In some way or another, our lives have been touched by the three things that make the Y community so strong: youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. By listening to each other’s stories, we’re able to catch a glimpse of all the hope, strength, and determination across the Northwoods and how everyone’s living the Y’s values.

Your Y. Your Camera. Your Story. Now, it’s your turn.

Do you have a Y story that’s changed your life? If so, pick up your camera—any camera: a digital device, smart phone, or tablet—send your video, share your story, and show us how the Y’s helped benefit you and your community. Contact us to share your story. You might just be our next featured storyteller for the Y!

Start Your Story Here

Bob McVety’s Story

Thank you, Marilyn and the YMCA of the Northwoods, for introducing me to pickleball.  I’ve continued to enjoy playing pickleball this winter in Tallahassee, Florida.  Even got asked by someone 10 years younger than me to play mixed doubles in the local Senior Games last week.  Won the gold! 

With the gold medals came standing on the podium and the playing of the national anthem.  With all the age groups and singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, the awards and music stopped the competition with each award…right in the middle of the three on-going games.  I’m not sure that was the way to go, but a nice touch.

I am having fun with the new sport and hope to play more this summer in Rhinelander!

Linda Davidson’s Y Story


Two years ago I was diagnosed with Osteopenia (serious bone loss in the lower spine and hips.)  Dr. Koeppl suggested that I increase my calcium intake and do more weight bearing exercises.  I added more strength training to my workout in the Fitness Center.  I think the leg press was particularly effective. 

January 29, 2015, I had another bone density test.  I was hoping to at least maintain my number of two years ago.  Not only did I do that, but I actually improved my numbers.  The radiologist was surprised and very pleased for me!  No matter your age, you can see results with regular exercise.

Jeff Hoffman’s Y Story

It all started one day back in June 2008.  I was tired as usual, as I was very fat, weighing in around four hundred pounds or so.  Being overweight made it hard to do a lot of things.  I was always breathing hard for doing very little of anything.  I did not like what I saw in the mirror every day…an overweight person.  Even though I had a lot of friends who I could talk to, I was afraid to talk to them about how I looked.  I know they did not care what I looked like because I was a very nice person to be around.  I always had a way to make people open up to me and the ability to make people laugh…I was a real hit.  But for me, I was hurting deep inside for the way I looked…a really fat overweight Pillsbury Dough Boy.  So, I decided to do something the very next day when I woke up……

A lot of my current weight loss has to do with being a YMCA member.  They have the right machines for my cardiac workouts that are much easier to use than the ones I have at home.  I work out three or more times a week.  I love the staff members there and the social network I have found there.  The whole staff is fantastic and always smiling and willing to help you find the right exercise for whatever ails you or to trim those more stubborn body parts.  Everyone should belong to the YMCA.  Don’t be shy…join the “Y”.

Gene Chropkowski’s Y Story

My wife, Carla, and I have been YMCA members for about a year.  We enjoy the social aspects of the Y and the fitness classes they offer help keep us motivated.  When I suffered a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery several months ago, the Y family was part of my recovery and rehab.  In addition to my 12 weeks of cardio rehab at the hospital, I continued to participate in group fitness classes at the Y.  There were various levels of difficulty to challenge and encourage me.  I’ve found the group fitness classes have become an essential part of my weekly routine.  My ‘functional fitness’ has made the projects and chores around the house easier to do, without the usual aches and pains afterward.  The toning, strengthening, balance and aerobic training I’ve done has been a compliment to the other tasks in my life.  Whether it’s painting, gardening or chopping wood around the house or hunting and canoeing in the great Northwoods, the Y should be part of your life as well.

Contact Us