just another day at the green hills Y

i love my job. it makes me feel alive.

yeah there are times that people i work with annoy me or don’t do their job or just stupid suburbanite women complain about the littlest things as if i should know everything but aside from all that my job is awesome.

it’s definitely the people that make it so great. the people i work with and the people who come in.

so far this week i’ve signed up Bob Ezrin (who apparently is one of the most influential music producers of all time and founded Clear Channel and LIve Nation…google him) and this guy named Chris Winward who’s an aspiring musician who quit his corporate job because he was bored with it and wanted to start a band. today, amy grant and vince gill came in and dave barnes stops by randomly as does Jimmy Wayne. all of these things are just another day at the Green Hills Y.

we have regulars and we have newbs and more often than not these people are super interesting. when i get to work a regular shift as i have over break i see the same people every day because they come in and work out at the same time and they always have interesting stories. we’ve started focusing more on using members names when they come in and its really cool when they remember mine. when that happens we develop a relationship and i start to get to know more about their lives. as pathetically cheesy as it sounds this makes me feel like i matter.

when i sign people up for microfit fitness consultations and our first steps program to get people started on a work out program which will keep them accountable and then they come back day after day and talk to me and i see them making the progress they wanted to it makes me feel like i matter. i like that feeling, alot.

i want to forever have a job where i feel like i make a difference in peoples lives. eventually i’d like to do that as a school counselor but for now working at the Y will do.

another thing i enjoy about my job is that as a company policy, we are there when people need a refuge and a solid rock to lean on. we offer so many programs to help people including counseling, fitness accountability, a place for teens to hang out, etc etc that its amazing. yes they may be expensive at times but we can base them off of income because people donate money so that others can use programs like these.

working at the Y sometimes restores my fate in humanity and shows me that there are still decent people out there. mtsu and murfreesboro make me doubt this far too often yet my little slice of city life and a helping job restore this lost feeling for me. i know i sound pathetically annoying and like a brainwashed drone but i really do enjoy my job.

i just wish that other people (some that i work with and some of the people who come in) would take a step back and realize all these things. realize the impact we make on people’s lives and the impact we are called to make when we sign up to work at the Y and support its mission.

there’s another side to this job too, it builds community. when people routinely come in at the same time they build relationships thus building a community. it’s nice. we were designed to be in community and have deep, meaningful relationships with our fellow humans, its only natural and the Y facilitates this. it’s nice. another thing is oftentimes lack in the boro, but i’ll try and work on that this semester.

sometimes tragedy strikes though and death happens. twice in the past 24hrs we’ve had situations where older members have died. these are tough situations to deal with because at the Y, people care, thus people notice. yesterday afternoon i had to call one of the men who works in the morning and tell him one of the guys who had been a regular had passed away out of nowhere just minutes after leaving the Y. he was clearly upset, and as sad as this tragedy was, it made me realize that this man had a community of people who cared about him because of the Y.

today a son came in to cancel his father’s membership who had passed away because of a freak disease that caused his organs to shut down rapidly. the man was SUPER healthy, yet tragedy can strike even the healthiest, best, most generous people. when the son was there, everyone knew this man and was sorry and offered to help the family however they could.

this is a gym. most people would simply come in work out, lift a few weights, and be on with their day, yet at least at my Y, people know you and care about you and you matter and we matter.

i know this note probably sounds ridiculous but i really do love my job and i simply wish that everyone could get a glimpse of what this Y does and the people who come in.

it also reminds me that even the smallest thing such as saying “thanks Jill” to someone when they sign in can make their day. we had a meeting where we were reminded that when we say member’s names when they sign in could be the only time all day they hear their own name. i had never thought about this….how many times a day do you hear your name? probably not very many, and doesn’t it even in the slightest make your day better when someone recognizes you? it should.

so as a challenge, i encourage all of you (including myself) to invest in people, get to know them, and remember and say their name to them, you never know how much the little things matter.

just my thoughts for the day.


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