A Letter From Our Executive Director

Hello Members and Friends – 

It has been quite an eventful week as everyone’s way of life has been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The uncertainty of these times brings about feelings of stress and anxiety. I know for many, especially the members of NYA and the residents of Newtown, “social distancing” is contradictory to the behavior that makes our organization and community thrive. At NYA, we are built on social connection. Sure, we have a great gym, athletic space, and programs, but we know that it is the sense of community created by the people who work at and use this facility that is our most valuable asset. 

All of us want to get back to our daily routines and relationships as quickly as possible. Even though separation is essential to containing the spread of the virus it is hard on morale and challenging for a non-profit business. For the safety and well-being of our wider community NYA has had to anticipate and deal with scenarios that would have seemed extreme as of a couple weeks ago. We are grateful for your patience and support as we implement changes that will protect the health of our members and staff; as well as deal with the ripple effect this is having on planned events, programs, and access to the gym. Some of you have even decided to keep your membership active through the temporary closure. Your understanding of the hardship we are facing as an organization and as a staff is support that we will never forget. 
As we adjust to the new normal, we are focused on finding creative ways to stay connected to our members and to the community. We will be posting workouts, classes, and activities that can be done at home and outside led by some of NYA’s familiar faces on NYA’s Facebook and Instagram pages. We are also working on other projects and services so stay tuned and keep an eye on our social media feeds. 

The irony is that this is a health crisis, but over the past week, I have seen people engaging in more healthy activity than I have ever witnessed. The local trails, parks, sidewalks, and roads are filled with people (appropriately distanced) walking, jogging, and cycling. Families are together, people are conversing and it appears that most folks are embracing the simplicity that the times we are living in require. As the leader of an organization whose mission it is to support healthy living this is, to me, a silver lining. The current circumstances are no doubt unfortunate, but if people are moved to adopt healthy habits and activities for themselves and their families, we will come out the other side of this pandemic better and stronger mentally and physically. 

Stay active and be well! 

Yours in good health, 
Ian YortyExecutive Director