Fred Mueller

Fred visits the YMCA at least 3 times a week to maintain a healthy mind, body and spirit. Born in 1950 and raised in the rural part of Orange County, Fred spent 20 years as a police Sergeant in Southern California. He then uprooted his California life and moved to Arlington, Washington to raise a family. While on family camping trips, he and his wife fell in love with the Olympic Peninsula and later retired in our little slice of paradise between the mountains and the sea.

Fred has been a loyal Y member for over 25 years now, first at the Marysville YMCA and most recently the Olympic Peninsula YMCA.  One day, thumbing through the local  newspaper, he saw the ad for our Exercise and Thrive program for individuals surviving and living with cancer. He thought he would give it a try. Seeking support and healthy habits for himself, he joined the October 2015 class as a cancer survivor after winning his battle back in 2007.

“I feel so lucky to have experienced the program and all the other participants, I think, feel the same way.  The instructors of the class at the time, Elyse, Lee and Sterling were a great trio. Elyse is only 6 months  younger than me and the energy that Elyse exudes inspired me. During this program, I received the news that my   cancer had returned, I found out I was terminal.” With the overwhelming support from this program, as well as his wife and loved ones, he remains motivated. “I believe you have to make the best of the time you have left. They all have motivated me to keep coming back to work out.”

Fred’s takeaways from The Exercise and Thrive program are to stay healthy and happy! “They go hand and hand, the staff here are great, there is not a single dud. One day I had asked Mikki for some help with stretches, she dropped everything and went above and beyond. Because of her expertise and introducing me to Yoga, my back is allowing me to work out today.” Another takeaway for Fred is the camaraderie that this program builds. “It is helpful going through the class with those who know what you are dealing with. We will occasionally catch up and sometimes even get together at someone’s house.”

Fred believes that staying active is important, not only for physical strength but also for emotional strength. “Healthy mind, healthy body, healthy spirit. It helps me get through the day. Instead of dwelling on the terminal cancer, I’m focusing on being happy. It’s a positive experience being at the YMCA. It’s nice to see smiling faces, and the friendliness of the staff and other members, it’s just hard for it not to rub off on you. Coming to the YMCA is a positive thing to do, I look forward to it.”

One piece of advice that Fred has for Y members is to “Enjoy the opportunities available at the Y, get involved in any way that you can. It will make you feel better.” Members like Fred are the life of the YMCA; they embrace the values of the Y in mind, body and spirit.