Ensuring a Brighter Future

Manette Hall

Dedicated Mom Finds Support at the Y


As the mother of two children with special needs, Manette Hall has found the Y extremely supportive of her sons and family. The Y has strengthened this dedicated mom physically and mentally, which has gone a long way to helping her have more patience in her life.


Her youngest son benefits from the afterschool care program at the La Crosse Y. “He needs a routine,” Manette says. “They keep him very busy. I cannot say enough good things about the staff.”


Whenever an issue arises, Manette and the staff strategize together, creating solutions to help her son. One afternoon, for instance, he

didn’t want to leave the Family Fun Center. Manette suggested staff challenge her son to race to the elevator, as he would then run upstairs where he was asked to go. The idea worked, and it was another time when Manette could proudly say, “My son had a good day.”


Her oldest son has gained more self-confidence through the physical activity program. Student mentors from UW-La Crosse work out with young members in the Wellness Center, spending time and talking with them about various issues in their lives.


Hall’s family joined the Y about five years ago but they didn’t start coming regularly – until about two years ago when Manette decided to set goals to improve her health and lose weight. She chose classes that fit in with her work schedule.


“I personally love to take all of the fitness classes,” she says. She discovered her favorite sessions are spinning and yoga. “In the spinning classes, we all know each other by first names,” she says. “All of the routines are different, so I don’t get bored.”


During the winter months, her husband of 23 years, Rod, attends a morning spinning class with her and then they go out for breakfast. It’s a standing weekly date that helps them bond as a couple. Yoga stays on Manette’s “must do” list. “If I don’t go to my yoga class on Sundays, my week doesn’t go as well,” she says with a laugh.


As an unexpected outcome of her workouts, Manette realized that spinning especially improved her strength to run. She had never taken running seriously, until she completed her first 5K race, the Y’s Jingle Bell Run, two years ago at age 40. She continues to enjoy running 5K races through the Y and other community organizations.


Since making a commitment to the Y, she’s maintained her ideal weight. More importantly, she says, she’s gained more patience with herself and family. “Anyone with special needs children knows you just have to adjust every day and have

patience,” she says. “Even if you don’t have patience, you learn it. I’ve learned to be patient.”


By Kim Seidel, Seidel Ink LLC. 2011