Brooke Allen is a familiar and beloved voice in metro Detroit. In addition to her role as Midday News Anchor for WWJ Newsradio 950, she’s also an ambassador for YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit and talks often about how much she enjoys visiting her local Y.
This year, there’s no doubt that Allen is celebrating the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit’s 170th anniversary by embracing the Y 170 Challenge — the community-wide effort to log 170 minutes of healthy exercise each week for the next year, culminating in the YMCA’s 170th birthday in September 2022.
“I’m really excited about the Y 170 Challenge,” Allen says. And, she has two exercise buddies — her 9-year-old twins Daisy and Carson (who, for the record, is older than his sister by one minute) — to keep her on track.
The track is where Allen likes to spend her time. “We started going to the Y during the pandemic and we made reservations in the basketball court, but we all really love to walk on the track,” Allen says. “It’s really important to me that we can do this together.”
Daisy is the fitness guru of the pair, and Allen says she often catches her doing pushups. Carson, too, has some big goals. “He says he’s working on his abs and wants to get a six-pack,” Allen says. “We have until September, right? We’ll get it done.”
An achievable goal
Spreading 170 minutes out over five days (34 minutes each day), makes meeting the challenge easier. “We can manage this but we will have to be super disciplined and I think it will be fun. Having a goal is very good, especially if we can achieve it together,” Allen says.
Allen enjoys splitting her time between the South Oakland Family YMCA in Royal Oak and the Farmington Family YMCA in Farmington Hills and says it is a bonus that she can work out on the machines or kick butt in a cycling class, just as she is — a mom of two fourth-graders, wearing her sweats.
“I really like being able to go to different Y locations, depending on what’s going on at each and they are pretty close together, so it’s easy,” she says, adding that her “twinkies” enjoy YMCA spring break camps and summer camps, too.
Allen says she’s proud to be part of a charitable organization that has been a mainstay of Detroit’s long history, especially because the Y provides so much to the communities it serves. “They’ve really stepped up to offer food boxes and food drives. One super cold day, they were handing out boxes of produce and meats, and the cars lined up,” she says. “It’s important for my kids to see we belong to an organization that helps out the community.”
For 34 minutes a day, Allen says she is doing great things for her body, but she’s also gaining clarity of mind.
“My job is stressful and it does affect me, but it’s more than that. It’s also about being part of a community that is super important,” she says.
And, at the end of the Y 170 Challenge, Allen knows that she and her kids will feel a sense of pride in achieving this big goal together. “Exercise these days is more than exercise. It’s where you can get your head together, get away from technology and connect with a buddy or your kids. They will remember that.”