Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post through my relationship with the YMCA Simcoe Muskoka. However, as always, the thoughts and opinions are my own.
I have never, in my entire life, been a natural athlete. I was the kid who begged my parents to let me stay home with my books when my brothers wanted to go tobogganing or skating. However, as I entered my early 20s, I developed a love of fitness. I got a gym membership, and I started working out regularly with the equipment and with fitness classes.
At age 23, I used to wake up at 5:30 each day, drive nearly an hour for a workout at the Barrie YMCA and then head to work. Sometimes I would even join an evening class before heading home to Penetang.
Then I had kids…
After Lilly, I got back into the swing of fitness fairly easily. I was back at the gym, through the YMCA in Midland, when she was five weeks old and went typically 2-3 times per week for a few years.
Then we had Cole…
Between two young children, a busy career, a 50-minute commute and university, time to workout just hasn’t felt possible. Sure, I’ve run on a treadmill in the basement a few times, but it more often gets used for laundry.
I’m now at a point in my life where I have to shelve the excuses and get back to making fitness a priority in my lifestyle.
A few months ago I had a health scare. While it turned out to be mostly a false alarm, it served as a wake-up call. Also, having lost my mother from a heart attack last year at only 59 years old increases the chances that I could suffer from heart diseases and disorders. I want to ensure that I live a strong, healthy, and long life for my family and I understand fitness needs play a key part in that.
To kick-start this change, I headed over to the Barrie YMCA to have a chat with their Membership Supervisor, Tracey, over Facebook Live:
This decision is not mine alone. Adam and I have come to realize that raising active and healthy children requires us to lead by example. We need to become an active, healthy family. We want this initiative to be something we develop an experience as a family. I think that will be the easy part, seeing as though our children already have a membership to the YMCA… But we don’t. Mom and dad need to play a little bit of catch-up so that our children see we are just as active as they are.
I have mentioned the YMCA throughout this post a few times. It might seem like I’m a little bit biased, and sure I am writing a sponsored post for them. However, I have had memberships to and participated in various gyms over my adult life, and I always come back to the Y. Living in a small community, we don’t have many of the other chain fitness centres located in bigger cities, but the Y is such a constant even in small towns like the one I grew up in and the one I live in now. Whether it’s their childcare programs (which we also use), summer camps, or fitness centres, they are deeply engrained in many communities across Canada.
This family focussed flexibility is something that I value, and that works well for our children and us.
I love the fact that a family membership not only saves us money but allows all of us to have memberships and participate in various programs. For instance, I can drop Lilly off at Y Kids on a Saturday morning and then head upstairs to the gym for a workout. On Sunday afternoon, we can all ahead in together for Family Swim. My hope is that our children find inspiration to lead healthy lifestyles by seeing Adam, and I prioritize fitness and participate in fitness-based activities with them. It’s also incredibly helpful to know I can spend time at the gym with Adam and the kids on the weekend in Midland and yet still use the Barrie centre if I want to workout during my lunch hour at work.
Join the YMCA Now
To help other families and individuals take advantage of all the YMCA has to offer, the organization has currently waived all join fees in September and October. This adds a savings of over $84 when signing up for your membership.
Ideally speaking, I hope to be writing a bit about my journey back into fitness and to share with you the many ways in which our family is getting active in the future. What does your family do to stay active? Share below!