"My exercise classes cost almost as much as my gym membership fees...well when you include child care costs."~ said a friend who is also trying to get into shape.
My reaction to this statement was :o Then I told her that I go to the Y, and child care and exercises classes are included in the costs. I.just.can't.imagine.
Why I joined the YMCA
Looking at the history of the YMCA, which stands for Young Men's Christian Association, it seems odd that I go to it. The Y, as it's fondly called in the States, started out London, England for evangelical Christians. They used to hold Bible studies on site (and some local Ys still do). In addition to Bible studies, the organization started offering sports and fitness with the idea to keep young men occupied and away from bars, prostitution, and gambling.
Now as you know I am not an evangelical. I am not even male. And historically the Catholic Church, of which I am a member, did not think it appropriate for Catholics to join a YMCA (or YWCA for women). But the Y has changed over the course of history and now much of it's membership is Catholic. A number of clergy also join the Y. The Y's focus is more on generic Christianity, if at all, and more on sports. They also don't restrict their facilities to one sex group, which is why I can go to a YMCA even though I'm a woman. They also don't care if you are a Christian or not.
The Y is a non-profit and much of it's fund raising goes into promoting fitness for children. It's true that a number of branches in the past of hosted Planned Parenthood or co-sponsored events with them. It's also true that some have promoted LGBT activities. All of this is done at the local level. There is (as far as I can tell) a neutral stance at the national level. My own local group focuses on children's fitness. There is no Bible study groups (which happens on the local level of some branches too).
The thing about the Y that I like is that it is (at least where I live and overall) focused on families. As I said it's a non-profit. They don't charge me to take a fitness class. They don't charge me for child care. The offer numerous sporting activities for a variety of ages and skill levels for a fee. They offer personal training for a fee. If you are having trouble financially to pay the fees, they actually work with families so that they can pay a reduced rate. They want people to work-out and stay in shape. And they want children to have role models in their parents. It's an extremely family friendly environment. They have strict rules about language and what you wear.
I'm hoping this summer/spring I can get the boys swim lessons because they desperately need them. Tonight I plan on rock climbing with HB who's been looking forward to it all week.
How it Went Today
I was sore yesterday and this morning so I opted to not go to the class. I figured she'd work me harder than I'd like. I wanted to go at my own pace so I went to the cardio room and worked out for an hour. Weigh in is Monday so we'll see how far those 3 hours of working out this week have gotten me.
Have a fantastic weekend!