By Marah Morrison
If the need to enhance a healthy body, mind and spirit arises, the YMCA downtown or the John S. and Dorris M. Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center may be the places to go. Whichever someone may consider, the Y and the Rec have a variety of things to offer to the Youngstown State University community.
Mike Shaffer, the executive director of the YMCA in Youngstown, said people come to the Y to get healthier in spirit, mind and body. He said typically this starts with some type of exercise program, but then they will find out the Y means a lot more.
“They may have an emotional component developed that they may have not even been seeking but now are enjoying, and then there’s the spiritual side of it too for folks that want to pursue that,” Shaffer said.
Shaffer said because the Y in Youngstown is one of the biggest and the best equipped YMCA’s in the country, there are endless choices of activities for people to choose from. He said some of the things the Y offers include a fitness center, weight rooms, two different designated class areas for fitness classes, two pools, swim lessons and aqua aerobics.
Maxwell Brooke, an employee at the Rec and student at YSU, said everyone is very close and friendly with one another at the recreation center. He said when people come to the Rec, they mostly enjoy lifting, playing basketball on the courts or using the cardio equipment.
“One of the big things that we have is a spinning studio where we have spinning classes, normally one to two every single day,” Brooke said. “They’re always packed.”
Brooke said the Rec has a lot of great equipment for students to use. He said they also have an aerobics studio where various amounts of aerobic activities are done such as yoga and kickboxing. He said the rock wall at the Rec is also another enjoyable activity to do and one of the tallest in Ohio.
Brooke said hundreds of students come in and out of the Rec every day. He said if someone is looking to have fun, improve their fitness, hang out with friends or play games, the Rec is a great environment to be in.
Shaffer said the Y still gets a fair number of YSU students. He said students should come and see the Y because it is the birthplace of YSU.
“We’re going to work hard at learning your name, and making sure that you make friends and get connected because that’s what we’re about here,” Shaffer said.
Kyle Hillman, the senior membership director at the YMCA in Youngstown, said a membership at the Y is a lifestyle change. He said the Y can meet people where they are needed, whether it’s in their health, emotional or spiritual well-being.
“Our target market is people at home on the couch not in any facility,” Hillman said. “We just want to have you in the doors and let us show you what we can do.”
Hillman said YSU students fall under the Y’s student rate, which has the lowest membership rate the Y has to offer. He said it is $29.50 per month, which includes all of the Y’s amenities from pools to classes and includes access to the Boardman location as well.
Brooke said it is free for YSU students to come into the Rec at any time they want to. He said the Rec also offers personal training with a cost of about $25 per student.
Meri Fetkovich, the director of health and wellness at the YMCA in Youngstown, said the Y has a ton to offer especially in terms of athletic training. She said there is a cool plethora of activities students can do, and they also have the option to just come down and enjoy relaxing at the pool or working out on their own.
“Whatever it is, there’s something for everybody,” Fetkovich said.
Fetkovich said she likes to be able to have the ability to help people. She said everybody at the Y loves their community and wants to get people in their doors so they can help them achieve any goals they may have.