Oh Perry Hall Y, How Do I Love Thee? My Secret Reasons Revealed...

I love this Y so much I can't help writing about it, therefore sabotaging my desire to have it all to myself. Sigh....

I'm hoping by now most college students have gone back to school. I can't wait for fall weather so the newbies disappear under jeans and baggy sweaters and the regulars migrate outside so the Perry Hall Y is mine, all MINE!! (evil, maniacal laugh). But, alas I must share. I love this Y so much I can't help writing about it, therefore sabotaging my desire to have it all to myself. Sigh....

Truthfully, it's quite a challenge committing to exercise, so I respect every single person that manages to get their butts (and other body parts) in here.
My love affair began 3 years ago shortly after the Y opened. We couldn't afford to join any of the local gyms so I stopped working out and gained a bunch of weight.

When the Perry Hall Y opened up I was the happiest chunky lady alive. Exercise is my therapy and a Y membership is the cheapest therapy out there! Even if everything else is a disaster and out of control, at least I can go to the gym and work out. When I'm unmotivated, I tell myself, "Just go, even if you just stand in the lobby, just go!" Once I'm there I get started (I realize I'd look pretty stupid idly standing there).

Let Me Count the Ways Why I Go...

Upon swiping in you are greeted by a computerized "Greetings My Friend!" So even if you never speak to a single soul, you'll at least have one friend! Seriously, it's a bit like "Cheers" where everyone literally knows your name and you quickly feel a part of a community. The staff and members are super personable and some have become my real life friends.

For parents with small children, this place is a haven! I can leave my son in the free child watch and have 1 1/2 hours of peace!! And no need to make an appointment, just drop in. There's always some one fun to play with and all the care givers are so sweet!

I'm shallow, I admit it! I like to arrive in time to watch "The View" while I work out on one of the cardio machines. The juicy gossip helps makes the painful time go by. If that's not your cup of tea, there's also The History Channel, CNN, Fox, ESPN, NFL Channel, Disney. Or drape a towel over it!!

It's so clean! I truly believe members feel so at home here, they help clean up the bathroom -- I do! I've yet to have a soggy piece of toilet paper stick to my sneaker. The equipment is dust free and everyone wipes down their machines afterwards. If you don't, watch out you might get tackled by one of the older members!

Sorry if I scared you... Whether you Spin, Step, Yoga or Zumba they're all good. I'm a Body Pump fanatic. It's a killer work out for butts and legs! First time I took this class I crawled up and down my steps for 2 days (I am scaring you aren't I?)

What I love about them is they are down to earth - except for the fact they are totally fit! Anita and Lori are my faves. Anita is extremely personable, motivated and funny. She's made me laugh so hard a few times, I had to stop exercising, lest I have an accident! Lori is a bit more serious, but I love how she gets a huge smile on her face as soon as she starts her challenging Circuit Training class (turns me into a sweaty mess!). Susan is my "no fluff" personal trainer / adopted big sister. I can't tell you how available she is to help you improve your work outs and take the time to discuss family, children and sneakers - I love her!

It's all good. The cardio equipment and the machines are separated by half-walls which makes the environment more private -- I like that. The machines are linked to the Fitlinxx server that keeps track of your work outs and the Top 30 Men and Women are honored each month. So far, over 3 years, I've lifted over 438 Elephants! Isn't that crazy? The free-weight area is in the back and you have to be over 16 to use it. At a towering 5' 2", I overcame my fear of the big dudes and just go and do my thing. I've observed the adults are quiet and independent while the younger guys hang in packs of 2-4 and gab a lot! Bring headphones....

Some Insider Tips:
1. Monday evenings are super busy - everyone is working off their weekend binge - so avoid if possible.
2. The Y is the least busy from 1pm - 4pm on week days and fairly slow on Sunday evenings
3. Arrive early for the popular classes (Spin, Bodypump) because you'll need to grab a spot and a free entrance ticket.
4. Bring headphones to plug into the cardio machines TVs. There's also close captioning if you need it.
5. Free Wi-Fi!

So, now that you have read this, step away from your computer. This blog post will self destruct in 30 seconds. You are to forget you ever read this and no matter what, do not join my Y.....!

Perry Hall Family Center Y
4375 Ebenezer Road
Perry Hall, MD 21236
(p) 410-529-1999
(f) 443-384-3814


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Tim September 04, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Yeah, this place is great. I've been a member since it opened. The thing I like about it is no long term commitment. You pay month to month and if you get injured, or have to travel for a few weeks? Just stop your membership. pick it up when you are ready. The Parkville Y is much busier, I think the Perry Hall one would've been a mess if not for the Parkville one. The tradeoff is, this place is a good place to get a workout in if time's an issue. I regularly get all of my lifting in and am done in 40-45 minutes (but I'm not really a gabber, so that prob explains it). I also like the fact there aren't a ton of women who go. Nothing against the ladies, but it's just a personal preference. conversely, if you're a guy who goes to 'see' women in ridiculous garb and makeup exercising, definitely go to Parkville Y instead. That's where most of them are.
Jackie McTear September 05, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Haha! Glad you're not a gabber! Yes, I forgot to mention that about the membership. Thank you....
Joe Pasko September 08, 2012 at 12:19 PM
This place is FANTASTIC!!! I have been a member at other gyms, and I have worked at and even run several gyms, and this place is by FAR the best. Everything in this article is 100% accurate. I am amazed at how clean the entire gym is and it seems just about every member takes pride in keeping it that way. Our son takes some of the classes for children and his instructors seem to care for SO much for happiness. Family-friendly is an understatement!
Jackie McTear September 08, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Yay! So glad to hear I have a kindred spirit. My son has also taken the indoor sports classes and also enjoyed them. I have 2 teenagers as well and the Y taught them how to use all the equipment prior to being able to use them. It really is great for families.


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