Monday, May 17, 2010

Schedule Changes

It's that time again!

Every 15 to 20 months, based around Summer, Fall, and Winter, we make slight programming changes to our Group Exercise schedules. This is for myriad reasons, not the least of which is to accomodate changing family schedules.

Our changes are posted online for all to see here (, and I wanted to take the opportunity to reply to a few comment cards in an open forum regarding the time shift around Wednesday PM.

In an effort to keep our Karate in Studio X AND to move our Wednesday night Yoga out of the Fitnasium and into Studio X where it belongs, we've moved BODYPUMP up one hour to 5:30PM from 6:30PM. By way of compensation to those folks who can only ever be here at the 6:30 hour, we've actually added one more BODYPUMP to the schedule, at that time on Tuesday nights. So if you're a nighttime pumper, you now have one more option than you had before!

All of our changes are done with good reason, since none of us like to have to change our schedules to find our favorite instructors or class formats. Please know that the changes that have gone into this schedule are designed to have minimal negative impact while bringing Group Exercise to the greatest number of our members, mindful of all our members.

And please know that we always want to hear what you have to say, so keep the comments and questions coming. We will try to give you thoughtful responses while being open to considering things from other points of view.

I'm glad to be a part of your Group Exercise program. Thanks for choosing the Downtown Orlando YMCA for your fitness needs!

Florida Mania!!!

So the Sara City Workshops Florida Mania was in town last Wednesday through Sunday and several of the association group exercise instructors and personal trainers descended on the DoubletreeInn out on I-Drive out by Sea World.

I had the pleasure of taking three Kettle Weight classes, two Step classes, one TRX class, and a smattering of others. Kelsi and Allyson joined me in a few. These two ladies are hard core, tough, strong, and a slew of other adjectives usually reserved for cage fighters. If you think you have what it takes, challenge Allyson or Kelsi to the 40/40 TRX challenge. I'll be thrilled to write up the epic event here if you manage to take either of them down.

But even as strong as our group was, we still all reached our limits and had to sit and take notes from time to time.

This event is always a recharge to the old creative battery. I've got more ideas than I know what to do with, as well as much of the other YMCA staff out there, so make sure you get into some classes or PT over the next few weeks as we bring the fresh into the Family Centers!! It's a great time to be in the CFYMCA!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Stepping Down, Not Out

Hey folks! I'm stepping down from my responsibilities as the Group Exercise Director for the Downtown Orlando Family Center. See my brief summary here: removed at request of CFYMCA)

Even though I've done all I can do after three years and the program needs an infusion of new ideas, I'll miss you all!

Thanks for being such a great community.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesdays BODYPUMP 9:30 Kelsi

Join Kelsi today and every Wednesday at 9:30 for BODYPUMP at the downtown Orlando YMCA! If you cannot make it at 9:30, try Heather's noon cardio/strength class to sweat and get strong.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Winter Wonderland in Studio X

Talk about the winter of our discontent.

It seems that our newest Group Exercise space was running at record low temperatures, no matter what we did to the thermostats in the room. This amazing tree house, Studio X, was extremely uncomfortable during this unusually long cold snap Florida’s been enjoying. And since the classes programmed in here are two-thirds Yoga/Pilates/Stretch, this made classes that much more uncomfortable.

It became obvious after several complaints from instructors and members alike that the best efforts of our facilities staff and other directors were going to be for naught. The HVAC system was not operating as expected. This weekend became so cold that we had to switch several classes between the Fitnasium and Studio X for safety.

But we can all gather round the drum circle and celebrate because as of this morning (Monday, January 11, 2010) our new construction team located and repaired the trouble. The room will now become nice and toasty with toggle of a key! In addition, we’ve also determined that the room can be cooled down very quickly for those classes requiring lower temperatures. All classes can now go back to business as usual without the necessity of five or six layers.

And with that, on to the apologies. To all staff and members who’ve been uncomfortable and extremely patient, we’re sorry and thanks for hanging in there.

Things will go wrong again, believe it. Please continue to keep us informed on your thoughts on all matters related to the operation of your Family Center. We will never be able to make every single suggested change or equip the facility with every piece of suggested equipment or make your favorite instructor teach every class at every one of your available times. But if you don’t let us know what you’re thinking, we can’t count your vote when the time comes to review our systems/staff/facilities.

There are lots of ways to let us know what you’re thinking. The best way to let us know what’s on your mind is to grab any of our Directors when you’re in the building. We’re also happy to speak with you by phone at (407)896-6901. E-mail is another way to let us know what’s what. Comment cards work as well, but are really most effective when you give us your name and a way to contact you. We occasionally get the “the showers are too hot”, “you should offer fried chicken at your cafĂ©”, “you should only let Barabara teach cycle”, “you should never let Barabara teach cycle”, “we need another pool”, or “give us Aerial Yoga” comment cards without any contact info. Each of these definitely require our response, but not necessarily to the membership at large, and without at least a name and number, we can’t have that conversation. A last way to post your ideas are by commenting on these blog entries or going to and clicking the ‘FEEDBACK’ tab at the left of the home page. But please remember that we reserve the right to censor inappropriate language, explicit or implicit. We are the Y, after all. And anonymity in your posts has less impact, so let us know who you are.

OK. Enough for now. Look for more soon. There’s lots for us to talk about!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thrill the World - 2009

One week before Halloween, October 25th at 12:30AM GMT (October 24th, 8:30PM local time), 41 persons at the Downtown Orlando YMCA danced Michael Jackson's Thriller for 5 minutes & 58 seconds at the same time as 22,882 other persons in 32 countries around the world.

This is the first year we've participated in this event, so it was a kind of a test run. Next year, we'll be looking for two to three hundred! BTW, next year's is Sunday, October 24, 2010, 04:30am GMT/UTC. That's probably 12:30AM our time (just after the witching hour). I will need a team of volunteers for that crowd, including volunteers responsible for recruiting sponsorship and raising funds for charity.
Things I learned from this experience:
ANYONE can learn to dance.
ANYONE can learn this dance in less than two hours.
Dancing IS a workout.
Practice dancing in the performance shoes before showtime.
Even for a smaller event, one man cannot run the show alone. (Thanks again, volunteers!)
Always have a plan 'B'.
Faux leather does not breathe well.
Ginormous thanks to Penny & Ray who did not participate, but effectively handled all the admin stuff before and during the event and to Hayley, Nancy B, and Kathleen for helping before and/or after as well as dancing and to my dance captains on alert, Nancy G & Yvonne.
If you want to peruse some of the photos, go here ( If you want to see the 'official' video, go here ( If you want to see a better version of the video, go here (

Hope to see hundreds of you next year

Monday, September 28, 2009

BODYPUMP 71 Release Celebration

This last weekend was the release celebration of BODYPUMP71 at the Downtown YMCA. As part of the celebration, we incorporated a fun little contest called “So You Think You Can Lift?” where participants had to match Tim for males and Kelsi for females, pound for pound, rep for rep, and all with perfect form and control. This release was so strong that we celebrated over two days, Friday & Sunday, with four instructors each day! One male and one female participant in each celebration walked away with two thirty-minute personal training sessions just for being the best at hanging with our team. While no one successfully matched or beat our instructor team, Jason and Katherine took home the prizes on Friday and Allison and JC walked away with free PT on Sunday, but only barely edging out our other competitors. Congratulations to Jennifer, Karen, Nancy, James, Chirag, Hayley, Danielle, Mary, Anne, Travis, & Josh for standing toe to toe with our team in the spirit of competition.

Nancy & Bari led the bulk of the tracks through which all celebrators, competitors and non alike, hurt so good. Loud & proud, no one walked away without feeling a little stronger and a little healthier. A handful of Friday’s pics are available here ( Next time we’ll have to bring out our resident photographer, Beth, to capture the memories.

Next release will be around the New Year, so keep an eye out in three months! Until then, train, train, train!