The YMCA keeps residents healthy and engaged in more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the country, but it traces its American origins to the streets of 19th-century Boston. Here, Thomas Valentine Sullivan carried on the mission started in London by George Williams: providing affordable recreation and residence to young men from cities and country towns alike. Over the last century and change, the organization's mission changed to keep pace with the evolving times; today, the YMCA of Greater Boston welcomes anyone interested in furthering the causes of "youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility."
This modern mission combines the Y's signature programming with new initiatives designed to keep citizens one step ahead of an ever-changing world. Members stay fit and active with everything from organized sports and fitness classes to lifeguard, CPR, and first aid lessons. But the Y's developmental programs go far beyond bodily strength; their enrichment and leadership courses equip youths with the confidence needed to take charge in their everyday lives, and ESL classes help newcomers to English embark on the next step of their linguistic lives.
At The Clubs at Charles River Park, the path to lighter and leaner physiques leads clients through indoor and outdoor training facilities. Those areas?from lap pools to row upon row of cardio and strength equipment?set the stage for individual workout sessions as well as motivational fitness classes focused on functional training.
In these sessions, certified trainers might lead groups through yoga poses or teach boot-campers to swing kettlebells. The trainers also work with clients in one-on-one sessions, and lead aquatic high-intensity interval training sessions in the pool. But whatever the workout, most visits to The Clubs at Charles River Park end in same place: the locker room, where saunas give exercisers and the imaginary Mickey Goldmills who coach them a relaxing reward.
Wayland Community Pool's 10 lanes remain open for backstrokes, cannonballs, and flip-turns even when summer's heat gives way to winter's frigid temperatures. While the 25-yard lap-pool is typically outside, a temperature-controlled bubble covers grounds during the cold months, which means the swim team doesn't get slowed down by debilitating shivers or bulky chinchilla coats. All of the pool's programs—including swim lessons for children, water fitness classes for adults, and open swims for all swimmers—keep going throughout the year, without regard to seasonal temperature swings.
Overhead lights are illuminated as the sun dips lower on the horizon, casting a glow across duos engaged in baseline rallies that echo across Weston Racquet Club’s eight outdoor courts. Every day, the club’s staffers set up meetings like this between players of similar abilities—staff unconditionally guarantees a suitable partner for individuals any time they are looking for a match. Carefully selected pairs then take to indoor or outdoor courts, which feature cushiony surfaces ideal for players with tender knees or cowardly socks. Members can continue to hone their skills during one of the 30 complimentary tennis clinics offered per week.
Housed inside a restored country mansion originally built in 1858, the clubhouse winds back the clock with an art-deco-inspired interior reminiscent of a 1930s tennis club. After a day on the courts, guests can unwind in the 45,000-gallon heated pool or soothe their aching tennis ear in the hot tub. Weston Racquet Clubs’ 40-Love Café aids in refueling by serving a menu of sandwiches, salads, and tapas.
One Stop Fun grants children and parents alike a lighthearted escape from the rigors of daily tasks and chores with a multicolored jungle gym, kid-sized climbing wall, and entertaining pool area. A three-story indoor playground's plastic tubes fill with toddlers and oversized bank transfers traveling between a collection of ball pits and bouncy bridges. Inside another room, primary-colored handholds protrude from a graphite-hued climbing wall that lets children safely explore its 40-foot surface with a maximum height of 8 feet. The fun center also lends out its facilities for birthday parties and other gatherings. For more organized activity, USAG-certified gymnastics instructors teach tumbling as part of a programs portfolio that also instills coordination and discipline with karate and dance classes. As children play and learn, adult chaperones can lunch at the snack bar or take advantage of conveniences such as complimentary WiFi for staying in touch and a changing area for concealing the secret identities of super children.
Though most fairways and greens lie dormant during the winter chill, Rod's Golf Improvement Center's spring to life year-round. Here, golfers can land birdies and pars during rounds at famous courses vividly replicated by three golf simulators. Golfers can also fine-tune their game at driving nets or the practice putting green, which allows them to stop carefully trimming their home's carpets with scissors.
PGA-certified pro Rod Van Guilder oversees the entire operation, and zeroes in on helping golfers sharpen their skills during lessons and club-fitting services. For those looking to upgrade their gear, the center sells golf equipment and repairs broken clubs.