Early this morning, hundreds of YMCA members, staff, volunteers, and people from across the Greater Toronto Area came together and became a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title holder! In an exhilarating workout that packed the Central YMCA, we sweated it out together and earned the title for Largest exercise ball demonstration/class ever.
This event gave us a chance to show the world what we mean when we say that YMCA members, staff, and volunteers Sweat For Good. People from all backgrounds and walks of life joined forces to work towards a positive, shared goal — a goal they successfully achieved, thanks to the sense of community binding them together. That is what the YMCA is truly about: connecting with your fellow community members, bonding over your common interests, and sharing new experiences.
So while we’re excited to be a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title holder, we’re even more delighted that we had the opportunity today to tell our bigger story about the breadth of programs and services we provide that respond to community needs and help people thrive.
Take Tammy as just one of countless examples. Tammy had a hard time making Toronto feel like home after she moved here from Hong Kong. After six years of struggling to make connections, she joined the YMCA, where she not only met her closest friends, but was also supported and encouraged to become one of our volunteer Arriba instructors.
“Since joining the Y three years ago, I feel grounded, not just in Toronto, but also in who I am as a person, and what I’m doing with my life,” Tammy told us. “Even though the beginning of my journey was challenging and frustrating — just like it is for many newcomers — the YMCA totally changed my situation. I love my Y and the amazing things it’s done for me – and I want to share that with others through my volunteer work!”
Tammy’s story is beautiful, and we have thousands more like it. Sure, Tammy’s in great shape, but she didn’t come to us looking to just lose weight or tone up; she was hoping to put down roots here in Toronto, to build meaningful bonds, and to connect herself to a bigger purpose.
People like Tammy embody the true essence of Sweat For Good. As they immerse themselves in our community, they come to realize that working out at the Y means more: it’s how we show our commitment to positive change, to belonging, to potential, to hope, to diversity, to dignity, and to all the other objectively good things the YMCA stands for and the programs we deliver. The sweat you break here, with us, is a show of support for a charity that’s been doing so much good, in so many ways, for over 160 years.