Skip to main content
two men playing chess at the westside family ymca

One thing about the Y is we’re more than just a gym. We also love to play games that don’t involve you working up a sweat - ones that can exercise your mind.

Take Fred and Dyzio for example, longtime members of our Westside Family YMCA. If you happen to be at the branch from 8–10:30 am on Tuesday mornings, you’re more than likely to see the two duking it out on the chessboard.

“We’ll play anybody who will show up and play us,” said Dyzio, who was born in Gubernia in Poland while it was occupied by Nazi Germany during World War II.
Fred, 77, said he enjoys playing chess and winning when he can. He noted that the game he’s played his entire life provides “intellectual excitement.”

“It teaches you skills in terms of patience and making sure you know what you’re doing before you do it,” said Fred, a Rochester native. “Think before you move. It’s a good way to meet friends.”

But it’s not just about chess for these two friends; Fred and Dyzio also love getting to the Y to work out. Fred said he keeps in shape by doing yoga, using the treadmill, and lifting weights. He’s been a Y member for 27 years now — the last 18 at Westside — and he says it’s a major factor in him being as healthy as he is today.

Dyzio, 79, has been a YMCA member since 1985 and has also been at Westside since it opened its doors in 2004. He began his Y journey by playing volleyball and racquetball, and swimming, at the Carlson MetroCenter in Downtown Rochester.

Being able to work out is one factor, but Dyzio has many reasons to continue being a part of our Y community.

“I come here to be with the people and enjoy my life,” Dyzio said.

We hope you keep enjoying your time with us, Fred and Dyzio.