Thursday, April 11, 2013


Being a member of the YMCA of Darke County means something different for everyone. YMCA of Darke County Member Shawn Garbig, 38, says the Y has played a big part in his life since he became a member. He lives within walking distance and spends nearly every weekday evening at the Y, exercising and socializing. He is a recognizable figure with his fedora hat and the large eagle tattoo on his upper arm, although he has changed somewhat. He has lost 60 lbs since joining the Y, and he has quit smoking in the past year. He had some guidance from a nutritionist, who helped him learn portion control and advised him to cut out junk food like chips and chocolate. He also used the prescription Chantix to help him quit smoking, a habit he started at age 16. He says without the Y he would stay home and be bored. “I like to come here to talk to people, to lift weights and lose weight!” he says.

Lynda Huber has been a Y member for almost 20 years. Lynda estimates she has swam around 250 miles at the Y and hopes to make it to 300 soon. She remembers being a graduate student at Stanford in the late 60s, when she took a lifesaving swim course. As part of the class she was required to swim 6 laps in the crawl stroke, and one day she was not able to finish the task. The instructor shook her head and told Lynda that it was probably because she was 25 years old, as if she were past her prime and could look forward to physical decline for the rest of her life. Now 69, she has been taking part in the Y's "Women on Weights" class for the past few months, where she has learned to deadlift and squat and has gotten stronger through pushups, lunges, planks and a variety of other bodyweight and weighted exercises.

Growing up, Lynda says she was not athletic. "I was no good at any sports, and I couldn't swim very well, either," she said. She says she has done a variety of physical endeavors over the years. She enjoys swimming, has dabbled in running, and also likes to ride her bicycle. She also owns horses and enjoys riding with all its physical demands, not to mention the upkeep of the animals can be somewhat physical. "Before my husband retired I carried buckets of water to the horses," she said, with a 5 gallon bucket in each hand. (For reference, one gallon weighs 8.3 lbs.) She thinks the weight training class is working her entire body in a way the other things don't.

"I feel like I stand a bit stronger, things seem to work better," she reports, near the end of the 7 week session. Does she believe age is just a number? "Pretty much," she laughed, "but it does catch up to you! You just have to keep going!"

If you wonder what the Y can do for you, come visit and take a tour!

For more information about membership or programs, visit us online at or call the Y at 548-3777.

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