Just add water
Mike and Mary Kuberka
Mary and Mike Kuberka, now in their late 80s, were always in the swim. They spent their youth at Springfield Lake and Akron-area pools, before getting married, becoming parents and sharing their love of water with their family, now grown with children (and grandchildren) of their own. All water babies.
So when, the Green Family Y opened in 2000, Mary and Mike were ready to jump right in.
“We would never do exercises on our own, and we needed it,” said Mary, who added that she and her husband really got involved with the Adult Water Program after Mike retired. They started coming 3 days a week, before the program was offered daily. Now they are week day regulars, with special duties on top of their water exercise.
Mike moves the swim lanes, to accommodate the large morning group while Mary updates instructor DJ Griggs, on the good news, challenges, birthdays and special happenings that need to be acknowledged through song, applause or on occasion, prayers.
The Kuberkas are also involved with the Active Adult Group at the Y, where they “officially” meet monthly to share a meal and friendship with the people they have met. “Sometimes there’s a program and sometimes we just go to eat and gab,” said Mary. “I go from table to table just talking to every one of them.”
The social aspect of the Y is a key draw for the couple, although Mike wishes that more guys would join him in the fun. “I have to admit it,” he said, “There are some mornings that I really don’t want to get up and do this, but after I’m in the water for a few minutes I start to feel a whole lot better than when I did when I got up out of bed.”
His physician feels good about it too.
“We have a very good response from our doctor,” said Mike. “When we tell him that we do the water aerobics at the Y, he gets a big smile on his face. Their children are also smiling. Daughter, Michelle Kaser, can’t be more thankful for the Y.
“This has been so good for them,” she said, ”I truly believe that coming here is what’s keeping them alive and healthy.”
We agree. Despite surgeries and set-backs, Mike and Mary have always found their way back to the pool.
“It’s been great … great for our minds and great for our bodies,” said Mary. “If we didn’t have the Y, we’d just be sitting home doing nothing. But now we have friends and something to look forward to. I love it.”
Mike, as usual, agrees with his wife. “I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t enjoy it.”
But, it’s Mary who has the last word.
“As long as I can get out of bed, I will be coming here … Oh yea.”
Akron Area YMCA
50 S. Main Street, Ste. LL 100
Akron, Ohio 44308