YMCA of Austin members come from all backgrounds and walks of life. Some travel longer distances than others to get here, both physically and metaphorically. One family that may have traveled the longest distance, in the geographic sense, is the Petrie family. In this interview, they shared with us a bit about their journey and the impact the Y has had on their lives.
Tell us about how you and your family ended up in Austin?
My husband Nick, and I came to the USA from Australia and New Zealand because Nick was working on his Master’s Degree in Boston. He now works in the Leadership Development field. His job first took us to Colorado. Then he was transferred four years ago to Austin.
What led you to the East Communities Y?
We had lived in Austin for nine months before we bought a house in Windsor Park. The area was recommended to us because of its affordability, the community feeling, close location to Mueller and it’s amenities and the walkability. The East Communities is our closest Y. I regularly go to the TownLake and North Austin Y too though. I love that our membership includes all locations.
What was your first impression of the East Communities Y?
Our whole family felt very welcome. We loved that there is an outdoor pool and it is open year round and that it offers so many programs and activities. The ladies in the ChildWatch were amazing and began looking after our twins from when they were around six months old. The same ladies were there on a regular basis and so they got to know our boys. We went to the Y in Colorado and used the Y TownLake when we were living in South Austin, so I already had a good idea what to expect when I started going to East Communities.
What are some of your favorite things about the Y?
Childwatch – my kids love going and it has been a lifesaver for Nick and I. Without it we would not be able to work out. We have four boys ages, 9, 7 and twins at 3 and a half years old.
The yoga teachers are knowledgable, dedicated and create a nice sense of community among the participants.
I love the community aspect and that the Y welcomes all ages and backgrounds, offers programs and activities for everyone and it’s so affordable.
What is the biggest impact that the Y has had on you and your family?
The Y makes it possible for my husband and me to work out and stay healthy with the demands of having four kids.
Coming to the Y also allows us to spend time with our older boys swimming and playing in the gym, while our little guys are in the ChildWatch.
Our kids have also had the opportunity to try different sports and activities including soccer, basketball, basketball clinics, gymnastics, summer camps and mini camps, volleyball, swimming and swimming lessons.
How do you imagine yours and your family members’ lives would be different if you hadn’t found the Y?
We’d be driving around to different places to work out and for the kids to do sports. We also wouldn’t be able to do our sports and activities together as a family.
Thinking back on 2018, can you share any highlights, milestones, or major accomplishments in yours or your family members’ lives that involve the Y?
Our older boys passed the swim test and they each found a sport they both really love. One has really enjoyed the basketball clinics and summer camp with Coach Yancey and the other has taken to volleyball.