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The Conduit to Connections

January 12, 2022

Yvette Collier has been a member of the Jordan YMCA and making connections for nine years. She joined this location back in 2012 when she moved from Chicago to be closer to her mother and other family members. When she arrived in Indianapolis, she wanted to find a place nearby where she could swim on a consistent basis. She says, “I grew up near a natatorium in Chicago and, as a young girl, I did a lot of swimming up there and I missed that. But as they say, location, location, location! I wanted to find a place where I could ride my bike there.”

The Y wasn’t the first place she considered joining. So, she asked some friends where they swam. They mentioned the Jordan Y and another local community center. When she went to the other location she said, “They were not warm and friendly at all.” They focused on price and said she couldn’t afford it. “So, I came to Jordan Y and they were the opposite; warm, friendly and inviting. It was an easy decision for me to join.”

Connections getting her into the YMCA

“I got to know Julia Behringer and she introduced me to the wellness center so that I could swim and workout. Soon after joining, I got a health scare and I joined Multi-Fit and it brought me in touch with other members who became like my second family and we just connected.”

Reigniting her passion for swimming wasn’t Yvette’s only reason for joining the Y. The second reason was she wanted her granddaughter to make the same type of connections she had. “I started raising my granddaughter and she needed the things that were available for camp…swimming, ballet, tap…and I put her in everything I could. Those programs made grandbaby blossom. She made friends and her confidence soared.”

The connections did not stop

The biggest reason Yvette says she has remained a member at the Y is not because of the swimming, but because of the connections. “Seven of our Multi-Fit members still do things together. Lunch, events, trail walks, we’re prayer partners. It’s all about relationships. We know about each other and our grandchildren. Someone even shared an Oxtail soup recipe!” She laughed. “We do a Christmas gift exchange and I sometimes get free medical tips from a doctor who’s in the group.”

Multi-Fit meetings helped her to change her eating habits and was the glue that kept her connected. The connections she made at the Jordan YMCA also helped keep her accountable. “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.” Even though Multi-Fit isn’t a functioning program anymore, Yvette is still applying the things she learned today and shares them with others. “The Y is a great place to work out and build relationships. People see you at your worse and they still make you feel encouraged. We cheer each other on. During one of the post-Multi-Fit events, a member created a support sign that said, ‘Those shorts make you look fast.’ I wouldn’t trade the Y for the world. It built a routine for me to come every day. It was the vein of my existence.”

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