Early Risers: YMCA

It's 4:30 in the morning, but while most people are sleeping, Victoria Martinez is working to set up your workout.
 
"I'm a late riser — but today I'm an early riser," Martinez said with a laugh.
 
Shortly after she arrives, the real fun starts.
 
A flood of people — early risers in their own right — hits the doors of the Bill Bartley YMCA. Each one trying to perfect their own workout routine and make good on those new years resolutions.
 
"You kind of get your blood flowing and it makes the day go by a lot better and you have a lot more energy throughout the day," said early morning lifter Wes Latimer.
 
"There's a lot of unsung heroes at the YMCA," said Noel Filer, mission advancement director for the Wichita Falls YMCA. "Those early people that get up and make sure that the facilities are ready to go are part of those unsung heroes."
 
Of course, everyone that comes in to workout this early is tough. But the real MVPs are people like Martinez who come in overnight to make sure all of this equipment stays in tip top shape.
 
"I don't know how she gets up early enough to open by 5," Latimer said. "I struggle to get here by 6:30. Definitely, I'm sure she has to get up a lot earlier than i ever dream about."
 
There's more to Martinez's job than just making sure the lights are on and the equipment is in working order. She also has to pick up anything left behind and make sure the stations are sanitized. She also has to fold the towels and make sure everyone who walks through those doors feels welcome.
 
"You really feel like you are part of the family," said Donna Wells, another early morning YMCA guest. "It's a good way to get started."
 
"[Martinez is] always very friendly, has a smile on her face," Latimer said.
 
Right now, it's just the lone morning shift employee opening up the doors of the Y.
But very soon, Martinez — and others like her — will have some much needed help.
 
"The membership facilities will be renovated and upgraded and so we know that we'll be welcoming a lot more people in which means more early openers," Filer said.
 
"I've been here for a while so just once I walk in the building, I'm ready to go," Martinez said. "It's just getting out, leaving the house. But no, once I get here, I'm so comfortable — more at home here than at home.

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