Late for a class, Chris Fromm was racing across campus finishing a blueberry scone. His second one of the day. As he walked into class, he caught a glimpse of himself in the window, and was not happy. Chris thought “What happened to me? I was 170 pounds, I couldn’t button my jacket, and I looked much older than my actual age of 42. I needed a change.”

Too much time on the road, too many late night dinners, and too many excuses to not exercise had taken their toll on him. For months, his wife had been begging him to do a cleanse with her. He decided he could hold out no longer. He had come to a turning point. It was now or never. The money was paid, the boxes arrived, the juice was in the refrigerator, it was go time. But Chris knew diet alone was not the answer. He had always been active, playing basketball, lifting weights, even long walks with the dogs, but somehow other things got in the way.

Chris Fromm

He was determined to get back to the gym. He joined Sequoia YMCA five months ago and has only missed a handful of days since then, and those days he was traveling. Sequoia YMCA was tailor-made for his transformation. He had been a member at a variety of gym clubs in the past and knew how intimidating and impersonal a gym could be; especially for someone who wants to hide under some baggy clothes. However, he felt immediately welcomed when he entered the Y in Redwood City. The staff were warm, friendly, and personable. The weight room was never crowded and had everything he needed. The pool temperature was perfect, and there are enough machines to meet everyone’s fitness needs.

He knew he needed cardio exercise, but didn’t enjoy standing or sitting on a machine and watching TV or listening to music. He was looking for something different. And he found it in the strangest of places.Pickleball.

“Pickleball? Pickleball! At first I thought what in the world is this? Then I decided to play. Hands down, this is the most addictive game I’ve ever played. I’m not sure if it is because of the nonstop action, or the competition, or the people who play, but I find myself looking forward to, no, longing for, Tuesday and Thursday at 12:30. My first game was against Spike and Bill, whose average age is close to 75. They beat me. Bad. I love this game.”

Chris loves this gym. But it’s not so much the game, or the quality of the machines, or the size of the pool, or even the proximity to his house. It’s the people. “This is the “Cheers” of gyms. Everyone does know your name, and I know everyone’s, too. And not just the folks who work there. Yes, Diana and Janet were the “charmers” I first met who introduced me to the game, but I soon met the rest of the staff. They make it a point to know you, not just your name, but to truly know you. I recently returned from a trip and someone said, “So how was New York?” They actually remembered where I was. They care, and it shows in each new staff member they hire.”

Chris Playing Pickleball

Chris had been a member of a lot of gyms, social clubs, and groups but says without hesitation that Sequoia YMCA is the best organization he has ever been a part of. He feels at home there, and truly believes that without it, he would still be avoiding mirrors. He’s now exercising every day, working out with weights five days a week, and has maintained a healthy diet and lifestyle since joining. He has lost 30 pounds in those 150 days, and hearing people take notice of that never gets old!

“To anyone who wants to change, who wants to get active, who wants to improve their mind, body and spirit, there is no better time than now, and no better place than Sequoia YMCA.“