Safe. Rewarding. Empowering. That’s How I Describe The Y.
“It surprised me how much more of a workout it has been for me,
Patrick Bonis has been a member of the Greenknoll YMCA facility for years, utilizing the facility for his family and himself at different times. “I have a duty to teach my two sons how to swim and be safe, but when they stopped listening to me we enrolled them in the learn to swim program. Everyone has been so great with them.”
In his personal life, Patrick has a background with sports training and focused military training. When he wanted to do something –he wanted to become the best, which is why Patrick became a volunteer Heroes of Tomorrow trainer two years ago.
Heroes of Tomorrow, founded by Stew Smith, is a program that provides individuals in or with the intent to go into military, law enforcement, and firefighting with resources, workouts, and trained mentors like Patrick, but like the YMCA, has the added benefit of creating a community for driven personalities.
“Having other people who are like-minded to workout with bonds them together,” He said as he laughed. Just the other day he was bringing two candidates out skydiving and he remarked on how excited they were when they landed. “They’ll always have that experience of having skydived together. That’s bonded them.”
Bringing people together and helping them achieve through fitness is something Patrick does with pride, never turning people away and even if they are too far to train in person. He’ll always offer his time through giving advice and networking online groups to those who reach out to him.
When asked what the nomination meant to him, he shook his head and looked down.
“Emotional,” Patrick responded, his voice genuine and weighted. “The fact that people nominated me to be highlighted was such a surprise. I come in and see a woman with MS or a man with use of only one arm training for an Ironman…and it really puts your life into perspective of the community around you. Coming in is an inspiration. Some people may look at it [The YMCA] as just a pool for training, but it’s more of a social club.”
When asked to describe the YMCA in three words Patrick said, without hesitation, “Safe, rewarding, and empowering. That’s how I describe The Y.”
Every day, in thousands of places, each Y is serving a different us. In times of crisis, in times of need, and sometimes, just because.
Members like Patrick are committed to working together to strengthen our community and help build a better us.
The Y. For a better us.