My name is Kari and I am 36 years old. I have been a member at the Two Rivers YMCA for as long as I can remember. I have fond childhood memories of participating in classes at the YMCA. I was a preschooler there and truly enjoyed all of the fun programs offered to children throughout the year. My mom taught kids aerobics and was very big into living a healthy lifestyle. So the Y was our second home while growing up.
When my husband and I moved to Rock Island, we joined another fitness center due to the distance factor. However, that membership only lasted one year because I missed so much about the Y! I missed the teachers/participants of the exercise classes, the large amount of fitness classes available, the wonderful Kids Gym that my children loved, and the friendly faces I grew to know over the years. I knew it was time to re-join the YMCA and stay a member there forever, which I did, as soon as my other membership expired.
My three children (6, 4, & 2) missed being a part of the Y that year as well. They absolutely love it here! They have all grown so much self-confidence over the years when it comes to learning new things. My daughter, Ashley, used to be so fearful and overly cautious of anything new presented to her. She has become so comfortable with all of the caring teachers and coaches over the years. We are blown away at how much she has improved in every new challenge. She has improved so much in her abilities, mainly because she feels "safe" at the Y and knows the adults are there to help guide and cheer her on. We are grateful to have our children be surrounded by such a happy and optimistic place like the YMCA. Not to mention, I have become friends with many of my children's teachers and coaches at the YMCA, which makes me feel blessed.
My children have participated in so many activities such as swimming, soccer, tee-ball, tumbling, dance, exercise class, and adventure summer camp. They enjoy the Kids Gym so much, which helps me in the long run because I get a short break from being "mommy" and get healthier by having the opportunity for working out more.
I also love that the YMCA promotes healthy living year round in so many different ways. I enjoy the fact that my children see me exercising and enjoying it. My husband and I enjoy taking them to the family fun days offered throughout the year. Everything about the YMCA is positive and I hope the lessons learned there will forever carry over into my children's lives as they grow older and take charge of their own healthy ways of living.
- Kari’s Story, Rock Island