From the January 2020 issue

The Value of Family Memberships at the YMCA

A Detroit mom shares why the YMCA is the ideal spot for her and her family to focus on their health and wellness.

Four years ago, Anne-Lise Halvorsen suffered an injury while skiing. The local mom of three tore her ACL on the slopes and ultimately needed surgery a year later to repair the damage.

As part of her recovery, Halvorsen turned to the Boll Family YMCA in Detroit for support – in the form of working with personal trainer Colin Parks. And today, it’s still Halvorsen’s favorite thing to do at her local YMCA, which is just two miles from her family’s Detroit home.

“I’ve been personal training with him for about three years now, and it’s fantastic,” Halvorsen says. After surgery, “I really needed to strengthen up my quads to be able to do cutting sports like skiing, soccer or football” – that is, sports that require a lot of sidestep or cross-step movements. “Colin really helped me get in shape and strengthen my quads.”

Along the way, Parks has become a friend to Halvorsen, her husband, Bil Lusa, and their three sons, Spencer, age 11, Toby, 9 and Axel, 7. In fact, he’s even attended a few of her sons’ birthday parties, which also took place at the Boll Family YMCA.

Halvorsen has been a member at the Boll Y since 2008. Before moving to Detroit, she previously worked out at the Ann Arbor YMCA. Similarly, Lusa joined the Boll Family YMCA in 2005 and enjoys running on the track (their sons do, too!).

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Fitness is an important aspect of their life, and the Boll Family YMCA provides the ideal setting for the Halvorsen-Lusa family – and other families like theirs – to focus on health and wellness.

Fitness for all ages

From personal training to spin and yoga classes, Halvorsen has tried it all.

“Every week, there’s some kind of new challenge you can join,” she says of those interested in working out at the Y. “You’re never bored.”

Spin class was a personal favorite for a while.

“Throughout all my pregnancies, I went to spin class and, with my first (pregnancy), I was attending spin class two hours before I went into labor,” Halvorsen says. In fact, she credits those spin classes for her easy deliveries with all three boys.

After her sons were born, she continued her health journey and utilized Child Watch, which is a child care service that allows parents to work out while their children play under the supervision of trained YMCA staff.

As her sons grew, so did their involvement with many of the classes, camps and offerings at the Boll Family YMCA.

“The kids have gone to Y camp in the summer – and also they have Y camp during school breaks like winter break or spring break, so they have done those,” she says. “They also have gone to summer camp at Belle Isle.”

The boys have enrolled in basketball, gymnastics and soccer classes, too.

These days, the kids play sports outside of the YMCA but still come by with mom and dad for family fun. When visiting as a group, Halvorsen works out with Parks. In some cases, she says, the boys come along and do cardio with her when she’s training. Other times, the boys hit the track with dad or go for a swim.

The Boll Family YMCA, which boasts “fantastic swim lessons,” Halverson says, features a lap pool in addition to a family pool that has three separate sections for swimming. The pool is a family fave, especially on snow days and weekends.

“That pool is like a godsend,” she says. “We’ve spent so many hours there.”

If the kids simply want to relax, there’s plenty of space at the Boll Family YMCA to sit and read or draw, Halvorsen adds.

A sense of community

Comfort, support and sense of community – this is what families will find at their local YMCA.

“It’s just a beautiful facility,” Halverson says of the Boll location. “You can see that from the outside, but then you go inside and there’s lovely artwork and a lot of local artwork, and it’s featuring diverse artists. They always have art on display when you walk into the lobby. It’s really reflective of the community, and there’s just such a great, warm feeling when you enter into the Y.”

The membership is diverse, too.

“One of the things that I really like about the Y is the huge diversity of people there – young and old, retired and working,” she says. “Just culturally, racially it’s very diverse. Everybody belongs there.”

When it comes to working out, Halverson says the YMCA’s atmosphere is not competitive. In fact, she’s seen people cheering each other on during their workouts.

For families who are interested in working on their fitness goals this year, the YMCA is a great choice, she says.

“Movement and exercise are so vital for your mind and your body and your heart, and I think the Y promotes that and helps us as a whole family to keep that focus,” she says.

Make Every Day Better with YMCA Member Benefits

A new year brings new possibilities for your family’s health and wellness! For families interested in getting in shape, or those looking for a facility that offers something for everyone, the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit boasts big benefits.

Activities free with membership

  1. Child Watch
    Child care for ages 6 months to 9 years gives parents a place to drop kids off while they work out.
  2. Rock climbing
    Offered at Boll Family and Downriver YMCA.
  3. Parent Night Out
    Child care drop-off for date night.
  4. Open swim
  5. Open gym
  6. Menu of group exercise classes
    Classes include Zumba, yoga, Pilates and more to help improve your balance and strength in 2020.
  7. Wellness center and indoor track
    The Halverson-Lusa family utilizes both often.
  8. Theater
    See live professional theater at the Boll Family YMCA.

Discounted activity fee with membership

  1. Fitness plan with personal trainer
    Work out with a trainer at any of the YMCA locations.
  2. Y Arts Saturday pottery class
    Offered at the Boll Family YMCA.
  3. Adventure Guides
    Parent-child program designed to strengthen family relationships.
  4. Adaptive youth fitness and swimming
    Programs for kids age 4-plus with specials needs.
  5. Break camps
    Winter, spring and summer break options for kids.
  6. Swim Lessons
  7. Resident camps in Holly and Oscoda
  8. Women’s Wellness Weekends
  9. Family camp
  10. Girls on the Run and STRIDE
  11. Youth sports classes and leaguesAdult sports leagues
  12. College prep, college tours and more
    From the Metro Youth YMCA housed at Boll Family YMCA.

Content brought to you by YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit. For more information on the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit, visit ymcadetroit.org.

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