The YMCA, Ensuring a Brighter Future

Ricky Lindberg

Y Helps to Keep Him Strong and Independent

It took Ricky Lindberg a few years to re-join the Y, although he waited in his wheelchair for the bus to pick him up at the entrance of the building. Now that he's working out regularly in the Wellness Center, he has improved his strength with determination and made many new friends with his sense of humor. 


Ricky is well known as a "jokester" with his one-liners, often followed by a kind, "Shhhh...Don't tell anyone!" He'll place his pointer finger to his lips and grin. He's not shy and enjoys chatting with staff and other members. If you're lucky, he'll give you a "thumbs up!" and a smile that will brighten your day.


Ricky, age 53, has a physical disability that limits the use of his legs. That doesn't keep him from bicycling and lifting weights on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings. "I press more weight than the usual guy does," he says with a chuckle. He has so much fun that his time working out passes by quickly.


Connie, a long-time staff member at the Wellness Center, has seen Ricky grow more independent and social over the last couple of years. Connie enjoys assisting Ricky when he needs it. "I like to give him encouragement and tell him he is strong, and he is strong," Connie says. "He's a pleasure to have as a member." 


Ricky strives to stay strong for many reasons; perhaps, the top one is that it helps him to live independently. He can get around in his apartment and go back and forth to the Y in his wheelchair without much assistance. Ricky also shares that he's a "neat freak" and likes to live in a clean place without worrying about a roommate who may not be as tidy. Staff and members at the Y know he likes to help keep the place clean. He'll often pick up towels from the floor, and put a book or game back on the lobby shelf. It's not a surprise to learn that he worked in maintence many years for various organizations.


When he's not at the Y, Ricky works in Viroqua for the V Arc Inc. (Vernon Area Rehabilitation) on Mondays and Wednesdays. He enjoys listening to music on local radio station Z-93 and watching television. If Ricky weren't going to the Y, he admits, he would be watching more of that "idiot box." 


Ricky knows he's lucky to be alive today and to go to the Y, even though living with his disability can be difficult. About 20 years ago, he was in a terrible car accident that killed one of his friends. But Ricky keeps working out and having fun, proving again that all ages and abilities can find success at the Y. "The Y experience has been great!" he says. "Everyone is very friendly."


- By Kim Seidel, Seidel Ink LLC. 2013