Monday, September 15, 2008

Family Exercise (major venting)

We joined the Y Center so that all of us could get exercise throughout the late fall and winter. Our local membership was finally completed today. Unfortunately, we were not able to exercise. The Y has changed the availability of almost every area for the fall and winter. Family swimming is only available from 10-10:30 am or 7:30-8:30 pm. By 7:30 pm, my 3 year old is exhausted and I won't take her anywhere because she doesn't always behave. The staff spent over an hour getting our membership cards created and we missed the early swim time.

My 3 and 5 year old children could go to child care, the 13 and 15 year old children could go to any area at the Y that was open. My 10 and 11 year old children were not allowed anywhere in the facility. I understand the difficulties of only opening areas that are going to be used by a number of members. I understand the budget constraints. I understand that they don't want to make different rules for members in different situations. After our experience today, I also KNOW why all my friends have dropped their membership at the local Y.

I asked where the 10 and 11 year old children were allowed. I was informed that they could use racquet ball and tennis courts if I was present. They could swim during Family Swim time. They could use the 6-12 year old area. The racquet ball courts are reserved for the next month. The tennis courts are booked.

So now I'm trying to figure out a way to change our schedule, so we could go to the Y after normal school hours. A new problem arises. My 3 and 5 year old children are not allowed anywhere in the facility except the pool and Child Watch. Child Watch is only open from 8:30am-12:30pm.

I asked if the 10 & 11 year olds could read in the Child Watch room. They are too old. Could I take them up to the 6-12 year old room and watch them while they used the equipment there. No. The 6-12 year old area is only open from 4:30pm-7:30 pm. The manager offered the solution of having the 10 & 11 year old children sit in the lobby at a table near the door, while the rest of us used the facilities. Somehow, I didn't see that as a good solution. We left with everyone in tears. Our Family Y membership was supposed to be a large portion of the children's Christmas present. We will end up only doing the Family swim. I may let the older children walk down to the library a couple of times a week, so I can work out, while the younger 2 kids are in Child Watch.

Maybe a better name for the center would be Adult Y Center, with child care available for limited hours.

We ended up at a neighborhood park. We all played tennis for an hour and then the kids were allowed to play on the climbing equipment. At least we all ended up having a good time and getting some exercise. All of us.


Michelle said...

I've had a similar problem with our local rec center. The child care area is not open during the hours that the water aerobics are going on. Children are only allowed in rec activities, not on any equipment. It's really not at all convenient, which is why I'm still out of shape!

Susan said...

>We left with everyone in tears.

Oh my goodness! I can understand why! I think I'd be asking them to give me back my money and they could have back my membership card.

Karen said...

Today, the head of admissions approached me and mentioned that she had been thinking about my problem. She stated that I could take my 10 and 13 year olds to walk/run on the track that surrounds the basketball and volleyball courts. She also stated that they could use those courts without me if I was using the track. She promised to continue looking for other solutions.