If you’ve ever been in the gym at Ron Andrews on a weekday morning, then you’ve probably met Danny. He’s the self-proclaimed assistant social coordinator of ‘The Morning Crew’, a group of over 20 fitness members who have become a real community and taken their gym connections out into the world with coffee dates, luncheons and enduring friendships.
As a kid growing up in Vancouver, Danny discovered community centres early with his first job working with kids leading a gym program. He used his creativity and love of sports to create exciting play games and has never looked back. As a young adult, he joined every fitness club he could find and then rediscovered his local community recreation centre when he moved to the North Shore and started his family. His kids grew up at Ron Andrews, first in the preschool and then participating in day camps and eventually volunteering with NVRC. Today his young adult sons can often be found in the weight room working out together. It’s now become a family thing.
More on the Morning Crew
One of Danny’s best friends at Ron Andrews is a quiet man in his 80’s who has become like a father to him dispensing valuable “worldly advice”. Together they have formed a real support network with other morning fitness regulars who celebrate each other’s successes whether it’s a job promotion, a vacation of a lifetime or new baby. They’re also there for each other when challenging life events happen. Danny was in tears sharing how his friend recently lost his wife and the entire community of regulars held a special luncheon just to show their support. And this community of rec centre friends also helps everyone stay on track with their fitness. They don’t want to let their work out buddies down by missing a day. Danny says, “We journey through life together.”
Benefits of Membership
Danny was mainly a gym user until he had knee surgery a few years ago and had to figure out the best way to rehabilitate. He then discovered the Ron Andrews pool and swam and exercised in the water to rehab his knee for six months. He went from just doing a few laps to swimming a solid 30 minutes without stopping. Years later, he still swims twice a week and appreciates he can both swim and work out all in one place. His personal goals are to maintain his weight and manage his asthma and he also works on keeping his core strong. He added, “I’m positive I’d be nowhere in the shape I’m in today if it weren’t for the rec centre and using the pool and gym. All the equipment you could ever need or want is here. I’ve become so comfortable here – this is my home and it’s absolutely part of my day. I love the “aaahh” feeling when I’ve finished a good work out.” Danny’s advice to people who are new to the gym? “Don’t set goals you can’t keep. My goal was working out three times a week and I stuck to it.”
Danny’s been a fitness member with NVRC for over 15 years and community centres are still one of his favourite places to stay fit and connect with people. So if you’re ever at Ron Andrews on a weekday morning, be sure to say hi to this committed member of the Morning Crew.