The Converse family has found a second home at the Orthman Community YMCA.
David and Shelly and their daughter, Parrhesia, joined the YMCA six years ago when the new building opened. Their involvement has steadily increased over the years, and they are now living healthier and more connected lives because of the Y.
“We have all gotten stronger, faster and more coordinated, David said. “I lost 65 pounds, which helped me control my diabetes much better.”
David’s YMCA routine includes weight lifting, cardio and playing basketball. He has also played in the adult flag football and basketball leagues. Shelly attends a daily morning group exercise class, and Parrhesia goes to the YMCA after school and has participated in the Y’s new Mission Monday program for sixth-graders.
The new program incorporates physical activity with lessons about gratitude, teamwork, different cultures, internet safety and other important topics.
Participating in Y programs and challenges, such as March Madness, the 12 Days of Christmas and the Tank Challenge, have helped the Converse family stay accountable to their fitness goals.
In addition to better health, the family has become more connected to others and to their community through the friendships they have made at the Y and through volunteering for YMCA activities and events, such as parades.
“Parrhesia’s favorite part about the Y is doing different things with her friends, which might be what we all really enjoy,” David said. “We have met so many great people and developed great friendships.”
Through their involvement at the Y, they have also strengthened their family.
“The Y gives us things to do together, and that gives us great memories and things to talk about and challenge each other, which just makes us a stronger family,” David said.
David said the YMCA staff members have encouraged his family through the years.
“Seeing them each day inspires you and holds you accountable,” he said.
David and Shelly recently joined the YMCA staff so they can give back even more and encourage others. David will work as a sports and program assistant and Shelly as a building monitor.
“We wanted to be more involved,” David said. “We enjoy getting to know the kids and people of all ages. They inspire us.”