The C.W. Avery Family YMCA is celebrating its 15th Anniversary on Wallin Drive in 2021! To commemorate this milestone, we are sharing the Y story of one of our fantastic members each month. Today we shine the spotlight on Jean Black. Jean has been a Y member since 2006 and we are excited to share her Y story with you:
Q: What inspired you to join the Y?
Jean: I was having a lot of knee problems at the time and I was seeing a physical therapist. It was suggested that I could postpone major surgeries for a while by doing exercise. I knew that the Y was just about finished and so when it opened to register new members I went over right away to sign up.
Q: What programs have you enjoyed participating in at the Y?
Jean: I’m not really into exercise machines, but I gravitated toward the swimming pool. I started doing just laps and eventually learned they had water aerobics. I had been involved in aerobics for years and so I was very interested.
Q: Why have you felt connected to the Y for so many years?
Jean: It becomes part of you. I was a relatively new retiree when I joined and it became part of my weekly schedule, part of my life, and really part of my extended family. Everyone who was going became friends. I’ve made friendships that started back at the beginning and are still strong today, even if they have moved out of state.
Q: What makes the Y community special?
Jean: If you don’t go for a while and then you see something that you want to do, everyone welcomes you back in like family. We truly care about each other. If someone is going through a hard time, maybe not feeling well, people notice and check in on you. You share experiences and it’s a cohesive, friendly group of people.
Q: Do you have favorite Y memories or experiences?
Jean: The first thing that comes to mind is one of the Fab 50 group trips. We went to the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago. It was a place I had been before,but I don’t tend to go on my own. Being able to go with people I know was great to take advantage of. It was really nice and really all of the things that the Y comes up with for Fab 50 are really nice.
Q: What should someone who is thinking about joining the Y know before they sign up
Jean: If someone is new to town, I would definitely recommend it. The YMCA is clean, the people are friendly, and they have great programs.
We would like to thank Jean for her incredible support over the last 15 years! At the Y, we look forward to making a positive impact on members of our community through 2021 and beyond!