Antwon Hawkins recently joined the Northern Middlesex Y team in the role of Teen Coordinator. While in college, Antwon's life perspective changed after working with a nonprofit as a youth literacy coach through Americorp Public Ally in New Haven. Instead of heading to a corporate job, Antwon decided that his passion was working to help others find their purpose and feel good about themselves.
At the age of fourteen on March 15, 1967, Marty received the news that he was declared blind. Before he lost his vision, Marty grew up in a YMCA Community. His family had moved from New Hampshire to Connecticut when his father took a position as the director of the Winsted YMCA Day Camp on Highland Lake. For the first fourteen summers of his life, Marty spent at a variety of camps directed by his father including Winsted YMCA Day Camp.
“I am so proud of me, because this is so not me. I was determined not to let these physical challenges lead me into a deep depression. Everyone in the class. They are hysterical. I just have such a good time. I feel like my life depends on being able to maintain this routine. I know how much I need to be here.” My husband was coming to the Y. I started coming thinking I could exercise which was not I could do.
Kaitlin came to "try the Y" with her friend Heather who had told her how good she felt about being able to take care of herself while her children were with the Y Child Watch "babysitting" staff. For the past 3 years, Kaitlin has been enjoying her Family Membership at the Y with her husband and 5 children.
“It’s not nothing.” With these words, I told my husband I had breast cancer on November 6, 2014. It had been one of the best years of my life, and at 42 years old, I had never been in better health and physical shape. I was doing well early in my running career, and regularly attended Y Group Exercise Classes. Being a Y member gave me lots of opportunities to focus on my health. Being a Y member gave me lots of opportunities to focus on my health.
"'I literally never thought I'd ever hear the phrase 'shuffle-ball-change' uttered to me again since 3 years old, but when our Y decided to start offering tap classes with a professional dance instructor for adults, I said what I always like to say in moments of bizarre opportunities: 'CARPE DIEM' ! I have to say: I feel like a kid again! This class is also somewhat challenging with a great cardio, calf and even brain workout!
As a young child doing a local gymnastics program, Jessica heard about the Middlesex Y gymnastics team. Y coaches helped her discover her talent and introduced her to competition as soon as she joined. When it became difficult for her family to afford competition team, the Y Open Doors program provided financial assistance for Jessica to continue with YMCA gymnastics well into her teenage years.
I first became a member of the Y about 7 years ago as a program member so my daughter could take swimming lessons. We stayed as a program member while she became a part of Kids Korner Before and After School Care. From there my involvement with the Y began to expand. In the Women’s Locker Room, I saw a sign for the Triathlon Club. I was always a runner so I was very interested in trying that as a next level goal.
“I lost 25 pounds in 6 months and I am at a better fitness level than the goal picture I showed my YMCA Trainer in March 2018. The picture was of me in San Diego doing a half marathon at my peak fitness level, my perfect running weight. I knew the Y could get me where I needed to be to run an ULTRA marathon (100 miles in 55 hours) in December 2018.
In 2014, Janine began working at Middlesex Hospital, and shortly after in
2015, she started coming to the Middlesex YMCA. When Janine was 48,
she developed the idea that she should be able to run by the time she
turned 50, an ambitious goal. Janine had always been active but had never
dedicated herself to her exercise. For 20-30 years, her kids were the
priority. She found support at the Y and completed a HALF MARATHON!
Nancy described her relationship with the Y from 2006 – 2016 as “on and off again”, taking a few step classes here and there. For 6 years, her daughter swam on the Y Barracuda team. Nancy confesses, “For many years, I continued to be a member of the Y, but I never took advantage of any of the programs or even stepped foot inside the door.”
In the Spring of 2016, Nancy was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes.
Moms like Heather have discovered just how much they can do because of the FREE Child Watch that comes with a Middlesex Y Membership. Heather and her children come at least three times a week, giving Heather a chance to take care of herself while knowing that her children are being cared for in a safe and engaging Y Child Watch Service.
When Andre’s All Star Member, Jayden expressed an interest in joining swim team, Y staff responded. Jayden has been practicing with the swim team since May. A natural athlete, 12 year old Jayden came in 3rd place in the 50 FREE event at the June 30th swim meet earning 16 points for the Barracuda team. When teen coordinator Craig followed up to find out how the meet went, Jayden responded: “I want to work harder and do better.”