Kevin & Michael
Kevin’s and Michael’s Story
“I am Y” tells the stories of Y members and staff and the transformative power of community. This is Kevin’s and Michael’s story:
Kevin: “The Y community is incredibly diverse. It’s an all-walks-of-life kind of place. It’s accepting. It’s a warm and welcoming place for anybody and everybody.
“It is also very social. I look as forward to seeing who’s going to be in class as I do to the class itself. We get attached to each other and miss each other when someone leaves.
“I remember a time when we had a pregnant woman in class. She worked out right up to a week before she gave birth. She said, ‘I just can’t imagine not coming because I would just miss seeing everybody.’ After 35 years of membership, we feel the same way.”
Michael: “We built our fitness schedules around doing the noon class, whatever it was. Now, we are part of a core group that works out together. Sometimes it’s yoga; sometimes it’s spinning. Sometimes it’s something completely new and different. What remains the same is that we are exercising among a friendly group of people of all ages, shapes, sizes, and abilities.
“When you exercise consistently with the same group of people each week, the value of the relationships grows and it impacts you in other ways, too. Part of what motivates me to keep working out at the Y is the social connections. I say to myself: ‘Well, maybe I will see so-and-so today and see how he is doing.’ There’s something about that social energy that gets me excited about working out – and inspires me to go to class.”
– Kevin Gallagher and Michael Gilman
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