How the Y did more than just heal me

Published 12:44 am Wednesday, November 7, 2012

By Mallieve Breeding


Recently I have seen signs around town that read “Why the Y?” and these signs have caused me to ask myself the question “Why the Y, and me?” They have also made me want to share my own answer to my question with those who may share similar health issues with me, just in case my own experiences at the Selma Y may be of help to them.

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In 1995, just a few months after I lost my husband Charles to cancer, I fell and sprained my leg. My doctor sent me to six weeks of rehab at a local therapist, Greg Nichols.

As I gradually healed, Greg said to me “You need to join the water aerobics at the Y to help your leg heal.” By then it was January 1996, so the idea of going into cold water didn’t appeal to me. But, as Greg continued to insist, I agreed to try and from my first water aerobics class at the Y on the corner of Broad and Furniss, I began to learn a lot that I had not known — including the fact that no matter how cold it was outside, the pool water would be comfortably warm. And now, with new Selma YMCA, there would be two pools which have different temperatures to suit many needs. And I learned that I could do exercises in the pool that would be much harder for me on land.

From my first water aerobics class, I was beginning to realize that I was also physically benefitting from the exercises. I found that my sprained leg began to improve right away. But I also found that my osteoarthritis was easing as well, especially if I was going regularly to my water aerobics class. I also learned, to my amazement, that my blood pressure, my cholesterol, and even my weight was improving, so my doctors were especially pleased.

And I wasn’t the only class member who was receiving such benefits, for others were reporting good changes as well. I couldn’t help but notice how much better my classmates were feeling — and the fact that those who worked at the Y were so pleasant and helpful was a big plus also.

I have now had sixteen wonderful years in this close relationship with the Selma Y. It has been such a pleasant experience, as well as a healing experience for me. I feel so blessed to have had the Y and all that it provided to us in this area.

I also strongly believe our Y has been a real factor in the fact that I am able to enjoy and celebrate my ninety-first year.

I pray that everyone in this area will realize how blessed we are to have our fabulous YMCA in Selma and Dallas County and that they will join and support the Y so that they will someday be able to celebrate their ninety-first birthday, too.