Friendship and Fitness Flourish in YMCA Pool

When Gothenburg friends Linda Erickson and Barb Fink retired, they decided it was time to focus on their health and wellness.

Today, the two friends make their weekday morning water workouts at the YMCA at Gothenburg Health a priority and have noticed the benefits.

“Both of us have health issues related to our age,” the friends said. “We have found exercises that have helped us improve our situations. Our doctors encourage us to continue the exercise.”

Barb previously worked as the director of the Cozad United Way for 20 years. During the summer, she participated in water aerobics classes at the outdoor pool, but her exercise slowed down in the winter as there was limited access to pools.

Linda retired 4 years ago from her career as a CPA and partner in a regional firm. Due to the various busy seasons and the amount of travel her job required, she didn’t exercise consistently and when she did, it was mostly walking.

“During that first summer of retirement, I started doing the water aerobics classes offered at the outdoor pool,” Linda said.

The YMCA at Gothenburg Health offered Linda and Barb a year-round opportunity to enjoy their favorite exercise. They joined the YMCA in October 2018 so they could continue water exercises during the winter.

They now exercise at the YMCA most weekdays from 8-10 a.m.

“Because we enjoy our time at the YMCA so much, we both have made a conscious effort to not schedule other appointments during our swim time,” Barb and Linda said. “A lot of weeks, we swim 5 days a week, but our goal is to average 4 days.

Their routine includes about one-third water aerobics (cardio), one-third strengthening and one-third with water weights in the deep end.

They learned their routines from two summer water aerobics instructors. One instructor is a retired PE teacher/swim coach, and the other is a Red Cross instructor/trainer/pool manager.

“The PE teacher came with us in the winter some times and would explain the benefits of each exercise and where we should be feeling it,” Barb and Linda said.

Both gals said the accountability they have with each other keeps them motivated to exercise.

“We have a buddy system,” Linda and Barb said. “We find that if you have someone going with you that you make fewer excuses not to go. We ride together and alternate driving each week.”

They also enjoy the staff at the YMCA, who also encourage them.

“We greatly enjoy the staff and are greeted with a smile each day,” the gals said. “The Y has also added a water aerobics class on Friday mornings that we participate in to change up our routine.”

They are grateful for the YMCA facility, staff and members.

“We appreciate the flexible hours available and have also brought some of our grandkids to enjoy the variety of activities,” they said.


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