Yoga Isn’t Just for the Girls

November 21, 2013

Hey fellas, yoga is for you too! Just ask the NBA all-time leading scorer, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who has practiced yoga since he was 3 years old. These are exerpts taken from a 2003 USA Today article, click below for a link to the full article.

“I believe that yoga is one of the reasons that I was able to play as long and as healthy as I did,” Abdul-Jabbar says. “Yoga is somewhat hard to quantify in terms of benefits because you see them in all the injuries you don’t get.”

“For me I noticed improvement in my posture – that was key for me because I had been having lower back problems,” Abdul-Jabbar states. “After I started doing yoga positions – asanas — all that changed. My health greatly improved overall.”

“I believe that yoga is one of the reasons that I was able to play as long and as healthy as I did.”

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November 19, 2013

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At Home No Matter Where I Go

January 9, 2013

I’m crabby when I’m not active. I take fitness seriously. Not only as a way to feel and look better but as an escape. It’s hard to escape during the holidays, especially when you’re out of town with your wife’s family (no offense, guys!). When we made our holiday plans and I found out we’d be spending 8 days in Cincinnati, Ohio, I quickly turned to Google in hopes of a Y being nearby.

I was in luck. A YMCA was conveniently located less than 4 miles away from Cincinnati Ythe in-laws’ house. I easily had an excuse to get out of the chaos in the house for an hour and an excuse to consume even more of my mother-in-law’s wonderful cooking than normal.

When I walked in the door it was weird. I had never been to this location before but it felt as though I did. Sure, every gym is the same: I got on the treadmill, I used the free weights and shot around on the basketball court (The Y hoops must be broken – the ball didn’t go in the hoop in Cincinnati, just like in Charlotte). But it wasn’t the equipment and layout that made me feel like I’d be there before.

I walked up the stairs to the front door and was greeted by a woman who was leaving from her workout.

“Good morning, have a great workout!” she said while passing by.

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The Power of a Symbol

December 3, 2012

About two months ago I was in Target, running down the list of items that I needed, plus grabbing all of the other items that weren’t on my list…come on, I know you can’t walk through Target and get out of there with ONLY the things on your list, I honestly think it’s impossible.

A little boy caught my eye as he ran frantically down the aisle across from where I was standing; he went by a couple more times. I kept my eye on him as I rounded the corner. He locked eyes with me and hesitated for a moment, then ran up to me.

“I can’t find my mom,” he said in utter panic.

I bend down and tell him it’s OK and ask him what mom looks like. He describes her and I take hisErins Nametag hand as we walk down a couple aisles. Unable to find her immediately, we walk to the front of the store where they are able to alert mom over the intercom.

Mom is up front within seconds. I watch as mom and son reunite, for those of you who have children and have lost sight of them, even for a brief second, you know that for that time they are out of sight…it can seem like an eternity.

Tears are flowing now. The little boy looks up at mom and says, “I’m sorry, I know I’m not suppose to talk to strangers…but she has a Y on her shirt, and they’re good people.”

It hits me as he looks up at me and points, I look down, and I see that I still have my name tag on.

………amazing, isn’t it? The power that one symbol…one letter….can represent. To that child, the Y logo meant safety. I don’t know this family’s specific ties to the Y, but it was clear, that at some point in this childs life, he had an experience at the Y. An experience that in this scary situation, allowed him, a 5-year-old, to make the decision to trust me, based on the fact that I wore the symbol of a place that he knew was safe.

Every time I put on my name tag I am reminded of this story. I am reminded of the power that it holds. Behind our logo, behind the badges we wear, we hold this amazing responsibility and honor, to live out what our organization stands for and means to our community every moment of everyday.

This story is one that I was able to experience first hand, but the ending of this story is not about what I did. It is in fact, the product of the culture the Y has worked to build and create on a daily basis through every interaction, question answered, service offered, and trust you built with our members and the community as a whole.

14 Reasons to Lift Weights

October 15, 2012

We want to pump (clap!) you up! It’s time to hit the weights for you own good! Not sure what to do? Ask one of our personal trainers for assistance.

1. Maintain your independence as you get older
2. Improve your quality of life, allowing you to do the things you enjoy with less effort
3. Strengthen and preserve your muscle tissue
4. Strengthen your bones
5. Reduce your risk of falling
6. Improve control of blood sugar
7. Increase your metabolism
8. Improve your body composition to less fat and more muscle
9. Reduce your resting blood pressure
10. Speed up the rate at which food moves through your digestive system, reducing risk of colon cancer
11. Reduce your risk of low back injury
12. Elevate your mood and your self-confidence
13. Relieve pain from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
14. Enhance recovery from stroke or heart attack

Information provided by

Learn more about our Personal Training opportunities here.

Bridging the Gap

October 10, 2012

“This experience will take me on a career path that I feel like I’m meant to be on,” said mentee Paul Mullins . “It’s inspiring… truly inspiring.”

Paul is one of the participants in a program called Bridging the Gap, a program developed to assist YMCA employees of color achieve their career goals.

In partnership with Bank of America, the Y is delivering a community-based mentoring effort targeted at Hispanic/Latino and multicultural part-time employees. Mentoring efforts are focused on transitioning part-time staff of color to full-time positions with the Y, with an emphasis on Hispanic and Latino individuals. Additional focus is placed on developing sustainable local relationships between Bank of America and the YMCA.

“The Bridging the Gap Program is a great example of where companies, like Bank of America, can partner with the Y to help individuals reach their financial goals, said David Head, Associate Banking and Investments Executive at Bank of America.

Click here to read the full article from the Charlotte Observer.

Watch the video to see how mentors and mentees have been effected by this program.

25 Healthy Snacks For Kids

August 27, 2012

25 Healthy Snacks for Kids
When a snack attack strikes, refuel with these nutrition-packed snacks. Easy, Tasty (and Healthy) Snacks. You may need an adult to help with some of these snacks.
1. Peel a banana and dip it in yogurt. Roll in crushed cereal and freeze.
2. Spread celery sticks with peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese. Top with raisins. Enjoy your “ants on a log.”
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