Gaining a New Crew with YWCA Endurance Sports Club
YWCA Minneapolis Endurance Sports Club is a group for people of all fitness levels interested in long-distance running, swimming, cycling, etc. and who are looking for camaraderie while training and working toward new athletic goals. Many in the Club join the Running Interval Class on Thursday mornings to meet other endurance athletes. In the Q&A below, three members of the Club talk about their experience and why they encourage others to join!
Why did you join YWCA Minneapolis?
Jenne: I joined YWCA Minneapolis about three years ago after moving to the city. It was just a few months after the sudden death of my mom and I was in the process of rehabbing from an injury. Feeling lost without the ability to move my body, I started strength training and walking on the treadmill. I found that moving my body on the treadmill was very healing for my grief and I felt a drive to learn how to run, something I previously did not believe my body was capable of. This led to the goal of completing my first triathlon, which has opened up a whole new world to me. The timing could not have been more perfect and being part of YWCA Minneapolis has been life-changing for me.
Mike: I joined YWCA Minneapolis shortly after recovering from prostate cancer. It was a definite wake-up call. I realized that if life is limited then I had better get busy doing the things I like to do. I love to run. Lo and behold there was YWCA Midtown right in my neighborhood. There were people there of all different body sizes, abilities and ages, all trying to do their best to be healthy. There is also a great mission at YWCA that helps wake me up about racism and equality.
Kate: I joined YWCA Minneapolis after receiving an Endurance Sports Coaching package as a gift one Christmas. I love the easily accessible locations, classes and events.
How has your overall experience been with YWCA Minneapolis?
Jenne: My experience at YWCA has been a gift in my life. Although I have had wonderful previous health and fitness experiences, I appreciate the sense of community, activism and commitment to well-being that I experience as a member.
Mike: This group of people has become a lifeline for me. Exercise is now my most important performance-enhancing drug. I am healthier and happier than ever.
Kate: The overall experience at YWCA is FAR superior to what we experienced at previous gyms! There is a variety of programs (triathlon, spin classes, yoga, running, personal training, etc.), and we have truly found a supportive community here.
Can you speak to the comradery that exists in the Club and at events?
Jenne: I feel very blessed to have made so many neat friends being a part of this community. I love showing up to class on Thursday mornings knowing that I am going to get both a great workout and be met with friendly faces and warm connections. It was really fun to return to complete my second triathlon this summer, having a stronger sense of community, knowing a lot of participants and being cheered on by so many of the Endurance Sports Club members volunteering for the event.
Mike: The Thursday morning running group is my new tribe. Even though I am one of the oldest members, I have never felt out of place. I am treated as an equal among some pretty awesome people. I put the YWCA Women’s Triathlon on my calendar each year. I volunteer on the run course. It is one of the single most inspiring events I have ever experienced.
Kate: There is SO much genuine friendship in all of these programs; we get to know and support each other, as well as encourage each to try new activities (like Masters Swimming and the Indoor Triathlons)! Seeing familiar faces and looking forward to time spent together makes my workout consistency much more achievable.
What advice do you have for those who might be interested in joining the Endurance Sports Club?
Jenne: Just show up! It is such a wonderful and welcoming community to be part of and one that is filled with some of the most interesting, inspiring and genuinely good people I have ever met.
Mike: You owe it to yourself to give this a try. Your family, your friends, your body and your soul will be forever grateful you did. Don’t be intimidated by where you are in your fitness. All you have to do is focus on the next step and then the next one. Don’t worry about where you’ve been or where you have to get to. Just take care of you in this next moment. You can do this!
Kate: To those interested in trying these classes: DO IT! Come join us! Many people start out feeling very nervous and intimidated until they realize that athletes of all levels are welcome in this group and that we want everyone to succeed.