As a stay-at-home mom, Rachael Grange’s days are often consumed with caring for her three children — William, 10; Blair, 7; and Leona, 4 — and organizing their numerous activities and adventures.
But knowing that self-care not only makes her healthier but also a better mom and person, Grange carves out time several days a week to take fitness classes at the Sarpy Community YMCA.
The YMCA has become her family’s hub for activity and community and is embraced by everyone as an important part of their lives.
“We’re here almost every day, especially since Leona is in preschool at the Sarpy Community YMCA, and Will and Blair both participate in Y sports and activities,” she said.
“I love that when the two older kids are in school I can take Leona to preschool and then I can jump on the treadmill or go for a run along the nearby Papio Trail or take a class. It’s important to me that I take care of myself so I can take good care of my family.”
The family, which also includes husband, John, makes a point to take advantage of everything the Sarpy Community YMCA has to offer.
All three kids attended or attend the Y’s preschool. Will plays basketball and baseball, and Blair takes ballet lessons. The kids learned to swim through the YMCA, too.
Along with her time on the treadmill, Grange regularly takes the small Boot Camp class and has taken the Fierce, Zumba, yoga and Body Pump classes in the past on her self-described “fitness journey.”
“John travels a lot for work, but when he’s home, he likes to come with us and work out or play with the kids in the gym shooting hoops,” she said. “We really do enjoy this as a family as much as we can. But the Y’s individual offerings are just as important to us.”
Through her exercise classes at the Y, Grange said she has made some of her closest friends, as have the children through preschool and their sports and activities.
She’s also re-engaged with her love for running – she recently participated in the Sumtur Papillion Twilight Dash, a 5K race she finished in 27:55. She finished third in her age group, seventh among 40 female runners and 12th overall (men and women).
It’s fueling her desire to enter next fall’s Twin Cities (Minnesota) Marathon.
Suffice it to say, the Grange family plays well together and individually at their nearby Sarpy Community YMCA.
“There really is something for everyone in the family here at the Y, and we love it,” said Grange, who grew up in Bellevue and was a cheerleader at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. “I can’t imagine not having the Y in our community — in any community.
“It brings so much value to the lives of everyone who uses it. It’s definitely enriched our lives in so many ways.”
That’s the message Grange said she would pass on to moms and families she meets who may not realize what the YMCA brings to everyone in the community who takes advantage of all the opportunities it offers.
“We’ve been coming to the Sarpy Community YMCA since the kids were little, first for preschool and now for all activities, and we get something out of every visit,” she said. “Everyone I talk to at the Y feels the same way. It really is, in many ways, the hub, the center, of our community.”