First Friday Message


I spoke with a friend of mine recently on the eve of him starting in a new leadership role. It’s a pretty big job and the best counsel I could direct his way was to remember to enjoy the journey and not get lost in the stress and long days that are likely on his horizon.

As we talked about the road ahead for him, the memories of my own experiences here in Orlando started to flood back into my head. On the eve of my first day, I was anxious and excited about leading this Y. I struggled to contain my nervous energy so much so that I drove to our offices on Mills Avenue just to look through the dark and empty windows and envision walking into the building less than 24 hours later.

I think that Day ONE energy, focus, and excitement is common to us all. Whether it’s the start of a new job, the first day of school, a first date, or even the first day you (re)commit to a fitness routine, we prepare better and differently on that day than we do for all the days that follow. And so, I’ve been wondering… If we could bring Day ONE energy to every day or even just one day of every week, how much more impactful could our lives be?

As we start to wrap a bow around 2023 and look forward to Day 1 of 2024, I’m extending to you a challenge to rediscover the Day ONE energy in your life. This could be as simple as a rededication to your fitness goals, a recommitment to quality family time, or reaching out to your neighbor who you suspect will spend the holidays alone.

For the Y, I think you’ll see a few new things that will gain more support in 2024 and beyond. More focus on supporting healthy family time, a recommitment to robust teen programs, and a continued focus on the sustained recovery of our Y to ensure that it will be here for the generations to come.

I eagerly look forward to the many Day ONEs that are ahead for our Y and am thankful that you are with us on the journey.

Best wishes to you all in this blessed holiday season.

Merry Christmas and

Until next time...

Kevin Bolding, President & CEO
YMCA of Central Florida

The Y. For a better us.®