing about this class though is my children get to see me workout. In turn, I hope they learn the importance of being physically active. Like they say, more is caught than taught.
My oldest son, Lleyton, also participates in a few programs. He has done swimming lessons, parent-child gymnastics, Toddler Gym, and the preschool sports program. In January, he will participate in his first sports league. The Y provides more than just programs, though. It is a community for us, our second home, our family. We've grown relationships and we've made new ones. It's a place where I feel safe, and a place where my children feel safe.
I love the Y because you can feel the love and kindness the moment you walk in the doors from the member walking to their car, to the staff members greeting you with a smile, to the instructor preparing for class, to the child running up to your kids to say hello. It's a place where I’m teaching my children more than about the importance of living a healthy life. It's a place where our family is surrounded by other individuals who will pour into our lives. That’s the true value of our Y membership.