Fran – Why the ‘Y’

Why I like the ‘Y’

As a former Master Swimmer/competitor for over 35 years, my passion for the water has resulted in a rotator cuff injury which grounded me for about a year and one-half.  I’ve learned that sometimes a negative can turn into a positive and it did in this circumstance.

I moved back to Calgary in May 2013 and joined the Shawnessy YMCA in September of that same year. Initially, my pool work-outs were restrained for fear that I would do additional damage to my shoulder.

In January 2014, I joined the FitLinxx Program at the South Health Campus where I combined cardio work-outs and added weight work-outs to my daily routine.  I met with Wellness Coach Sydney Taylor who developed a program designed to help me work through my injuries. She was extremely knowledgeable and encouraging and in a short time I rapidly gained strength, energy, and lost weight which has resulted in an immense improvement to my shoulder and has significantly improved my swimming ability.

Swimming and keeping fit have been vital components which have kept me grounded due to the inflexibilities and pressures of a military wife worrying about the safety of my husband while being deployed in conflict zones and several moves across the country and to Europe.

In the 70s, 80s and 90s, I was a YMCA member in Calgary, Kingston, and Owen Sound.  In the smaller communities such as Chilliwack, Petawawa and in Germany, the Military Fitness Centres were my comfort zones.  The YMCA family relates in essence to the Military family as it provides a sense of belonging and the parallels are similar. I return to the YMCA for social connections, building my immune system, enhancing mood, and to gain more strength, balance and flexibility.

On the social side, a fun-filled and competitive friendship developed with my work-out buddy Richard. We’ve encouraged each other in our pursuit to become healthier senior citizens and in doing so we have shared many stories, jokes, and banter.  The richness forged from our friendship has resulted in me gaining more knowledge about the Stem Cell Transplant Program.  He has shared his journey about his brush with cancer and his commitment and dedication to his fitness regimen, in his words, have provided him with a reprieve.


Pushing the envelope is a common characteristic of Richard’s, which has translated into my desire in trying to achieve the same level that he has accomplished.  His work ethic and positive attitude have been key elements in raising the standard of fitness that I would like to attain.  I’m not quite sure whether I’ll ever catch up to him on the FitLinxx Program, but the chase, the fun and mirth that we have shared along the way in trying to out-do one another has been exhilarating.

Fitness should be fun and it is, especially when working-out with a cherished friend!! The YMCA is truly a delightful place to make friends and to stay active, fit and healthy.

And that is why I like the ‘Y’.

South Health Campus YMCA
August 2014