Did you know the YMCA is the world’s largest not-for-profit organization? The Y’s bright and vibrant logo can be recognized worldwide, and millions of individuals have a personal connection to the Y.
For many, the Y represents a positive childhood memory. For others, it’s a facility they learned to swim at. For the Tichenor family, the Y represents generational support and holistic wellness.
David, Raelani, Harper and Hudson Tichenor have been members of the Northwest Y for the last nine years, but their Y story started long before that when David’s parents met at a Sarasota YMCA in 1982! David and Raelani have been members at various Ys for the last 20 years.
The Y is a crucial part of the Tichenor family dynamic, shares Raelani. “It’s hard to imagine life without the Y. The programs offered allow us to be working parents and have peace of mind knowing that our children are being cared for by people who love them just as much as we do. On the flip side, it provides a safe place for our children to learn, grow, and explore interests and activities!”
Today the Tichenor family participates in just about every program the Northwest Y offers, but have shared a few of their favorites, including:
- Daily use of the fitness equipment
- Swim lessons
- Before and after-school enrichment
- Summer camp
- Youth sports
- Family events
“It’s hard to think of a program we haven’t participated in,” Raelani says. “We love the feeling of community that comes with being members of the Y! Our families are not local to the Tampa Bay Area, so the Northwest Y is the family we choose! As a working mom of two active young children, waking up at 4:30 a.m. every morning to work out is not easy, but I’m motivated each day to see all my silver sneaker friends (a program for active older adults). The stories and wisdom they share inspire me to stay active, and I hope I’m able to be just as active as they are when I’m older! It warms my heart that they are equally as invested in my family and light up as they watch our children grow!”
In addition to Raelani’s frequent exercise and Harper and Hudsons’ involvement in the Y’s youth development programs, David works as a part-time wellness coach. He can often be found working the wellness floor providing facility and wellness orientations to new members and helping keep the fitness floor clean and organized.
As parents, David and Raelani are passionately committed to holistic health—mind, body and spirit. Spending quality time working out, participating in programs and building relationships with other members fills their hearts, and the best part of their wellness journey is that they get to do it as a family.
Visit www.tampaymca.org for details on how your family can join the Tichenors and register for a family membership today!
*Presented by the YMCA | Originally published in January 2023 of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.