120 Years, 120 Stories: Naomi's Story
Working hard in the gym and for GenYWCA
Naomi Banks is a YWCA of Minneapolis Health and Fitness Member and GenYWCA Committee Member who is drawn to our mission.
Health and fitness is important to me. I recently moved to the area and the YWCA was only about a block away from where I lived. Besides being convenient, I felt that the mission and vision connect with my own personal values. Knowing all of the incredible programs the YWCA supports and delivers to the community, I feel good about where my membership dollars are going. When I first joined, I had just suffered a serious back injury. I was in a rehab state and not at the top of my fitness game. I really had to start slow and ease back into a program in order to get strong and healthy again. So, I appreciated the fact that the environment in the gyms was very nonjudgmental and open -- there were muscle builders and 90-year-old grandmas working out in the same gym! I love the idea of working out in a place where I am amidst the buzz of the community and see so many people of diverse backgrounds, interests and fitness levels all pursuing healthy habits and enjoying each other at the same time! Because the YW is all about being healthy and having fun opposed to conforming to an idea of what fit and healthy is, it is a very comfortable and welcoming place to work out.
Joining GenYWCA is another way for me to experience the YWCA. I get to give back to an organization that I feel has benefitted me and the community. I have had an opportunity to meet others and to learn a lot. I feel like the YW community is one that is open and authentic and behaves consistently with stated mission and vision -- I honestly get a great feeling just knowing that, and I love that I can be a part of it!