Although the YMCA, or Young Men’s Christian Association, of 50 years ago may not look the same as it does today, the core values are still similar and it is still a great place to stay or go to! The Village People were able to encapsulate it in a song, and everything still goes strong today.
The core focus of the YMCA is still helping youth, healthy living, and social responsibility. These are all things that are important to my family, and I am sure they are important to yours as well.
Defining our areas of focus:https://www.ymca.net/our-focus
YOUTH DEVELOPMENT: Nurturing the potential of every child and teen.
HEALTHY LIVING: Improving the nation’s health and well-being.
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: Giving back and providing support to our neighbors.
Why I love YMCA for Fitness
My fitness level has never been all-star. I have though gone through periods of time where I loved fitness and other times where getting out of the house to go to a gym was so hard. I have also been part of many different gyms in my pursuit of having a balanced fitness regime. Gold’s Gym, 24 Hour Fitness, Curve, and Planet Fitness are just a few. I have been around the block.
In all the years though I never joined a Y. My understanding of Ys did not match the truth of what they offer! Several years ago I taught in a Zumbathon at the Town Lake YMCA and my prejudgements changed. I inquired about the cost and decided it was too expensive and not convenient for my needs. Fast forward several years and, again, I hear about the YMCA, now in Williamson County, and decide to look into it again.
I found a YMCA that not only offered Zumba but the instructor was a friend of mine who I admired greatly. I found a YMCA that had a lot of moms with babies and kiddos of all ages. I found a YMCA with a cardio theater that encouraged me to get a little non-cartoon screen time and work out. I soon found a home for my fitness goals at the YMCA.
Beyond the offerings for adults, I am blown away by the offerings they have for children. They have several youth sports that my big boy of 3 is finally getting to the age where he can participate. Also, they have things like Free Family Friday and All About Me programs. One thing I have learned is that all the Ys seem to have different offerings. This is what I have found at my local branch:
- Regular Child Watch – Two hours a day in the infant and toddler rooms while you work out. Three hours for the older kids.
- Off-site hours and days – Two days a week that you can drop off the kids and go off-site. Each kiddo gets 12 hours a year and it costs $5 for each additional hour.
- Free Family Friday – Your choice of a Friday a month where you can drop your kiddos off for free from 4 pm – 8 pm. The addition of pizza costs $2.50 and an additional hour costs $5.
- All About Me – Two days a week, from 9 am – 1 pm, where you can drop kids, ages 6 weeks to 4 years old, is a type of Mother’s Day Out program. It costs $17 per day. Sign up doesn’t have to be for a semester or year. Register up until noon the day before.
- Kids Night Out – Two Saturdays a month where kiddos can come for a night to Child Watch. Perks include a movie and pizza for free. The cost is $17. An extra hour costs $5. The program is from 5pm – 10pm.
In addition to just the offerings of Chid Watch type activities, the YMCA offers so many activities for littles starting at 18 months. From dance, gymnastics, and karate to all kinds of sports, including soccer and baseball and basketball. It is amazing how much is offered for kids to explore.
Whole Family Events
Lastly, the YMCA offers several family events throughout the year. Just recently in May, they had a Mother-Son Nerf war. This included a Nerf war and then dinner together. In February, they have a Father-Daughter dance. In December, they bring snow to Texas with Santa in their Christmas Dreams & Snowy Things Festival. They also have family-friendly festivals throughout the year. One local location even has a bring the puppy to the pool days so even your furry friend is not left behind. There is so much to do at the YMCA and something to attract all ages.
Header Photo by Jeff Dunham on Unsplash