Fit For Life
Last updated: November 16, 2016, at 2:22 p.m. PT
Originally published: November 16, 2016, at 1:48 p.m. PT
Coffee, community, camaraderie. Not the things that people might typically associate with the YMCA, but yet it’s a simple recipe for what makes the Y unique. But this isn’t your grandmother’s coffee klatch. Our social seniors and dance enthusiasts at the Sammamish YMCA are forming lasting connections while they think up new ways to stay active and have fun!
It might take a village to raise a child, but it just took the Village People to inspire an Active Older Adult group at our Sammamish Y. What started as an informal coffee meet up after aqua fitness each week has grown into thriving friendships and an essential weekly routine for these energetic retirees.
Taking their moves from the pool to the dance floor required weeks of practice, but was well worth it to surprise a fellow class member with a rendition of the YMCA dance at his milestone birthday celebration. They all credit Fitness Instructor Pat Wyckoff with being the thread that holds the group together. “The instructor is such an important part of this. If she is social and friendly it makes the rest of us the same,” shares class participant Earlene Beham.
“Pat is so funny and motivating. She is just a gem. I can’t imagine sticking with this if it wasn’t for Pat. And she keeps in touch with everyone outside of class, she’s very caring about all of us,” adds fellow class member Joanne Smith.
Brought together through a desire to stay fit and active with water aerobics, this Active Older Adult group has continued to find shared interests and added activities like a summer picnic, monthly lunch meet ups, and happy hour gatherings. For one member it’s proven beneficial in many ways. “I retired about a year and half ago and floundered around awhile figuring out what I wanted to do, so I decided I’d try the Y and I’ve really enjoyed it. Not just the physical but also the social aspect.”
More Than a Gym
Different motivating factors brought all these members to the Y, but they’ve all found the same result. A sense of belonging and community, which brings joy at any age. One of our members sums it up best. “For me, the community is so much more important than a facility. I don’t want to be in a place where I feel like I’m being judged for not working out hard enough or not losing weight or whatever. The Y is a come as you are and you’re respected for being genuine.”
The Y’s Active Older Adult programs provide opportunities for seniors to maintain a healthy life style, which includes being physically active as well as socially engaged and mentally stimulated.
To find out more about Active Older Adult programs, visit us!