The first Y we went to was in a predominantly black area of town; we didn't know that before hand, but it wouldn't have affected our decision to visit there. However, upon visiting, we saw a LOT of people and NOT ONE white person anywhere, except a possibly white lady working behind the counter. Otherwise, NOT ONE! It was a nice facility and the membership was $58 a month, which is pretty inexpensive for what you get. Everyone was very friendly and we didn't get stared at or anything, but Allie and I were still not very comfortable in that environment. Think what you will, I don't care. However, before you assume that we're going to teach our children to be racists, I'll tell you the rest.
As we were driving to the other Y we visited, the Central YMCA which is about 3 miles from our house, I asked the boys if they liked that Y, which they did. Then I asked them if notiiced anything unusual there. Their answer was "No, like what?" I told them I was just asking and that I hadn't either. Later, Allie and I agreed that we were glad to hear they didn't even notice there were no white people there at all.
So, the Central Y is bigger, better, has a good mix of people, is closer, but costs $78 a month. A little more, but work it. We have already used a guest pass (Tuesday) there and we are planning on joining after we use the other 3 passes. Can we afford it? At first glance at our finances, of course not. But when you factor in how many times we eat out each month because we both are too lazy to grocery shop and cook at home, we have plenty of money for a gym! That's like 1 or 2 meals less eating out per month! That's not even a sacrifice.
Tuesday, we went to hit the racquetball courts for the first time in over 10 years. We are both in really bad physical condition and we knew this was going to be more pretending to play racquetball than, you know, actually tearing up the court and competing. We dropped the boys off in the "Adventure Room" and hit the court, for a full hour of very intense aerobic activity. As we sat on the benches outside the court recovering, I told Allie, "You know we just waaay overdid it right?" She said she didn't really feel that we had, but it didn't take but a few minutes for her to retract that statement.
After racquetball, we got the boys and we changed into bathing suits, except for Allie. I relaxed in the pool for the next hour while they swam and played and Allie watched from a bench in the pool area and talked to mothers of other kids there for swim lessons. All-in-all, we had a very good time on our first visit. We both love racquetball, so it was well worth the pain we've had since.
Long story short, I'm debating on what to do today, considering taking the boys to the Y again (Allie's at work). I'm still so sore it hurts to do anything that requires movement, even to turn over in the bed! But I know that the soreness will loosen up quickly if I get moving again. I might take the boys on the court today and introduce them to racquetball, or I might just take them swimming, or both. If they know we are going swimming, I doubt they'll be interested much in racquetball, so I may not tell them about the swimming afterward.
Suffice to say, if we continue to make use of this, it will be a VERY positive life change for both me and Allie, and a healthy habit to get the boys started with as well. This is the goal, and I plan to integrate it (as P.E., of course) into their homeschooling. A year round place for swimming and being active is just what we all need.
Wish us luck!