When Frythe moved to Sandpoint with her family in 2000 she was not expecting to gain dozens of new family members full of love and support, but that’s what she found working as a Group Exercise Instructor and Lead at the Litehouse YMCA.
Frythe knows her name is unique and maybe a bit hard to understand at first. Pronounced “Frith”, the name originates from an old Nordic tale passed down by generations about a Norwegian Princess, Frythe, and a dragon. While pregnant with Frythe, her mother found the name in a book and decided it to be a good fit. “Honestly I hated it growing up, but now I like it and can appreciate it,” Frythe said.
Growing up in Western Washington, Frythe was very active in snow sports and dance. Her family would move around often but she says she was always able to find friendship and community when taking part in dance classes. That love grew when she began to teach dance to high school students while attending college in Seattle.
After her family relocated to Sandpoint, Frythe was once again looking for connection and a way to keep active with her three young boys. She joined the then named Sandpoint West Athletic Club and fell in love. “After a while taking fitness classes and connecting with the community, the owner approached me and asked if I would be interested in teaching group exercise classes, and so my relationship with staff and members only grew,” Frythe said.
Fythe says that the Sandpoint community is incredibly supportive and she has enjoyed raising her family here, “Sandpoint is really special. People are passionate about this area and when faced with challenges, we rally together and make the best of it.”
Last winter, a close family member of Frythe’s passed away suddenly. She credits all the love and support she received from staff and members for helping her get through the tough time. “My community here was so important. They were so supportive and were really there for my family and I when we needed it,” Fythe said.
When the YMCA took over operations of SWAC, Frythe had a gut feeling it would be a positive change. “When I was a new mom in the Seattle area, the Y was one of the first places I turned to for support. They were instrumental in my health and well-being…So when I heard it was going to be the Y taking over, I knew it was going to be a positive experience.”
As for what’s next at the Litehouse Y, Frythe sees the impact growing throughout the Bonner County community, “the YMCA has a desire to help people. Choosing a healthy lifestyle is hard, and the Y makes it easier for people and families to be not only physically healthy, but mentally and socially as well. The more we listen and reach out, the healthier we can make our community. That’s what the Y is all about.”
Through hardship and happiness, Frythe is grateful to have her extended family at the Litehouse YMCA. Most days you can find her teaching a group exercise class or just sharing a laugh with members and staff, “I appreciate the inclusiveness of the Y. We’re here for everybody and I love being a part of that.”