Strong Kids Campaign Makes Healthy Family Lifestyles Possible
Although Kim Lombard has held a Y membership for a decade, she and her two children have been coming to the Y more and more in recent years. "We have been making going to the Y a lifestyle, a family lifestyle," Lombard says.
Lombard thanks the Y's Strong Kids Campaign for making her family membership possible. "Without the help of the Strong Kids Campaign, we probably would not have had a membership this long," says Kim, a single mother. "It has allowed us to have access to healthier options. As a mom, I want to help my kids to do well in school, but I also want to teach them about health and fitness."
Her son and daughter see their mother as a good role model for taking care of herself. Recently, Kim has joined in more group exercise classes, such as Pilates, Zumba and Yoga. "I was too nervous to try the classes out," says Kim, who worked out solely in the Wellness Center for years. "I was thinking that I wouldn't be able to keep up. Now I know people of all ages and fitness levels participate. Now that I gave it a try, I found out how much I enjoy the group classes."
About the same time, her son, Khalil, turned 7, which means he's no longer taken to the Child Care Center while Kim works out. Khalil likes his newfound freedom, spending time in the gym or the Family Fun Center with friends. Her 10-year-old daughter, K'leia, loves to swim and hang out with her friends at the Y.
With her family's renewed enthusiasm for the Y, it's natural for them to go at least three to four times a week as an important part of their healthy lifestyle. "It's a fun place for the entire family," Kim says. "It gives us a healthy place to spend time and to be active together." They typically go in the evenings and weekends. Kim works days at Gundersen Lutheran's Trauma Center in trauma/injury prevention and education.
The variety of classes offered at the Y impresses Kim. The classes go beyond fitness and provide holistic opportunities, from cooking and music classes to science-related sessions for the kids. Her children have participated in gymnastics, swimming lessons, basketball and other programs.
They've enjoyed many family events, including holiday 5K walks/runs, Family Nights and Zumba.
A recent memory stands out in Kim's mind that captures what the Y means to her family. One evening Kim watched her son play basketball in the gym with a large group of people of all ages. At first, she felt worried about her son, who was definitely the youngest and the smallest in the bunch. "But, it was so adorable. They really included him," she says. "I could tell they were all watching out for him. He even made a basket. It was so cute!"
"Compassionate." That's the word that Kim uses to describe the Y, particularly when she reflects on moments like her son playing with big people in the gym and her family benefiting from the Strong Kids Campaign. "Most everyone I meet and especially the Y staff members are compassionate. They are open and warm," Kim says. "They are very genuine people and really care about others."
- By Kim Seidel, Seidel Ink LLC. 2012