Monroe County YMCA Blog

Bloomington, Indiana


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Laura Dahncke Helps the Monroe County Y Stay Creative and Fun for 20 Years

  1. What is your job title at the Monroe County YMCA?san d trip
    Marketing Coordinator
  2. What brought you to the Y?
    I have been a member since 1990, Kyle and I joined right after we were married. I become a much more active member after Jonah was born in 1994. We came to the Y several times a week so he could go to preschool and have fun in Play and Learn. I started coming in so often that Susan Adam, the childcare coordinator at the time, asked me to start working there. Being pregnant with my second son, Ben, the flexible hours and the comradery with the other moms made the job a perfect fit for me. After five years in childcare I moved on to teach Preschool and CPR. Sharon was working in Marketing by this time and noticed some of the bulletin boards I had made for my preschool class. She asked if I would like to pick up a few hours working with her and I jumped at the chance. A few part time hours grew into full-time and with the exception of a few months last year I have been here ever since!
  3. After serving 20 years as a staff member, what is your outlook on the Y? How is it “More than a Gym” to you?
    The Y could never be just a gym to me. While I have definitely enjoyed better health and wellness as a result of working here that is not what keeps me coming back to work every day. I come back and take pride in what I do because the Y feels like family to me, like home away from home. And I can honestly say after testing the waters outside of the Y that there is no place like home.
  4. If you have a favorite memory from your time at the Y, share that with us!
    Every moment that I have spent with my fellow Divas* has been my favorite!

*A diva is a past or present member of the Monroe County YMCA Marketing team. 🙂


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Walter Kyles has Learned to Give and Receive Encouragement at the Y

Walter Kyles

  • What is your job title at the Monroe County YMCA?

    Group Ex Instructor/Personal Trainer 

  • What brought you to the Y — whether it be for the job itself, or you started as a member, tell us your story!

    I started as a member coming to the Y on my own. Former Group Ex Coordinator, Lisa Thompson, spotted me in a class and told me she wanted me to work for her. I took her up on her offer, began taking training, and that has led me to where I am today.
     

  • After serving 1 year as a staff member, what is your outlook on the Y? How is it “More than a Gym” to you?

    My job is to encourage members, but members end up encouraging me. I feed off of their smiling faces and positivity. The Y is one of my favorite spots to come. It never feels like I HAVE to come to the Y — it’s just an awesome place!

  • If you  have a favorite memory from your time at the Y, share that with us!

    I was taking an aqua fitness water instructor training that group ex instructor, Tatiana, was leading. I have never felt the way in the water than when I was led by her. It was electrifying, the entire experience! It was like going to a movie. You sit back and think about how amazing it is. I was amazed I could do that in the water. You definitely get an experience when you leave her class.


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Jack Miller Celebrates a Year Full of Growth and Change at the Monroe County YMCA

Jack Miller

  • What is your job title at the Monroe County YMCA?

    Youth and Adult Sports Coordinator

  • What brought you to the Y — whether it be for the job itself, or you started as a member, tell us your story!

    I have been with the YMCA in South Carolina since I was 13 years old participating in sports leagues, officiating, and working in the athletics department. I knew that I wanted to stay with the YMCA and both my wife and I wanted to get out of our bubble in the south and go make an impact on a community. I knew when I applied for this job that there was a great community here in Bloomington and I looked forward to seeing new challenges in youth sports in a different part of the country.

  • After serving 1 year as a staff member, what is your outlook on the Y? How is it “More than a Gym” to you?

    With so many programs in so many areas I am always impressed when I go to different Y’s to see what programs they have come up with to fit their community. With youth sports I love to see kids that would normally never meet, get placed on teams with kids of similar skill levels and even new players get to make friends and learn to enjoy the sport without the pressure of a competitive league.
  • If you  have a favorite memory from your time at the Y, share that with us!

    My favorite moments are always those when we get players who have never played the sport or feels like they aren’t as good as the other players, they work hard in practice and get the positive energy they need from the coaches and then they achieve a goal in a game they never thought they could. I specifically remember a soccer team my first season here who had lost several games but kept trying, their coach stayed positive, and later on in the season they won a game and had multiple players who had been trying hard to get better score their first goals ever. Those moments are why I love YMCA sports leagues and the positive environment surrounding them.


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Deb Hackman Celebrates Connections, Opportunities, and 35 Years at the Y

misc 2016 074What is your job title at the Monroe County YMCA?
Yoga  Instructor & Arthritis Aquatics Instructor (Over the years I worked as a Lifeguard and Lifeguard Instructor Trainer, Swimming Instructor, Preschool Teacher, Camp Counselor, CPR Instructor)

What brought you to the Y — whether it be for the job itself, or you started as a member, tell us your story!
When attending IU to get a degree in Recreation, I had a class with Dr. Tom Rillo.  One of our assignments was to interview a director at a local fitness center.  I lived close to the YMCA at that time and I interviewed Paul Hudock, the Aquatics Director.  Shortly thereafter I began working as a lifeguard.

After serving 35 years as a staff member, what is your outlook on the Y? How is it “More than a Gym” to you?
I love the YMCA, there is so much connection and opportunity with the programs we offer.  We are more than a gym because we can serve members before birth (pre-natal yoga) to, at least, 94 years old.  In one of my yoga classes, the participants get together outside of the classroom doing tea parties, beach parties, etc.

If you  have a favorite memory from your time at the Y, share that with us!
I guess my memories are many and varied.  I have seen babies grow up and start working at the YMCA.  I have seen co-workers start dating and get married.  Working with older members I have attended more than my fair share of funerals, but these moments always include gratitude from the family about how much their loved one enjoyed their time at the YMCA.


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Shirley Johnson Celebrates 20 Years and Many Early Mornings at the Monroe County YMCA

  • Shirley JohnsonWhat is your job title at the Monroe County YMCA?
    My job at the Y at this time is teaching early morning at 6:15 Shallow Water Aerobics class which I have been teaching for approx 19 years. I taught the first deep water classes many years ago. We actually went into the shallow class and recruited folks to try the deep water. Starting with 8 brave souls and grew into a class of 25 and on to be a class offered every session.
  • What brought you to the Y?
    I had taught water aerobics in northern Michigan where I had moved from to Bloomington so when I arrived I came to the Y. I also became a life guard and personal trainer. Due my full time job in healthcare I now only teach the early am class.
  • After serving 20 years as a staff member, what is your outlook on the Y? How is it “More than a Gym” to you?
    I think the Y is a place for folks from many different age groups and backgrounds to come together to share time and place with their similar goal of getting/ staying fit as well as the connection with others in our community young to seniors.
  • What’s your favorite memory of the Y?
    When we were looking for a house when moving to Bloomington the realtor asked if we wanted to be a Y family? At that time we had no idea of what he meant or did we know that we would become a Y family.


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From 8 Classes to 75, Michelle Stroud Celebrates Growth and 15 Years at the Y

 

Michelle Stroud Proofs retouchedWhat is your job title at the Monroe County YMCA? 
Gymnastics Center Coordinator and Head Team Coach

What brought you to the Y — whether it be for the job itself, or you started as a member, tell us your story! 
An opportunity to teach gymnastics

After serving 15 years as a staff member, what is your outlook on the Y? How is it “More than a Gym” to you?
The Y has been one amazing ride the last 15 years. When I started we offered only 7-8 classes a week, if that.  Now we offer up to 75!  We are beginning our third year with a competitive team that is flourishing since we began.  It’s amazing to work where you not only you can grow as an employee, but you have the freedom to allow your programming to grow and expand as well.  The Y is more than a gym because we offer, not only a gymnastics facility, but a place where our students can give back to their local community (through food drives), and learn important leadership skills through their sport.  I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to give back to a sport that has meant so much to me throughout my own life.

If you  have a favorite memory from your time at the Y, share that with us!
There are so many memories it’s difficult to choose just one.  They are all gymnastics related, and all involve students I worked with on and off for years.  One student took classes here when she was 5-7 years of age, went on to a local club to compete, and returned to us in middle school.  She competed for me through high school, and then began working for me as well.  That’s actually happened a couple of times.  It’s amazing to work with children when they are preschoolers, coach them in high school, and then have them also become employees with the program in high school and college.

 


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From Muncie to Bloomington, Debbie Kuratko is No Stranger to the Y After 10 Years

  1. Deb K 2015What is your job title at the Monroe County YMCA?
    I am a Personal Trainer/Group Ex instructor
  2. What brought you to the Y — whether it be for the job itself, or you started as a member, tell us your story!
    I was a member and worked as a Group Ex instructor/coordinator and Personal trainer at a Muncie YMCA for many years before we moved here to Bloomington in 2005, so the transition was pretty easy.
  3. After serving 10 years as a staff member, what is your outlook on the Y? How is it “More than a Gym” to you?
    The Y is definitely more than “a gym” for me.  It is a place to connect with great friends and members of the community.