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Pushing the Reset Button: An Update on the YMCA Reset Challenge


Judi Christy shares her experience pushing the reset button while taking on the 2021 YMCA Reset Challenge

Admittedly, I am not a joiner. Sure, I like people and the idea of hanging out with lots of them, but the reality is I’m most comfortable cozying up with the friends in my head and a 25-pound weighted blanket.

So, when the enthusiasm of the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati nuzzled into my space with their RESET Challenge, I had to save face as well as show it, a lot, via Zoom.

I did so knowing it was not only my job as the marketing director of a mid-size YMCA, but also hoping to restore some of the sanity that had drained from my soul in the last year.

Here came the Cincinnati Y, banging their drums and filling my inbox with promises to make life better.

I needed to believe. My boss did too. Then we were possibly one of the first in line to be a top recruit to the Well-being Collaborative, a consortium of 140-plus YMCA associations nationwide who were all in dire need of salvation – or at least a glimmer of hope.

Cincinnati had the playbook, and we were ready to read it and get in the game. Our team prepared, practiced and set our own game plan to follow the leaders. We invited everyone in our community who was sick and tired of being sick and tired.

We invited the community to RESET.

In the end, we got about 900 followers – half of whom have never been involved with our YMCA.

They signed up to do a free six-week challenge, involving a 150-minute commitment to RESET their spirit, mind and body. Guided coaching, inspiration, Facebook group connections, on-demand and Zoom classes, and local activities themed around:


Our 900 folks became part of 51,000 others resetting around the country.

Everyone gets contacted via text and email. Participants are engaged through picture posting, hash-tagging and video shares from branch leadership and staff taking part in the weekly activities.

The Cincinnati team loads up each with thematic material about eating the rainbow, calling old friends, getting out and playing like a kid, buying local and making a plan to stick with it long after the six weeks is past.

For those in Akron who complete the challenge, they get a cool t-shirt. Other locations offer different incentives.

It is a lot of work. But it’s also a lot of reward.

Personally, I’ve not met all of my RESET goals. I struggle with getting back to the gym and bypassing Fritos and chocolate. I have very good intentions of phoning old neighbors and buying at a stores other than Target – but I do get sidetracked.

Yet, I am not a joiner. By pushing the reset button, I will RESET my thinking and not join in the negativity that swirls around the airwaves.

  • I will choose to RETRY the broccoli and kale.
  • I will choose to REVIEW the media I’m ingesting.
  • I will REFIT my wardrobe and buy the right size for me.
  • I will RELATE to people half my age and RESPECT their insights and smarts.
  • I will REOPEN my mind to REJOICE in the good and the bad.
  • And I will (try to) RELAX.

The RESET Challenge, with kudos to the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, was just a booster – sort of like a vaccine. But instead of giving us the lifesaving shot in the arm, they gave a kick in the butt to REMIND us that life is good, we are worth it, and there’s always time to REWRITE the next chapter.

Judi Christy

Judi Christy is the director of marketing and communication at the Akron Area YMCA.

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