South Sound YMCA – More than Just a Gym



olympia after school child careWith the turn of the year, many people set goals and resolutions for healthier habits and launch new routines.   For many, these are whole family goals to get active, spend more time together, and create quality connections within the family and with the community.  But with our busy lifestyles and schedules, these goals can seem hard to attain, let alone maintain long-term.

Luckily, in Olympia, families have access to the South Sound YMCA.  While there are many gyms in town and programs that offer terrific fitness services, the Y combines the best of a gym – state of the art equipment, certified personal trainers, popular classes such as Zumba, and excellent facilities – with the services of a community outreach and support organization.

When you are a member at the Y, you have full access to the fitness services.  But along with that comes a highly trained staff ready to listen, counsel, and assist no matter what your goals may be.  The Y is committed to youth development as well and their programs for the youngest children, up through teenagers, are carefully designed to enrich your child’s learning and socialization.  It’s so much more than babysitting.  A focus on families is evident in all programing decisions at the Y and children are urged to become members, get involved, and become a part of the community at the Y.

ymca winter breakSusan Callendar, Development Director at the South Sound YMCA, shares, “There is so much more to the Y than just a place to jump on a treadmill.  Our staff is trained to take the time to listen to people and understand their personal goals.  We help them and support them and connect them to a smaller community within the Y that will help them reach those goals.”

And those goals aren’t always related to fitness. Many families join the Y as a place where they can participate together.  The programs are carefully designed and scheduled so that families can join together in the evenings and there is something for everyone to do that they will enjoy.  Plus, there are a wide number of choices that families can do together.  So, while mom or dad might want to get their work out in and have the kids in a place where they are having fun and learning something new (check out the Kidz Active Pass for extended learning options for your little ones), families also want things to do together, such as open swim time, a game of basketball, active games in the teen room, or rock climbing.

south sound ymca
The Gonzalez Family has been members of the South Sound YMCA for the past 12 months.

One such family is the Gonzales Family, members at the South Sound YMCA for about a year.  Ileana Gonzales shares, in her own words, what her Y membership has meant to her family over the past 12 months.

My name is Ileana.  My two children and I have been attending the “Y” for one year almost every day, sometimes even twice a day.  Since then I’ve seen a change in my life in a positive way.

My son Santiago started attending when he was 5 years old and has been taking swimming lessons, as well as baseball and tae-kwon-do.  He’s been in spring camp, too.  Sofi is four.  She’s also in swimming lessons, tumbling class, and has been a ballet student, too.

When it’s my turn, I like to work out at the Y.  Right now I have lost 12 pounds.  Santiago and Sofi go to the Play Care where they do crafting, play with other kids, go to the Adventure Zone, and get help with their learning process.  That’s one of their activities.

A year ago, my children spoke no English.  In a few months, they became completely bilingual and I know that communicating with the Y staff helped them express themselves in another language.  The staff has always been warm, caring and friendly to us.  They helped them a lot to develop social skills.  There are programs like “Parents Night Out” which my kids love to go at night because they can exercise, eat a healthy snack while having so much fun and I can go out with my husband to the movies or dinner.  We also go to the climbing wall sometimes, toddler gym, and other family events like the Harvest Festival in the fall.

The Y has become part of my family’s life. We all like being here as members of the Briggs YMCA.

ymca swim lessonsFor the month of January, the YMCA is offering memberships with no joining fee.  This, combined with other specials such as personal training priced at $99 for 3 sessions for new members, make this a terrific time to join.  Membership details and pricing can be found on the South Sound YMCA website.  Callender recommends a Family Facility Membership, affording you and all your dependents access to all programing offered by the Y.  And keeping with its philosophy of helping people be their best, the Y also offers financial assistance, removing the barrier of cost for qualified families to enjoy all the benefits of membership.

Look beyond swimming lessons and treadmills to really see all that the South Sound YMCA has to offer.  With over 100 years of history helping communities unite and developing social programs that build connections among people, the Y is not just a gym.  It’s a membership in a big family – one that is dedicated to helping your little family be the best it can be.

Click here for location and direction information for both the Briggs Community and the Downtown Olympia branches.


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