I’ll never forget meeting “Momma Love” on a spin bike in Westlake Park. It was September 30th, 2017 and I was instructing an outdoor spin class at rush hour in the public park. Why? Because Meghan Dahl (ZŪM pal and former Member Services Director and all-around good egg) asked me if I would, and no one can say no to Meghan.
Momma Love dropped her bags of personal belongings, jumped on a spin bike, pushing her many layers of flowing garments anywhere they would land, and pedaled like a woman on a mission to qualify for a grand tour. Momma Love needed this. She needed an outlet to release; she needed someone to witness her; she needed to sing, scream and let it all out in the middle of a public park. I get that. I think ZŪM members can relate at least a little to Momma Love and how good the release of stress through exercise can feel. I was happy to bring that to Momma Love on that day.
A few years ago I was walking through my old fitness club in Philadelphia, and saw a group of people in the classroom sitting on chairs and lifting 3 lb. weights. They looked relaxed, comfortable, and BORED. As the instructor, a good friend of mine and a killer fitness pro, led the group through seated bicep curls and tricep kickbacks she did her best to bring excitement and enthusiasm to the job at hand–to teach a widely available fitness class to senior citizens. After class, the instructor and I discussed the inherent assumption built into the class design– that older people are incapable or afraid of movement of any kind. Ever since then, I’ve been distracted by a voice in my head (the good kind) telling me to “Do something about this!” So I did.
This summer ZŪM GM Joe DeShaw, our partner at Mobility Plus, Brittney Thornton, and I walked into a conference room. What happened in that conference room over the following 90 minutes can only be described as a full-on fitness nerd fest. There were illustrations, studies, methodology discussions and a lot of laughs. It was one of those magical moments among geeks that can solidify professional trust, spark controversy, spawn ideas and bond like-minded professionals. In the case of that meeting in June, all possible outcomes resulted, with the additional bonus of what we call The Bridge.