Monday, December 7, 2009

YMCA Changes Our Lives! 34TH STORY

During our lifetime, so many people walk in and out of our lives. Some stay for short times and others for lifetimes. The people who have walked in and out of my life have affected me emotionally and physically.

Since I have begun the YMCA Boot Camp one year ago in January, many new people have walked into my life. I have written about the recruits and trainers who have changed my life forever. There are other people as well who I have gotten to know. The receptionist at the YMCA, Anna, is there to greet me every morning. Charlotte Donn from the Miami office of the YMCA makes me feel like I have known her forever. I would have missed so much if I had not gotten off of the couch and joined the YMCA Boot Camp.

The YMCA is an ever changing organization. It emulates our lives with people who walk in and out of our every day lives. There have been a few people who have left the organization over the past year. David Cruz was the membership and Wellness Director when I started. David was a great asset to the YMCA. He would take the time to visit during Boot Camp sessions and talk to the recruits. He came out of his office and was always seen out and about on the premises, not behind a desk. He encouraged me. David left the YMCA to continue his education and he is missed. I haven’t heard from David since he left the YMCA, but I am so thankful that he walked into my life.

Oshun, one of the trainers from the YMCA also left to pursue other goals. As you may recall, I was doing a Warrior of Wine Boot Camp at Schnebly’s with Oshun, but now she has moved on to pursue her main love in life, cooking. She is a fantastic chef who specializes in healthy gourmet cuisine and using what we grow locally. The Oshun Movement ( is a great company and offers so much. I have been doing personal training with Oshun, but with the holidays, coming, etc., I am finding that it is difficult to continue for the time being, but I am not quitting. Oshun has been my biggest cheerleader. She pushes me to no end, but then again, I have to be pushed. I am so thankful that she has walked into my life. I know she is missed by members of the YMCA.

Recently I was informed that Kevin Bolding, the District Vice President/Branch Executive of the YMCA is leaving this week. Kevin has been my “go to” man from the very beginning. He always made himself accessible to me and responded to my concerns. During the summer when I found that the locker rooms were intolerable for those of us who had to shower and dress at the Y before going to work, Kevin immediately moved forward and had fans installed. If I had a complaint, I could go to him and expect to receive a follow-up. If I had a complement, I knew he would get it to the correct set of ears. Kevin was one of my cheerleaders on this great journey of mine to become healthy. He is taking a position with the YMCA in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Although I wish him the best of luck, I will miss Kevin. He was a great asset to the Miami YMCA. I am so thankful to him for walking into my life.

The YMCA is a great organization that has affected me physically and emotionally. The recruits, trainers and staff have given me so much. I am sad that some people are walking out of my life, but look forward to new people who may enter.

Recruit Does the Turkey Trot! - 32ND STORY

Thanksgiving week is a time when many of us look at our waistline. There are two sides of eating during the holidays. On one side, many are scared to death to face the table on Thanksgiving Day and the coming holiday season. They are searching for every diet tip available for all the upcoming festivities. On the other side, some toss all cares aside because it is so close to the New Year that they decide to start their diet on January 1st. Why bother now?

Last year on Thanksgiving, I was in the latter category where I had decided to throw all cares to the wind and eat now because in January I knew I was going to buckle down with my diet and exercising. During the holidays our office, the clients are so sweet they send us mounds of goodies. Chocolates, cakes, breads, and cinnamon rolls are just a few of the treats. If you stand at our kitchen door during the holidays you can enter a diabetic coma just from the smell!

This year, I hope I have my mind in the correct place. I will try to be conscious of what I eat during the holidays and I plan to continue to exercise as much as possible. I am thinking of asking the receptionist in my office to put a cowbell at her desk to ring loudly whenever I even think about eating something I shouldn’t! Actually, I should invest in one of those electronic perimeter fences that a dog owner would use. I’m a crafty person so I could decorate the dog collar with gems and make it look hip. If I went near the kitchen it will send an electrical shock to zap me so that eventually I will become afraid of the kitchen. It is a desperate measure but somehow I have got to refrain from the horrendous temptation of the chocolate towers of death that wait beyond the kitchen door! I can just see me looking like Phyllis Diller with my hair jutting out from all the shocks from the temptation!

I am hoping that continuing to exercise will help me during the holidays. Pain is good for the diet. When my body is in pain, it makes me question if I really want to eat something bad enough that I will add more pounds to my body. Nasty Nestor and Rambo Rico, the Boot Camp leaders at the YMCA and my personal trainer, Oshun, make sure I have plenty of pain!

Nasty Nestor loves doing circuit training. We have decided that he would make a great circus performer as he likes to keep us running from one exercise to the next and so forth like clowns jumping from one ring of the big top to the next. I can just hear it now, “And now….under the Big Top…introducing Nasty Nestor and his Boot Camp recruits! Watch them run. Watch them tumble. Watch them squat.” All of the older women have voted to get Nasty Nestor a girlfriend so he can understand why women have a hard time with circuit training and hallways filled with squats! We have got to get him in touch with his feminine side!

This week at Book Camp, we are under the direction of Rambo Ricco as he is giving Nasty Nestor a break. You have to understand that Ricco does not like to get up early and he is doing the 6 a.m. Boot Camp. I think the only thing that gets him up is the thought that he is going to come and punish us brutally in Boot Camp! I have a good friend who asked me who the young fellow at the Y was who is so loud. I knew immediately that she meant Ricco. She explained that she thought he was louder than God. I’m sure God would agree!

Ricco does not do circuit training but pounces on us with a variety of exercises. He would be the lion tamer. No. He would be the lion as he is aggressive and demanding of all our attention. This past Monday, I believe he was gearing us up for Thanksgiving by having us do the turkey trot on the elliptical machine. We spent 30 minutes on that machine with him coming by and changing the toughness of the walk every few minutes. He was so wrapped up in the punishment that he was even going to change the levels of a gym member who just happened to be on one of the machines in between us! During the time on the machine, he would also have us squat down and sprint really fast for a period of time. My thighs, calves and butt muscles screamed in pain and my shirt was soaked from sweat. This turkey thought she was cooked! I still feel the pain!

Oshun keeps pushing my limits and keeps me in agony. This past week I was tossing a 25 pound weight in my yard like a javelin thrower, hanging onto her ankles and pulling my legs up to her chest, running laps in the yard with heavy weights on my ankles and lying on my mat on the grass doing 50 sit-ups on an incline and yelling with each one. My husband said I woke him up with my yells. I hope the neighbors look out and see what I am doing and don’t think I’m fighting with my husband!

So now we ask again, “Why bother now with watching what we eat?” Last year, I gained 15 pounds by putting it off until January. I will not do it this year. Yes, I will eat everything but I will not eat huge portions. Also, I will go for a walk and keep up my exercise. If you blew it yesterday, today IS a new day! Start now!

Let’s get those turkeys trotting!