First Friday Message

Three Stories, 1 Book

Three Stories, 1 Book

Chapter 1

Like many of you, I’ve been working off that holiday chocolate indulgence. Headed into the Y earlier this week for my workout, I bumped into one of our long-time members. He’s been a member since 1978 and fondly recalls his Y stories from the last 46 years. Lots of friendships, lots of members and YMCA directors who’ve now come and gone, and a Y that has changed to meet the needs of the community over the years.

We talked about the teens showing up in the Y in large numbers (just as two other teens were walking in) and how we’re happy that the Y is the place that they’ve now deemed as cool.

Chapter 2

After a training session, I’ve learned that a slow walk on the treadmill helps my knees and my pride recover better. The time on the treadmill is also great time to think and observe. On this day, I watched a dad follow his adorable young daughter through the parking lot as she scooted along on her training bike. She and her bike were so small, but she had this huge smile as she parked her bike and, without looking back or missing a stride, handed over her helmet to her dad as he walked quickly to catch up to her entering the Y.

I was that dad not too long ago.

Chapter 3

Now done with my training and cooldown sessions and slowly exiting the Y, I stopped to check in on the activity in the gym. It was a busy evening of basketball practices for our younger team players. Lots of screams for the ball, lots of piles of 8 and 9-yr old bodies diving to the floor in hopes of coming away with the ball and scoring the far too illusive basket. And while I could have watched that free-for-all for a good while longer, I was most impressed with the volunteer coach.

The coach, likely in his mid to upper 20's, consistently and confidently redirected and reassured each player to keep the games moving and ensure that each young player had their time in the sun. It sounds much easier than it actually is and I interrupted him briefly to thank him for volunteering his time and exhibiting the extraordinary patience necessary to be a great role model to our kiddos.

Three men, three YMCA journeys, united by community.

Our Y is more than just fitness. We’ve never tried to define ourselves as that. It's a place where stories like these unfold daily, shaping lives and building community.

Thank you for being part of our Y family and sharing your stories with us.

Until next time…

Kevin Bolding, President & CEO
YMCA of Central Florida

The Y. For a better us.®