This week's guest blog comes from Haley Booe about an exceptional group of women involved in our exercise program. We had 9 of these women over for dinner a few weeks back. Everything went very smoothly, save running out of gas, forcing Mike to run around the valley in his basketball shorts to find a new one and me to cook broccoli in the microwave. Overall, it was a pleasure having them over to learn more about their lives and enjoy some Italian food!
"Hello blogging world! I hope you enjoy this wonderful time of the year when the school year comes to a close and kids are shrieking at the sound of ice cream trucks. I am definitely one to scream for ice cream, especially considering ours are pick-up trucks installed with soft-serve machines. Aside from eating my weight in ice cream sandwiches, there are a couple of other things that I’m passionately excited about. Over the past 10 months, I have developed a deep love for spandex, techno music, and sweaty women. Any member of the Manna Household will attest to how attached I am to the women in our community and how much I LOVE exercise.
The W.E. program has changed a lot since last August. We hold class in our own space, which has increased women's involvement in the center as they drop off their kids in the library; this has encouraged them to join other programs like cooking class and enrolling kids in Englihs. The women have developed relationships amongst themselves through socializing before and after class; they often meet up outside of class and continuously encourage each other in pursuit of healthier lifestyles.
We now offer 4 clases a week: Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi on Mondays, Tae Bo on Tuesdays, A mixed class on Wednesday mornings, and Aerobic circuit training on Thursdays. Many of the women attending class come every day; there are several who have missed no more than 5 classes in the last 6 months! I've really been able to develop relationships with these women and it is so encouraging to hear how much they appreciate what Manna is doing in their communities.
Exercise women + the 7 MPIE women = lots of estrogen in the Manna House
During spring break program rotations, volunteers helped me plan class for the day and completed various tasks including several improvements to our classroom. To name a few, the room is now a pale blue (which is very relaxing during Yoga), inspirational posters are hanging on the walls, circuit class 'stations' are well labeled, and a newly painted bookshelf now holds all of our equipment. Volunteers also helped plan a workshop to train the women to be fitness instructors. After the women complete the course this summer, they will assist or substitute for me and eventually be able to lead the class themselves; this is one exciting step closer to making exercise more sustainable in the long term!
This program relies on inscription money to pay for advertising, informational packets, and attendance prizes (including t-shirts, cookbooks, and yoga mats). In the past month, we've made some capital investments to improve our classes' effectiveness. The wonderfully handsome David Lawler brough down hand weights, exercise balls, and yoga mats for the women to use in class.
Dave and Haley enjoying some down time at the beach
Since we used most of our budget to buy this equipment, we don't have as much to spend on other costs. The women in our community enjoy this program so much and we appreciate any donations you can give to make Women's Exercise successful! If you would like to help financially support this program or would like more information, please e-mail me!
Peace, love and sweatbands!