Growing up in Montclair was never boring. As a kid I was into swimming and gymnastics, and the YMCA was the place to do those things. I was never great at the sports I did but I always showed up for practice and stayed active despite my mediocrity. Swim meets were social events, where friends took bus rides to other towns, singing "We Are the Champions" on the way back to Montclair if we placed well. And I was in Leaders Club, the Y group for teens that taught leaderships skills, social responsibility, and community service. Being in Leaders Club shaped who I am today. The Y became my second home and I formed friendships, some have lasted, others haven't. But I'll always remember the people I stayed up with all night at team building overnights, played ping pong endlessly with, swam next to, and thought of as family. I still work out at the Y, I live a block away. I could go to any local high-end boutique gym or $10 a month franchise but I don't. I go the Y because it's my second home, then and now.