Y Community: Social Glue

“If you told me 10 years ago that after I retire I would be in the gym twice a week doing an exercise class, I wouldn’t have believed you” joked Barbara.

“I started to come to the Albany Y when my son was 4 years old,” Barbara fondly recalled. “He was very nervous about joining the activities in his Kinder-Gym class. The teacher worked 1:1 with him and encouraged him to try...and slowly, with a great big smile on his face, he joined each of the activities and had a great time!”

Her son is now 45 and Barbara is now retired and found her way back to the Y through an invite of a friend. She knew about the Y back in the day and remembers the programs for the kids when she was a working mom. This was something new however. Her friend invited her to try the Senior Aerobics Class. Though hesitant at first she was intrigued and took a peak. And after some encouragement from the instructor, Mary D’Elia, Barbara watched from the back of the class just to see. What she saw she liked and once she tried it she was hooked!

She came full circle. Just like her son, Barbara was nervous at first but thanks to the encouragement of Y staff, she felt welcomed to join in and try. “The class has become a very important part of my life,” said Barbara with a smile “I am now 73 ½ and I’ve been attending the Senior Aerobics Class for years now.”  

After class she says they all chat and check in with each other. “We share pictures of our grand kids, talk about vacation” she adds “you really get to know each other”. When you are absent for a class, somebody will call you to make sure you are okay. She could go to any gym but Barbara is happy to be part of the Y because "the exercise keeps me physically strong and the many friends I have met are the 'social glue' that create our wonderful community!"