The Y is About Being Supported and Making Connections with People
Kitty Freeman joined the YMCA last September. She enjoyed the Y’s free Yoga Mondays at Greeley Park last summer and was enticed to learn more about the Y offerings. “The tour I took with my husband and it seemed more about a community, than a gym. And that’s what made me want to join,” she said. Kitty also shared that she tried four other local gyms that didn’t feel like a good fit for her. “The person that toured me stressed that it was community as well as a place to work out.”
Kitty has joined in on the recent YMCA on-line challenges: The RESET Challenge (February/March) and The Strong Challenge (October/November). She said she loves these because, “The Y didn’t just cover physical challenges. These challenges covered mental health, social interaction with people and community building. I really like that. It’s not just about how many push-ups you can do.” Kitty formed a team of friends who are not local. After the challenge some joined their local Y! I’m a community builder,” she said.
Kitty has seen some remarkable progress in her health journey since September. “When I started at the Y, I was hunched over. I’m autistic and I have ADHD, and with that comes some co-morbidities, such as loose joints. I had frequent dislocations, especially with my knees. I had to tape my knees when I took classes. I would have frequent dislocations… and it would be painful and I would end up on crutches at times. I’ve done physical therapy in the past, but it wasn’t enough. I also used KT tape (Kinesiology Tape). Coming here and doing a variety of different classes and having the capability to workout in the pool, got me off the tape. I haven’t had a dislocation since a month of joining here!,” she said.
Additionally, she has seen progress in her efforts to control diabetes. “I was diabetic when I started here. My A1C was 7.2. and is now 6.5. I’m technically in remission. It took a lot to get where I am; the Y is like my second job. I joke that I live here half the time!”
You may know Kitty from the many group exercise classes she enjoys. She started at the Y with Yoga classes with Nicole Fante. She moved on and added aqua aerobics with Teresa Cusson (Tee) and strength training classes with Laura Coutreau, and Pound with Leslie Brady.
Tee shares, “Kitty Freeman has been attending classes faithfully for quite some time and has made AMAZING progress throughout her journey. Her dedication to her health and her class attendance is PHENOMENAL. She has taken several classes with me and with Laura Coutreau and is constantly working on improving. She is an absolute pleasure to have in class and is consistently encouraging other members as well! Her story is one that will inspire and encourage and I AM SO PROUD of her, as I know Laura is as well.”
“I got my in-laws to come back to the Y. It’s about not just coming to class. It’s about being supported and making connections with people. I will sit in the lobby and chat with people. It’s about warmth. It’s my happy place. I went on vacation for a week – my husband was with me – but I missed my classes and my people! It became important to me because it wasn’t just the gym. It is community and support. We all check in with each other to make sure we are ok. We ask if someone hasn’t been here in a while. We keep track of each other. I made friends here. We recognize each other in community and say ‘hi’ and catch up. Every other place I went to was just a place to work out.”
Kitty, we are so happy you are part of the Y community. We can’t engage with enough Community Builders.
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