Editor’s note: This is part three of a three part series; part one and two were also printed on the Healthy Life page.

Every day, on their own, people are becoming more inspired and motivated in the health and fitness world. Whether it’s following someone on Instagram, watching a video on YouTube or picking up your favorite wellness magazine, we are glad that people love health and wellness as much as the Y does! We continue to have people enter our doors who are thankful for our services and feel part of our family. Wherever you feel connected, please keep moving forward! We feel incredibly lucky to personally get to know our members and program participants on a personal level and feel honored that so many of them felt comfortable sharing their story.

Each Y association or branch looks different in each community it serves. Each association runs independently of each other and that’s the beauty and uniqueness of each Y serving the needs of the community in which it operates. Did you know the Y is a nonprofit 501(c)3 charitable organization? Our members, staff, volunteers, board and community are our stakeholders and the Y has served in our community for 49 years. We love what we do each day and the collective impact the Y has and continues to make in our communities.

Our closing piece to our attitude of gratitude series continues:

Nikki Leow:

“The Y has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My dad worked as a lifeguard at the Green Bay Downtown branch in the early 70s and brought me there to swim before I could walk. In college, I worked at the West Side Y in Green Bay and can remember Don Majkowski coming in to work out. Knowing what the Y did for people and their community, I didn’t hesitate when I was asked to serve as a board member for our YMCA back in 2006, I am proud to say I am still a board member today.

“The Y has also played an important role in my personal wellness —emotionally and physically. Whether it be an injury, family illness, or just maintaining my own fitness goals, I know I have a group of cheerleaders that will help me be the best I can be. Monday morning yoga prepares me for whatever the week holds by reminding me to ‘breathe’ and the importance of gratitude. The Friday morning cycling challenges me to be a competitor. So for me, the Y has been a constant positive influence on my daily life, and being a volunteer for a national organization has allowed me to see how the YMCA does this for others in communities like ours across the country.”

Jenni Dolata:

“I started coming to the Y for a wellness class sponsored by my employer. It was once a week and I loved it! I was amazed by the results I was seeing from one 30-minute class. This inspired me to try other classes. I now come at least three times per week and now have my own membership. I lost a few pounds, but more importantly my doctor has discontinued my prescribed medications for blood pressure and diabetes!”

In closing of our three part series, Attitude of Gratitude, the Y challenges you to dig deep and find your inner greatness, wherever that may be. We are thankful for our members and program participants that we get to serve every day here at the Y. Visit mmymca.org under programs to download our current Spring I & II Program Guide that shows off all of our youth programming and fitness classes offered weekly. Stop in and see us soon!

Allyson Bickel is the Community Engagement Director at The Greater Marinette-Menominee YMCA, 1600 West Drive, Menominee, MI, 49858.