January - Member Spotlight

In most cases, it’s the parent or grandparent driving a young person to set goals and work consistently toward them. But in the Rushing family, it’s 12-year-old Kylie who’s most often driving her father and grandfather to get up early and work out at the Y.

It started with her goal to run faster. Since she began training for that goal early last summer, she’s improved her one-mile time from 10:12 to 7:30. But this multisport athlete isn’t stopping there.

In June, her mom signed up her dad, Zach, with a workout partner as he was getting back into working out. Kylie wanted to run faster, so she began running with her dad. When school started, the Sacred Heart Cathedral 6th grader also wanted to play volleyball. That meant waking up at 4:30 am to run with dad before coming to the Y to train together – doing calisthenics, mobility work, stretching, intervals, strength training, and core work.

“Usually if it’s a Monday, it’s hard to get up,” she said. “The other days, I just get up.” Zach says it’s usually harder for him than it is for her.

And while Kylie’s goals revolve around team sports – including volleyball, track, swimming, and cheerleading – dad and grandpa have other motivations.

Zach recently retired after 23 years as a combat medic in the Army. Injuries led him to suffer seizures that affect him cognitively, making the mental focus and discipline of regular workouts a challenge. Coming to the Y with his father, Alan, and his daughter has helped him focus and get back into a routine. He calls himself very competitive, but says, “Now I’m trying to take it less seriously and not get hurt.”

Alan shares his experience working out with Zach years ago. “It got me into shape back then, but I dropped off for a long time. Recently, Zach had been on me about wanting a gym partner.” Now Alan also is a morning regular at the Y, working on a consistent routine to help him lose weight and stay conditioned. His weight is down significantly from a high of 333 pounds since starting at the Y.

These three aren’t just gym rats. Zach calls himself a nerd who enjoys rockhounding (the recreational study and collection of rocks). Alan’s interests include native artifacts, fishing and SCUBA. Kylie enjoys organizing things.

But it’s Kylie’s enthusiasm and discipline that drive this three-generation workout team. While her work ethic carries over to academics – she’s a good student who says maybe she’ll “be a doctor or something” – right now she enjoys sampling different sports to decide which one is right for her.

And then there’s one of Kylie’s original goals from last summer. She told her dad:

“I want to work on abs.

I want a four-pack.”

Apparently, she didn’t want to be “too buff.”

For this middle schooler, getting to a 7:30 mile has been a great accomplishment in such a short time. She’s pushing for a 7-minute mile by March when track starts up, and then maybe a 6:30. And while Zach has been with her every step of the way, he’s not so sure about that pace. “When she gets to a 6:30, I’ll just hold the stopwatch!”

Our Mission: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.