Y Notes

Creating a tradition of giving

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    Now in its 30th year, a tradition has formed at the YMCA which has an impact on swimming, on basketball, on yoga to name just a few areas of influence.

    Yet, it doesn’t involve the basketball courts, nor the exercise equipment, not even water...unless you count the beverages consumed between phone calls trying to soothe vocal cords.

    Next Wednesday, Feb. 20, the tradition of making phone calls for the YMCA’s Partners with Youth program will take place. On one evening, several dozen volunteers will make hundreds of phone calls around the community, asking for donations or pledges for Partners with Youth.

    At the YMCA, no one is turned away because of an inability to pay. That is made possible in part because of the Partners with Youth program, which provides financial assistance for youth sports, for family and individual memberships, for the after-school program.

    With partial payment from the beneficiary, the Partners with Youth program provides part of the fees for a child to play soccer, for a family to have a membership so they can attend recreational swimming together, for a senior citizen to stop by the YMCA every morning at 8 a.m. because that is their routine.

    And Partners with Youth is made possible because of the generosity of our community. Year after year, local businesses and individuals step up with donations to make the program possible. They step up because they know this program is important for those families who simply could not afford these programs without assistance.

    There is also the added benefit of knowing that every single dollar donated or pledged to Partners with Youth stays local, benefitting local families, local kids, local adults.

    Over the 30 years since Partners with Youth’s inception, there really haven’t been that many changes. There are generous donors and there are families in need.

    The biggest change isn’t visible to the public, but rather to the volunteers. Fourteen years ago, all the volunteers began gathering together in one location on one evening to blanket the community with phone calls.

    For the volunteers, this has actually turned into a fun, annual ritual. While it isn’t easy to ask for money, the volunteers realize this program is vital to many families in our community. There are many children who simply wouldn’t be able to participate in youth sports without the financial assistance. There are adults who wouldn’t have that daily socialization during their walk on the track without their membership.

    So if your phone rings next Wednesday, please don’t ignore it. Let the volunteer explain the program and explain its’ purpose. The needs in our community are not going to go away, so please be generous and join the tradition of giving to Partners with Youth.

     


     Text

  • 15-Feb-2019

 

Now in its 30th year, a tradition has formed at the YMCA which has an impact on swimming, on basketball, on yoga to name just a few areas of influence.

Yet, it doesn’t involve the basketball courts, nor the exercise equipment, not even water...unless you count the beverages consumed between phone calls trying to soothe vocal cords.

Next Wednesday, Feb. 20, the tradition of making phone calls for the YMCA’s Partners with Youth program will take place. On one evening, several dozen volunteers will make hundreds of phone calls around the community, asking for donations or pledges for Partners with Youth.

At the YMCA, no one is turned away because of an inability to pay. That is made possible in part because of the Partners with Youth program, which provides financial assistance for youth sports, for family and individual memberships, for the after-school program.

With partial payment from the beneficiary, the Partners with Youth program provides part of the fees for a child to play soccer, for a family to have a membership so they can attend recreational swimming together, for a senior citizen to stop by the YMCA every morning at 8 a.m. because that is their routine.

And Partners with Youth is made possible because of the generosity of our community. Year after year, local businesses and individuals step up with donations to make the program possible. They step up because they know this program is important for those families who simply could not afford these programs without assistance.

There is also the added benefit of knowing that every single dollar donated or pledged to Partners with Youth stays local, benefitting local families, local kids, local adults.

Over the 30 years since Partners with Youth’s inception, there really haven’t been that many changes. There are generous donors and there are families in need.

The biggest change isn’t visible to the public, but rather to the volunteers. Fourteen years ago, all the volunteers began gathering together in one location on one evening to blanket the community with phone calls.

For the volunteers, this has actually turned into a fun, annual ritual. While it isn’t easy to ask for money, the volunteers realize this program is vital to many families in our community. There are many children who simply wouldn’t be able to participate in youth sports without the financial assistance. There are adults who wouldn’t have that daily socialization during their walk on the track without their membership.

So if your phone rings next Wednesday, please don’t ignore it. Let the volunteer explain the program and explain its’ purpose. The needs in our community are not going to go away, so please be generous and join the tradition of giving to Partners with Youth.

 


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Information overload

  • If you are reading this from your computer, take a glance at all tabs open on your browser. Or if you are reading this in the newspaper, try to count all the reading materials laying around your desk.

    However and wherever you get your information, there just seems to be more of it.

    I am the first to admit that I have a problem - a problem of trying to take in too much information. As a journalist by training, I love magazines and newspapers and books. Heck, I can’t even pass by a poster without taking it all in.

    I am constantly clicking on suggested news articles. Put the word “exercise” or “healthy eating” in a headline and it’s a guarantee that I’ll click on the article. At one point last week, I had 12 tabs open with articles covering everything from fasting to carb cutting, from beating depression through exercise to a 105-year-old marathoner.

    But with all that information at our fingertips, it’s nearly impossible to figure out what we should believe.

    For years, we were told that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. Now, studies have appeared which refute that idea. Butter was once frowned upon, but now is a mainstay in many diets. We can’t even agree on how much water we should consume in a day.

    Soon enough, it becomes overwhelming trying to figure out what is best, so I’ve come to a sweeping conclusion: I’m not going to do any of it.

    Actually, that’s not true. I read another article - ironically - which said don’t follow a diet plan, just eat healthy; don’t beat yourself up if you don’t fit in your workout, just try to get active the next day. Just try to do your best day after day.

    That being said, there is one element which doesn’t seem to change: exercise.

    While fitness has different fads which come and go - think Jazzercise and Jane Fonda’s workouts - keeping active is never going to go out of style.

    I would like to offer a few more pieces of reading materials: the fitness class schedule, pool schedule, soccer registration forms, Shamrock Shuffle entry forms, all offering plenty of opportunities to keep active for both young and the not-so-young.

    As I walked around the Y on Tuesday night, I got giddy with all the activity. The racquetball court was full, both exercise rooms were busy, the pool was rippling with the YMCA youth swim team practice and nearly every piece of cardio equipment was whirring along.

    And those were just the adults. The basketball courts were buzzing with first and second graders running up and down the courts, missing more than making baskets but they were still trying.

    Ultimately, there is no one-fits-all diet. There is no one-fits-all exercise plan. You have to figure out what works best for you. And if that includes pedalling away on an exercise bike while scrolling through fitness articles or walking on the treadmill as you bookmark healthy recipes, so be it. I just may be speaking from experience.

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  • 07-Feb-2019

If you are reading this from your computer, take a glance at all tabs open on your browser. Or if you are reading this in the newspaper, try to count all the reading materials laying around your desk.

However and wherever you get your information, there just seems to be more of it.

I am the first to admit that I have a problem - a problem of trying to take in too much information. As a journalist by training, I love magazines and newspapers and books. Heck, I can’t even pass by a poster without taking it all in.

I am constantly clicking on suggested news articles. Put the word “exercise” or “healthy eating” in a headline and it’s a guarantee that I’ll click on the article. At one point last week, I had 12 tabs open with articles covering everything from fasting to carb cutting, from beating depression through exercise to a 105-year-old marathoner.

But with all that information at our fingertips, it’s nearly impossible to figure out what we should believe.

For years, we were told that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. Now, studies have appeared which refute that idea. Butter was once frowned upon, but now is a mainstay in many diets. We can’t even agree on how much water we should consume in a day.

Soon enough, it becomes overwhelming trying to figure out what is best, so I’ve come to a sweeping conclusion: I’m not going to do any of it.

Actually, that’s not true. I read another article - ironically - which said don’t follow a diet plan, just eat healthy; don’t beat yourself up if you don’t fit in your workout, just try to get active the next day. Just try to do your best day after day.

That being said, there is one element which doesn’t seem to change: exercise.

While fitness has different fads which come and go - think Jazzercise and Jane Fonda’s workouts - keeping active is never going to go out of style.

I would like to offer a few more pieces of reading materials: the fitness class schedule, pool schedule, soccer registration forms, Shamrock Shuffle entry forms, all offering plenty of opportunities to keep active for both young and the not-so-young.

As I walked around the Y on Tuesday night, I got giddy with all the activity. The racquetball court was full, both exercise rooms were busy, the pool was rippling with the YMCA youth swim team practice and nearly every piece of cardio equipment was whirring along.

And those were just the adults. The basketball courts were buzzing with first and second graders running up and down the courts, missing more than making baskets but they were still trying.

Ultimately, there is no one-fits-all diet. There is no one-fits-all exercise plan. You have to figure out what works best for you. And if that includes pedalling away on an exercise bike while scrolling through fitness articles or walking on the treadmill as you bookmark healthy recipes, so be it. I just may be speaking from experience.

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More than a class, Stacie's Otters is a life lesson

  • In 2010, the McCook YMCA started a new program, “Stacie’s Otters,” which promoted “Float Early, Float First, Float for Life.”

    The purpose of the class was simple: to promote safety around water from a young age, as young as 9 months old.

    Since then hundreds of infants and toddlers have taken the class, which gives them skills to use throughout their life and also includes parental education. While we can never know how many lives have been saved because of the program, it remains a valuable introduction to water safety.

    The program is named in memory of Stacie Shaddock, who along with her husband, Jeff, were both actively involved at the YMCA. Among their many roles at the Y, Stacie taught swim lessons for a time and Jeff led the fund-raising for the “Save the Wave” pool renovation.

    After she passed, it was a natural fit to create a program in her honor at the YMCA, with her family and friends underwriting the program through financial gifts to the Y.

    The one-on-one classes are designed to teach children how to breath in the water by rolling onto their back and floating. This life-saving technique can give a child those few extra seconds that could save their life.

    Stacie’s Otters does not replace regular swim lessons, but rather enhances a child’s ability to be safe around water...and we’ve got plenty of opportunities in Southwest Nebraska from the surrounding lakes to the public and private pools, even the Republican River, although that idea seems unfathomable most of the year.

    I contacted Gigi Slatter about her twins’ experience in Stacie’s Otters. Jackie and Kale were enrolled in the inaugural class in 2010 and completed both Otter I, designed for 9-18 month olds, and Otter II for 18-month to 3 year olds. And while she loves Stacie’s Otters and recommends it to everyone, the class did not start off too smoothly for the twins.

    “The kids did not like it at all,” Gigi said. “I remember them just crying a good part of the time in the beginning.”

    But after just a short while, they got used to the water and even started to enjoy their time in the pool.

    “I remember that at just two years old, Jackie was able to float and swim the entire length of the pool with no fear,” Gigi said. “I know it would not have been possible without those classes.”

    Even today, Gigi thinks the program is must for all kids.

    “To this day, the kids love the water and it gave them the courage at any pool or lake,” she said. “And the program gave us the security of knowing they can handle the water.”

    Because the program is designed for the attention span...and patience...of 9-month-olds through 3-year-olds, each class is just 15 minutes: 10 minutes in the water for the instructor and child and 5 minutes of parent education. Each session is one day a week for two months or two days a week for one month, depending on the session enrolled in.

    The cost is $20 per session, but financial assistance is available by calling the Y.

    For more information about Stacie’s Otters or any of the swim programs at the Y, visit the Y website, www.mccookymca.org or call 345-6228.

     

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  • 31-Jan-2019

In 2010, the McCook YMCA started a new program, “Stacie’s Otters,” which promoted “Float Early, Float First, Float for Life.”

The purpose of the class was simple: to promote safety around water from a young age, as young as 9 months old.

Since then hundreds of infants and toddlers have taken the class, which gives them skills to use throughout their life and also includes parental education. While we can never know how many lives have been saved because of the program, it remains a valuable introduction to water safety.

The program is named in memory of Stacie Shaddock, who along with her husband, Jeff, were both actively involved at the YMCA. Among their many roles at the Y, Stacie taught swim lessons for a time and Jeff led the fund-raising for the “Save the Wave” pool renovation.

After she passed, it was a natural fit to create a program in her honor at the YMCA, with her family and friends underwriting the program through financial gifts to the Y.

The one-on-one classes are designed to teach children how to breath in the water by rolling onto their back and floating. This life-saving technique can give a child those few extra seconds that could save their life.

Stacie’s Otters does not replace regular swim lessons, but rather enhances a child’s ability to be safe around water...and we’ve got plenty of opportunities in Southwest Nebraska from the surrounding lakes to the public and private pools, even the Republican River, although that idea seems unfathomable most of the year.

I contacted Gigi Slatter about her twins’ experience in Stacie’s Otters. Jackie and Kale were enrolled in the inaugural class in 2010 and completed both Otter I, designed for 9-18 month olds, and Otter II for 18-month to 3 year olds. And while she loves Stacie’s Otters and recommends it to everyone, the class did not start off too smoothly for the twins.

“The kids did not like it at all,” Gigi said. “I remember them just crying a good part of the time in the beginning.”

But after just a short while, they got used to the water and even started to enjoy their time in the pool.

“I remember that at just two years old, Jackie was able to float and swim the entire length of the pool with no fear,” Gigi said. “I know it would not have been possible without those classes.”

Even today, Gigi thinks the program is must for all kids.

“To this day, the kids love the water and it gave them the courage at any pool or lake,” she said. “And the program gave us the security of knowing they can handle the water.”

Because the program is designed for the attention span...and patience...of 9-month-olds through 3-year-olds, each class is just 15 minutes: 10 minutes in the water for the instructor and child and 5 minutes of parent education. Each session is one day a week for two months or two days a week for one month, depending on the session enrolled in.

The cost is $20 per session, but financial assistance is available by calling the Y.

For more information about Stacie’s Otters or any of the swim programs at the Y, visit the Y website, www.mccookymca.org or call 345-6228.

 

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Learning the Ropes and other hints at the Y

  • As I said last week, this is my favorite time of year at the YMCA because there are so many new faces, as well those we haven’t seen since...well, let’s just say it’s been a while for some people.  Text

  • 17-Jan-2019

As I said last week, this is my favorite time of year at the YMCA because there are so many new faces, as well those we haven’t seen since...well, let’s just say it’s been a while for some people.  Text

What gets your moving?

  • What gets you moving? What keeps you from moving in the first place? The answers vary as much as we do.

    Perhaps the answer to the second question could help with the first.

    Maybe your excuse is: “My son has basketball practice three times this week.” Then, you could use the time your child is in practice to walk around the block. Or better yet, help with practice, even if it’s just running up down the court or partnering up with a lone player to pass the ball.

    Maybe the excuse is routinely: “I don’t like working out.” Then, try something new...every time. Between fitness classes, lap times in the pool or pickleball in the gym, there is a variety of ways to get moving without really “working out” at the YMCA.

    As we roll into the new year, it’s the perfect time to figure out what will get you moving. For many it is organized activities, such as group workouts or group events.

    The Republican River Fitness Series, a collaboration between the YMCA and Community Hospital, was created to get people moving and to develop a healthy community. We hope it motivates people to try their first triathlon or improve their time on 5K or push their boundaries with a half-marathon. The first event of the 2019 season is the Shamrock Shuffle in March, so now is the time to get moving and prepare.

    The YMCA’ 2019 Team Fitness Challenge kicked off Sunday with a massive group workout in the YMCA gym. This will translate to a lot of new faces in the fitness classes, additional people on the exercise machines and lots of additional vehicles in the parking lot. Be warned that in the evening, the lot will be full, so be prepared to walk.

    And that’s not a bad thing.

    We are spoiled in McCook and Southwest Nebraska because we can drive and park close to our destinations. People would rather circle a block for 10 minutes, rather than walking two blocks to their destination.

    But returning to the original topic,: what will get us moving? What keeps us from moving?

    This weekend, my college-aged daughter and I discussed - sometimes heatedly - what motivates a person to walk or bike, rather than drive, to reach their destination.

    She leaned toward improving infrastructure such as installing bike lanes on city streets and expanding the walking trails across town.

    I agreed that McCook’s walking trail should be lengthened, but that the current trail provides a lot of opportunities and sidewalks are available to get from one destination to the other. But people still choose to drive.

    A bigger issue in our area is societal norms. People just don’t bike or walk to get to their destination, whether it is because of time constraints, it just doesn’t look cool, or my favorite - and most honest answer - laziness.

    Bike commuters are looked upon as a novelty and sometimes a nuisance. Someone out for a stroll is most likely getting a breath of fresh air, rather than walking as a mode of transportation.

    So what would create a shift in our community? What would get people moving?

    Again, the answers are as varied as the people in our community. Maybe it’s installing more bike racks around town so people are encouraged to use two wheels instead of four. Maybe it’s dimmed lighting in the pool so people are more comfortable in their swimsuits. Or maybe it is as simple as encouraging others to take that first step and just getting moving.

     

     Text

  • 10-Jan-2019

What gets you moving? What keeps you from moving in the first place? The answers vary as much as we do.

Perhaps the answer to the second question could help with the first.

Maybe your excuse is: “My son has basketball practice three times this week.” Then, you could use the time your child is in practice to walk around the block. Or better yet, help with practice, even if it’s just running up down the court or partnering up with a lone player to pass the ball.

Maybe the excuse is routinely: “I don’t like working out.” Then, try something new...every time. Between fitness classes, lap times in the pool or pickleball in the gym, there is a variety of ways to get moving without really “working out” at the YMCA.

As we roll into the new year, it’s the perfect time to figure out what will get you moving. For many it is organized activities, such as group workouts or group events.

The Republican River Fitness Series, a collaboration between the YMCA and Community Hospital, was created to get people moving and to develop a healthy community. We hope it motivates people to try their first triathlon or improve their time on 5K or push their boundaries with a half-marathon. The first event of the 2019 season is the Shamrock Shuffle in March, so now is the time to get moving and prepare.

The YMCA’ 2019 Team Fitness Challenge kicked off Sunday with a massive group workout in the YMCA gym. This will translate to a lot of new faces in the fitness classes, additional people on the exercise machines and lots of additional vehicles in the parking lot. Be warned that in the evening, the lot will be full, so be prepared to walk.

And that’s not a bad thing.

We are spoiled in McCook and Southwest Nebraska because we can drive and park close to our destinations. People would rather circle a block for 10 minutes, rather than walking two blocks to their destination.

But returning to the original topic,: what will get us moving? What keeps us from moving?

This weekend, my college-aged daughter and I discussed - sometimes heatedly - what motivates a person to walk or bike, rather than drive, to reach their destination.

She leaned toward improving infrastructure such as installing bike lanes on city streets and expanding the walking trails across town.

I agreed that McCook’s walking trail should be lengthened, but that the current trail provides a lot of opportunities and sidewalks are available to get from one destination to the other. But people still choose to drive.

A bigger issue in our area is societal norms. People just don’t bike or walk to get to their destination, whether it is because of time constraints, it just doesn’t look cool, or my favorite - and most honest answer - laziness.

Bike commuters are looked upon as a novelty and sometimes a nuisance. Someone out for a stroll is most likely getting a breath of fresh air, rather than walking as a mode of transportation.

So what would create a shift in our community? What would get people moving?

Again, the answers are as varied as the people in our community. Maybe it’s installing more bike racks around town so people are encouraged to use two wheels instead of four. Maybe it’s dimmed lighting in the pool so people are more comfortable in their swimsuits. Or maybe it is as simple as encouraging others to take that first step and just getting moving.

 

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Learning a life skill

  • Over the years, the activities my family and I have become involved in seem to have fallen into two camps, those needing a helmet and those involving water.

    For example, I personally own three different types of helmets, one for skiing, one for riding my scooter and a large variety of bicycle helmets, depending on the type of bicycle and terrain.

    We are also regularly around water, both indoors and outdoors.

    All my kids have been or currently are members of the YMCA swim team and the McCook High School swim team. We participate in triathlons, which finds us swimming in pools, ponds, lakes and even oceans.

    And I love the Christmas gift from my husband, an inflatable stand-up paddle board, even though I can’t use it for few more months. Our collection of kayaks and paddle boards now just about covers everyone in our family.

    It’s this involvement in aquatics which recently prompted me to add to my list of certifications: as a certified lifeguard.

    My four oldest children were all lifeguards, so I decided I would join their ranks.

    The training involved a lot of common sense such as calling for the EMS because they know more than I’ll ever know.

    But the class also instilled confidence. I now feel better that I will have a clue what to do in an emergency…although I pray that I never have to use the skills I learned in class. I will likely never take a formal job as a lifeguard, but it’s still great knowledge to have.

    The YMCA offers Red Cross Lifeguarding Classes throughout the year, especially in preparation for the outdoor summer pool season. Anyone considering a job as a lifeguard this summer should check back regularly to see when the classes are scheduled. Anna Sis does a great, comprehensive job of training and showed great patience, especially when her “drowning victims” wouldn’t stay “drowned.”

    Another valuable life-skill - swim lessons - also begins soon.

    The next swim lesson sessions begin Saturday, with the Tuesday/Thursday classes starting next week. It is never too early to prepare your child to be around water and to become proficient with their swim strokes. And when I mean early, I mean that summer will be here before you know it, as well as children as young as nine months can become accustomed to the water.

    A full listing of classes as well as times and dates are available on the YMCA website, www.mccookymca.org or just stop by the YMCA for a listing of classes. Do it for your kids, who may or may not thank you later, but also do it for yourself for your piece of mind.

    ***

    While the YMCA has resumed regular hours with the holidays passed, there are various activities which will affect availability within the facility.

    For example, the YMCA’s gym will close at 4 p.m. Sunday to prepare for the kick-off and group workout for the 2019 YMCA Team Fitness Challenge.Good luck to everyone participating in the three-month fitness challenge. We expect to see less (through weight loss and muscle gain) and more (visits to the YMCA) of each you.

    The YMCA Board of Directors also approved opening earlier on Saturdays, with the doors opening at 7 a.m., allowing those with Saturday activities to get in a workout before the craziness of the day really sets in.

    And finally, the YMCA/Parker Hannifin youth basketball league begins next week, which means the gym will be filled with dribbling and shooting on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights. With the men’s basketball league on Wednesday nights, the gym is regularly busy but there is still time for Pickleball every morning, in the evenings after the games and on Saturday mornings.


     Text

  • 03-Jan-2019

Over the years, the activities my family and I have become involved in seem to have fallen into two camps, those needing a helmet and those involving water.

For example, I personally own three different types of helmets, one for skiing, one for riding my scooter and a large variety of bicycle helmets, depending on the type of bicycle and terrain.

We are also regularly around water, both indoors and outdoors.

All my kids have been or currently are members of the YMCA swim team and the McCook High School swim team. We participate in triathlons, which finds us swimming in pools, ponds, lakes and even oceans.

And I love the Christmas gift from my husband, an inflatable stand-up paddle board, even though I can’t use it for few more months. Our collection of kayaks and paddle boards now just about covers everyone in our family.

It’s this involvement in aquatics which recently prompted me to add to my list of certifications: as a certified lifeguard.

My four oldest children were all lifeguards, so I decided I would join their ranks.

The training involved a lot of common sense such as calling for the EMS because they know more than I’ll ever know.

But the class also instilled confidence. I now feel better that I will have a clue what to do in an emergency…although I pray that I never have to use the skills I learned in class. I will likely never take a formal job as a lifeguard, but it’s still great knowledge to have.

The YMCA offers Red Cross Lifeguarding Classes throughout the year, especially in preparation for the outdoor summer pool season. Anyone considering a job as a lifeguard this summer should check back regularly to see when the classes are scheduled. Anna Sis does a great, comprehensive job of training and showed great patience, especially when her “drowning victims” wouldn’t stay “drowned.”

Another valuable life-skill - swim lessons - also begins soon.

The next swim lesson sessions begin Saturday, with the Tuesday/Thursday classes starting next week. It is never too early to prepare your child to be around water and to become proficient with their swim strokes. And when I mean early, I mean that summer will be here before you know it, as well as children as young as nine months can become accustomed to the water.

A full listing of classes as well as times and dates are available on the YMCA website, www.mccookymca.org or just stop by the YMCA for a listing of classes. Do it for your kids, who may or may not thank you later, but also do it for yourself for your piece of mind.

***

While the YMCA has resumed regular hours with the holidays passed, there are various activities which will affect availability within the facility.

For example, the YMCA’s gym will close at 4 p.m. Sunday to prepare for the kick-off and group workout for the 2019 YMCA Team Fitness Challenge.Good luck to everyone participating in the three-month fitness challenge. We expect to see less (through weight loss and muscle gain) and more (visits to the YMCA) of each you.

The YMCA Board of Directors also approved opening earlier on Saturdays, with the doors opening at 7 a.m., allowing those with Saturday activities to get in a workout before the craziness of the day really sets in.

And finally, the YMCA/Parker Hannifin youth basketball league begins next week, which means the gym will be filled with dribbling and shooting on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights. With the men’s basketball league on Wednesday nights, the gym is regularly busy but there is still time for Pickleball every morning, in the evenings after the games and on Saturday mornings.


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Fitting it all in during the holidays

  • As I stood in the check-out line for what seemed like the sixteenth time this week – a close estimate - I determined the items on the conveyor belt would get me through the next 48 hours.

    Not that my cupboards were bare, but rather that the activities and events for the following two days were covered.

    As the items were scanned, I had food for a group lunch and gifts for donations at youth group and at school. Everything after that, such as an upcoming gift exchange or baked items for a concession stand, would be dealt with the next day.

    Between the holiday lunches, teacher gifts and Christmas parties, every day is filled with something that needs to be done or to be purchased or to be made or to be attended.

    But I am not going to get everything done that I want to and that’s o.k.

    The world will keep on turning even if my Christmas tree doesn’t get lit because the segments don’t connect or my Christmas cards evolve into Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day cards.

    They will just stand out more upon their arrival.

    During this especially hectic time of year, it is easy to get overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done.

    Rather, we need to take a step back and enjoy each event as it comes along.

    That being said, there are a few things which can’t be put off and need to be attended to in a timely manner, such as the YMCA Board of Directors elections.

    In theory, we could just make the out-going members – Jim Hall, Janet Hubert and Michael Kuhlen - serve another three-year term, but we want them to like us when they leave the board.

    All YMCA members should have received a ballot for the Board of Directors election in the mail this past week.

    They are due by 5 p.m.on Sunday.

    The out-going members have given of their time and talent for the past three years.

    And those who have agreed to run for the board are willingly agreeing to add another item to their already busy schedules.

    When they agreed to run, we didn’t ask if their Christmas cards were done yet.

    We also can’t put off preparing for upcoming events such as a high school swim meet on Friday.

    (The pool will close Friday at 12:30 p.m. with diving at 4 p.m. and swimming events at approximately 5 or 5:30 p.m.)

    Why such a large chunk of time between closing of the pool and the meet starting?

    A swim meet is no small endeavor, asking of time and involvement from a variety of people including the high school coaches, volunteer assistant coaches, parents and school staff who volunteer to be doused – I mean – time at the end of each lane, the YMCA youth swim team which hosts a concession stand and the Y staff, including Aquatic Director Anna Sis and the lifeguards, who spend time before and after the event to make sure the pool is in tip-top shape.

    So over the next few weeks, evaluate if something really needs to be done like putting up a fourth Christmas tree in your house or would that time be better spent making cookies for your neighbor?

    Of course, some things are not optional.

    I would like to say that I got everything I needed for the next two weeks when I was at the store.

    But I didn’t even get out of the store before I ventured back for the forgotten items for a team dinner.

    And for the swim team members, the pre-meet dinner is not optional.

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  • 14-Dec-2018

As I stood in the check-out line for what seemed like the sixteenth time this week – a close estimate - I determined the items on the conveyor belt would get me through the next 48 hours.

Not that my cupboards were bare, but rather that the activities and events for the following two days were covered.

As the items were scanned, I had food for a group lunch and gifts for donations at youth group and at school. Everything after that, such as an upcoming gift exchange or baked items for a concession stand, would be dealt with the next day.

Between the holiday lunches, teacher gifts and Christmas parties, every day is filled with something that needs to be done or to be purchased or to be made or to be attended.

But I am not going to get everything done that I want to and that’s o.k.

The world will keep on turning even if my Christmas tree doesn’t get lit because the segments don’t connect or my Christmas cards evolve into Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day cards.

They will just stand out more upon their arrival.

During this especially hectic time of year, it is easy to get overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done.

Rather, we need to take a step back and enjoy each event as it comes along.

That being said, there are a few things which can’t be put off and need to be attended to in a timely manner, such as the YMCA Board of Directors elections.

In theory, we could just make the out-going members – Jim Hall, Janet Hubert and Michael Kuhlen - serve another three-year term, but we want them to like us when they leave the board.

All YMCA members should have received a ballot for the Board of Directors election in the mail this past week.

They are due by 5 p.m.on Sunday.

The out-going members have given of their time and talent for the past three years.

And those who have agreed to run for the board are willingly agreeing to add another item to their already busy schedules.

When they agreed to run, we didn’t ask if their Christmas cards were done yet.

We also can’t put off preparing for upcoming events such as a high school swim meet on Friday.

(The pool will close Friday at 12:30 p.m. with diving at 4 p.m. and swimming events at approximately 5 or 5:30 p.m.)

Why such a large chunk of time between closing of the pool and the meet starting?

A swim meet is no small endeavor, asking of time and involvement from a variety of people including the high school coaches, volunteer assistant coaches, parents and school staff who volunteer to be doused – I mean – time at the end of each lane, the YMCA youth swim team which hosts a concession stand and the Y staff, including Aquatic Director Anna Sis and the lifeguards, who spend time before and after the event to make sure the pool is in tip-top shape.

So over the next few weeks, evaluate if something really needs to be done like putting up a fourth Christmas tree in your house or would that time be better spent making cookies for your neighbor?

Of course, some things are not optional.

I would like to say that I got everything I needed for the next two weeks when I was at the store.

But I didn’t even get out of the store before I ventured back for the forgotten items for a team dinner.

And for the swim team members, the pre-meet dinner is not optional.

 Text

Trying to get it all done

  • As I stood in the check-out line for what seemed like the sixteenth time this week – a close estimate - I determined the items on the conveyor belt would get me through the next 48 hours. Not that my cupboards were bare, but rather that the activities and events for the following two days were covered.

    As the items were scanned, I had food for a group lunch and gifts for donations at youth group and at school. Everything after that, such as an upcoming gift exchange or baked items for a concession stand, would be dealt with the next day.

    Between the holiday lunches, teacher gifts and Christmas parties, every day is filled with something that needs to be done or to be purchased or to be made or to be attended.

    But I am not going to get everything done that I want to and that’s o.k. The world will keep on turning even if my Christmas tree doesn’t get lit because the segments don’t connect or my Christmas cards evolve into Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day cards. They will just stand out more upon their arrival.

    During this especially hectic time of year, it is easy to get overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done. Rather, we need to take a step back and enjoy each event as it comes along

    That being said, there are a few things which can’t be put off and need to be attended to in a timely manner, such as the YMCA Board of Directors elections. In theory, we could just make the out-going members – Jim Hall, Janet Hubert and Michael Kuhlen - serve another three-year term, but we want them to like us when they leave the board.

    All YMCA members should have received a ballot for the Board of Directors election in the mail this past week. They are due by 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. The out-going members have given of their time and talent for the past three years. And those who have agreed to run for the board are willingly agreeing to add another item to their already busy schedules. When they agreed to run, we didn’t ask if their Christmas cards were done yet.

    We also can’t put off preparing for upcoming events such as a high school swim meet on Friday. (The pool will close Friday at 12:30 p.m. with diving at 4 p.m. and swimming events at approximately 5 or 5:30 p.m.) Why such a large chunk of time between closing of the pool and the meet starting? A swim meet is no small endeavor, asking of time and involvement from a variety of people including the high school coaches, volunteer assistant coaches, parents and school staff who volunteer to be doused – I mean – time at the end of each lane, the YMCA youth swim team which hosts a concession stand and the Y staff, including Aquatic Director Anna Sis and the lifeguards, who spend time before and after the event to make sure the pool is in tip-top shape.

    So over the next few weeks, evaluate if something really needs to be done like putting up a fourth Christmas tree in your house or would that time be better spent making cookies for your neighbor?

    Of course, some things are not optional. I would like to say that I got everything I needed for the next two weeks when I was at the store. But I didn’t even get out of the store before I ventured back for the forgotten items for a team dinner. And for the swim team members, the pre-meet dinner is not optional.

     Text

  • 13-Dec-2018

As I stood in the check-out line for what seemed like the sixteenth time this week – a close estimate - I determined the items on the conveyor belt would get me through the next 48 hours. Not that my cupboards were bare, but rather that the activities and events for the following two days were covered.

As the items were scanned, I had food for a group lunch and gifts for donations at youth group and at school. Everything after that, such as an upcoming gift exchange or baked items for a concession stand, would be dealt with the next day.

Between the holiday lunches, teacher gifts and Christmas parties, every day is filled with something that needs to be done or to be purchased or to be made or to be attended.

But I am not going to get everything done that I want to and that’s o.k. The world will keep on turning even if my Christmas tree doesn’t get lit because the segments don’t connect or my Christmas cards evolve into Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day cards. They will just stand out more upon their arrival.

During this especially hectic time of year, it is easy to get overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done. Rather, we need to take a step back and enjoy each event as it comes along

That being said, there are a few things which can’t be put off and need to be attended to in a timely manner, such as the YMCA Board of Directors elections. In theory, we could just make the out-going members – Jim Hall, Janet Hubert and Michael Kuhlen - serve another three-year term, but we want them to like us when they leave the board.

All YMCA members should have received a ballot for the Board of Directors election in the mail this past week. They are due by 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. The out-going members have given of their time and talent for the past three years. And those who have agreed to run for the board are willingly agreeing to add another item to their already busy schedules. When they agreed to run, we didn’t ask if their Christmas cards were done yet.

We also can’t put off preparing for upcoming events such as a high school swim meet on Friday. (The pool will close Friday at 12:30 p.m. with diving at 4 p.m. and swimming events at approximately 5 or 5:30 p.m.) Why such a large chunk of time between closing of the pool and the meet starting? A swim meet is no small endeavor, asking of time and involvement from a variety of people including the high school coaches, volunteer assistant coaches, parents and school staff who volunteer to be doused – I mean – time at the end of each lane, the YMCA youth swim team which hosts a concession stand and the Y staff, including Aquatic Director Anna Sis and the lifeguards, who spend time before and after the event to make sure the pool is in tip-top shape.

So over the next few weeks, evaluate if something really needs to be done like putting up a fourth Christmas tree in your house or would that time be better spent making cookies for your neighbor?

Of course, some things are not optional. I would like to say that I got everything I needed for the next two weeks when I was at the store. But I didn’t even get out of the store before I ventured back for the forgotten items for a team dinner. And for the swim team members, the pre-meet dinner is not optional.

 Text

Falling into Health-No Joiner Fee

  • The alarm goes off and there isn’t a sliver of light in the sky. As you drop off the kids at school, headlights are still needed. And while there may be a bit of daylight left as you start cooking dinner, by the time the food hits the table, every light in the kitchen is switched on.

    Whether you like it or not, shorter – and colder – days are here.

    Maybe you are in the minority (including myself) who actually enjoy, and prefer, colder weather. Maybe you are among those of us who love pulling out warm, comfy winter clothing. Or maybe you love going to bed when it’s actually dark out, rather than trying to get enough sleep as the sun beams through the window.

    But if none of those are your motivation to love fall and winter, there are still other reasons to enjoy this time of year.

    Just one is that our exercise routines don’t go have on hiatus as the weather turns because we have options to go inside. McCook is fortunate to have a facility such as the YMCA in a town our size.

    To have the opportunity to have an indoor pool available year-round should not be underestimated. Just ask those who travel for miles to McCook to use the YMCA pool, whether for swim lessons, to train for a triathlon or to splash around with their kids and grandkids.

    This is the perfect opportunity to come inside, both because the days are shorter, but also because the YMCA is waiving its joiner fee the entire month of October. That is a $50 savings. But if you’ve procrastinated all year long to make exercise part of your daily routine, take this opportunity to be pro-active and get signed up today.

    Again there are many reasons and many benefits. One benefit many people don’t realize are the unlimited, free fitness classes. All fitness classes are included in the membership, which can easily pay for the membership. If you are a senior and all you do at the YMCA is water aquasize classes every month, the classes can average out to just a bit more than $1 a class.

    So rather than pile on more clothes to hide that extra layer of winter weight, seize this opportunity to do something good for you and your family by falling into healthy habits.

    ***
    Not to be intimidated by fall or winter, the Republican River Fitness Series plans to resume Shoes and Brews tonight. We meet at Brown’s Shoe Fit at 5:45 p.m., leaving at 6 p.m. for a 30-minute walk or run.There is no fee or registration; just a chance to get together for a fun run or walk and finish with a beverage at El Puerto’s.

    Plans are to hold Shoes and Brews during October and November, on the first and third Thursdays. Of course, Mother Nature doesn’t always check in with us to see if her plans match ours. And looking at the forecast, tonight’s fun run may be iffy…but that’s what all those extra layers – of clothes, not fat - are for.

     Text

  • 04-Oct-2018

The alarm goes off and there isn’t a sliver of light in the sky. As you drop off the kids at school, headlights are still needed. And while there may be a bit of daylight left as you start cooking dinner, by the time the food hits the table, every light in the kitchen is switched on.

Whether you like it or not, shorter – and colder – days are here.

Maybe you are in the minority (including myself) who actually enjoy, and prefer, colder weather. Maybe you are among those of us who love pulling out warm, comfy winter clothing. Or maybe you love going to bed when it’s actually dark out, rather than trying to get enough sleep as the sun beams through the window.

But if none of those are your motivation to love fall and winter, there are still other reasons to enjoy this time of year.

Just one is that our exercise routines don’t go have on hiatus as the weather turns because we have options to go inside. McCook is fortunate to have a facility such as the YMCA in a town our size.

To have the opportunity to have an indoor pool available year-round should not be underestimated. Just ask those who travel for miles to McCook to use the YMCA pool, whether for swim lessons, to train for a triathlon or to splash around with their kids and grandkids.

This is the perfect opportunity to come inside, both because the days are shorter, but also because the YMCA is waiving its joiner fee the entire month of October. That is a $50 savings. But if you’ve procrastinated all year long to make exercise part of your daily routine, take this opportunity to be pro-active and get signed up today.

Again there are many reasons and many benefits. One benefit many people don’t realize are the unlimited, free fitness classes. All fitness classes are included in the membership, which can easily pay for the membership. If you are a senior and all you do at the YMCA is water aquasize classes every month, the classes can average out to just a bit more than $1 a class.

So rather than pile on more clothes to hide that extra layer of winter weight, seize this opportunity to do something good for you and your family by falling into healthy habits.

***
Not to be intimidated by fall or winter, the Republican River Fitness Series plans to resume Shoes and Brews tonight. We meet at Brown’s Shoe Fit at 5:45 p.m., leaving at 6 p.m. for a 30-minute walk or run.There is no fee or registration; just a chance to get together for a fun run or walk and finish with a beverage at El Puerto’s.

Plans are to hold Shoes and Brews during October and November, on the first and third Thursdays. Of course, Mother Nature doesn’t always check in with us to see if her plans match ours. And looking at the forecast, tonight’s fun run may be iffy…but that’s what all those extra layers – of clothes, not fat - are for.

 Text

New activities at the YMCA

  • Over the new few months, I will be highlighting the different activities and programs available at the YMCA.

    There are simply too many to properly showcase each fitness class or youth activity in one column.

    But to kick things off, I would like everyone to consider something trying something new. It’s that first step which is often poses the biggest hurdle.

    And people come up with a variety of excuses from lack of time to intimidation of walking into a new group of people to waiting for a day not ending in Y.

    But there is never a perfect time to try something different, to venture out of your comfort zone.

    So instead of waiting for the New Year or even the first of the month, visit the YMCA website for a complete list of fitness classes or the pool schedule.

    There are ample opportunities to dabble in something different, to take a new challenge.

    Consider the fitness class, Strong by Zumba, which returns in October, allowing you to test your dance skills as well as your cardio-fitness levels.

    And rest assured what happens in Zumba, stays in Zumba, especially since the blinds are pulled shut and there are no video cameras in the exercise room.

    Trying something new and different isn’t just limited to adults.

    Naturally, many of the activities at the Y will expose kids to something new.

    There is Child Watch, the child care program for kids while their parents are using the facility.

    For some kids, this may be their first time separated from their parents or their first time around other kids who aren’t their siblings.

    Swim lessons are another natural first for many kids.

    It’s impossible to know how many kids have dipped their foot into a pool for the first time at the Y.

    But thousands of kids over the years have received their first taste of a swimming pool at the Y, whether at swim lessons or venturing into the kiddie pool in the arms of their parents.

    And you don’t have to be in the Y to try something new.

    The Heritage Days Road Race, sponsored by the YMCA and Parker Hannifin, will be next Saturday, Sept. 29 at 7:30 a.m.

    If you have never competed in a road race or covered 3.1 miles, the Heritage Days run/walk is the perfect opportunity to check that off your list.

    The weather is usually beautiful…not too hot, not too cold…although I’ve probably jinxed myself by promising that Mother Nature will cooperate.

    The course provides a challenge, offering downhills, uphills and everything in between.

    Many people think of McCook as flat, but there is a reason there is an “upper” and “lower” shelter house at Kelley Park, which the road race crosses through several times.

    And finally, the route follows the walking trails and McCook streets, so the chances of getting lost are lessened.

    Not eliminated, just lessened.

    And if all else fails, there will likely be a float or antique car passing by on the way to the parade, so you can catch a ride back to Norris Park.

    Heck, you may even end up making a new friend, getting asked to ride the float in the parade and end up with your picture on the front of the Gazette.

    Just consider all the possibilities if you simply try something new.


     Text

  • 21-Sep-2018

Over the new few months, I will be highlighting the different activities and programs available at the YMCA.

There are simply too many to properly showcase each fitness class or youth activity in one column.

But to kick things off, I would like everyone to consider something trying something new. It’s that first step which is often poses the biggest hurdle.

And people come up with a variety of excuses from lack of time to intimidation of walking into a new group of people to waiting for a day not ending in Y.

But there is never a perfect time to try something different, to venture out of your comfort zone.

So instead of waiting for the New Year or even the first of the month, visit the YMCA website for a complete list of fitness classes or the pool schedule.

There are ample opportunities to dabble in something different, to take a new challenge.

Consider the fitness class, Strong by Zumba, which returns in October, allowing you to test your dance skills as well as your cardio-fitness levels.

And rest assured what happens in Zumba, stays in Zumba, especially since the blinds are pulled shut and there are no video cameras in the exercise room.

Trying something new and different isn’t just limited to adults.

Naturally, many of the activities at the Y will expose kids to something new.

There is Child Watch, the child care program for kids while their parents are using the facility.

For some kids, this may be their first time separated from their parents or their first time around other kids who aren’t their siblings.

Swim lessons are another natural first for many kids.

It’s impossible to know how many kids have dipped their foot into a pool for the first time at the Y.

But thousands of kids over the years have received their first taste of a swimming pool at the Y, whether at swim lessons or venturing into the kiddie pool in the arms of their parents.

And you don’t have to be in the Y to try something new.

The Heritage Days Road Race, sponsored by the YMCA and Parker Hannifin, will be next Saturday, Sept. 29 at 7:30 a.m.

If you have never competed in a road race or covered 3.1 miles, the Heritage Days run/walk is the perfect opportunity to check that off your list.

The weather is usually beautiful…not too hot, not too cold…although I’ve probably jinxed myself by promising that Mother Nature will cooperate.

The course provides a challenge, offering downhills, uphills and everything in between.

Many people think of McCook as flat, but there is a reason there is an “upper” and “lower” shelter house at Kelley Park, which the road race crosses through several times.

And finally, the route follows the walking trails and McCook streets, so the chances of getting lost are lessened.

Not eliminated, just lessened.

And if all else fails, there will likely be a float or antique car passing by on the way to the parade, so you can catch a ride back to Norris Park.

Heck, you may even end up making a new friend, getting asked to ride the float in the parade and end up with your picture on the front of the Gazette.

Just consider all the possibilities if you simply try something new.


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