Retirement can be lonely, but at the Y, I found a big group of friends.

Living Healthier Longer

After retirement, I wasn’t sure how I was going to fill my days. I had worked full time for years and was always very busy and social with my coworkers. I never really had time for exercise, and I wasn’t in perfect health. I’d never considered the Y before because I thought it was a place for young guys to play sports.

I’ve always loved to dance. Someone told me to look into the Y because there are dance fitness classes there. My idea of the Y completely changed when I walked into the YMCA of Greater Boston. I discovered so much more than I was expecting — from classes, to friends, a community, and more.

Q: Why did you join the Y?

A: I worked full time for many years. After retirement, I needed to keep busy, and honestly, I was quite lonely. I missed interacting with coworkers and people every day. Plus, I wasn’t in great shape physically. Now that I had the time to exercise, I was determined to improve my health.

Q: What did you think about the Y before you were a member? What do you think now?

A: Before I joined the Y, I thought it was a place for young people. Now I know that it is a place for all people in our community. The Y is open to everyone and is good for everyone.

Q: Have you made new friendships at the Y?

A: Yes, lots! It is easy to make friends here. We share stories, have lunch together — we’ve even organized trips together. The only thing they can’t do is keep up with my moves in Zumba!

Q: What senior programs do you participate in?

A: I do Zumba 5 days a week, and I travel to different YMCAs across the city to do classes in each one. I love to dance and Latin music is my favorite. The Y’s Zumba classes even helped me win a dance competition! I also do Tai Chi, weights, and swim.

Q: How has the Y made an impact on your life?

A: Apart from all the new friends I’ve made, I feel that my body is stronger and that I’m living a healthier life. Before I joined the Y, I suffered from diabetes. After months of daily exercise and Zumba, my diabetes is under control.

Q: How has the Y supported the good in you?

A: With all the facilities and classes, the Y has become a special place for me. It is a place to help make my body beautiful and healthy, and a place I have found friendship and companionship.

Read the rest of Shi Shen’s story
Give Today to the YMCA