Operation Adopt a Family

picAs this week approaches, it only takes a concluded Thanksgiving dinner and one look at Christmas decorations at the mall while black Friday shopping to get excited for the holidays. As much as we like to let ourselves get caught up in the midst of commercialized excitement, we need to give ourselves a much needed boarderline-cheesey reality check about the true meaning of Christmas. What does this entitle? Well, I could refer you to any hallmark Christmas movie, but instead I’ll give it further explanation here. As we count our blessings and give thanks over thanksgiving dinner, it is important to acknowledge how privileged we really are. Just as we approach Christmas we need to recognize those who do not give in to the commercialized part of the holidays as we do, or focus on what they don’t have but instead focus on what they do, family.

With that cheesy, straight from A Christmas Carol Christmas message being said, I’m going to share with you a way that we can all give our self that good ‘ol “true meaning of Christmas” reminder, and that is to give!

Therefore, in honor of the Warhawk Fitness Pay it Forward Project, we are participating in Operation Adopt a Family 2014. Last year Warhwak Fitness and Aquatics adopted a local Whitewater family for the Christmas Holiday. We donated over two truckloads of goodies to a family. We hope to repeat this success with our adopted family this year! To do so we need your help!

Operation Adopt a Family 2014: This year to partake in Operation Adopt a Family 2014, put some creativity to play! Our designated family for this year will be receiving gifts for children who fall either in young kids to tween to teen age group. Think gender specific gifts or gender neutral fun games or toys for everyone to enjoy! Also, general household items that will help out the whole family are appreciated as well!

Some Ideas:

  • “Pedicure in a Jar” or “Warm and Cozy Mistle Toes”
  • A jar of goodies with pedicure supplies and warm socks, perfect for a girl of any age!
  • A basket of household items, Clorox wipes, laundry detergent, febreeze, silverware, dishware, and other necessities! Maybe throw in a couple fun things like candles or decoration!
  • As far as boy gifts go, you can’t go wrong with Legos, nerf gun, or board games!
  • General gifts: mittens, hats, blankets, pillows, jackets, or anything to keep them cozy this winter!

Get creative and have fun with it, and this time when you go black Friday shopping keep your eyes out for some good gifts and pay it forward! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

“It’s a good day to have a good day!”

-Alena Purpero

Warhawk Fitness and Aquatics Family!

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Coming to college was one of the biggest steps of my life. Moving 2+ hours south from home, not knowing a single person, and then try to find new friends; there is nothing scarier. So what did I do? I attended events, went to class, and even forced myself to talk to the kids on my floor. Nothing really worked; we didn’t really connect. I didn’t really feel like UW-Whitewater was where I fit best, until I was hired as a Fitness Supervisor for Warhawk Fitness & Aquatics. Not only is it a great job but it also allows me to meet so many new friends, two of them being my best friends still to this day. Becoming a Fitness Supervisor was where I started, but I didn’t stop there.

Being a Fitness Supervisor is a very exciting and rewarding position. The shifts are small enough that they work around your academic schedule and the daily cleaning duties are simple enough that you can still enjoy time meeting and greeting the patrons that come into the facilities. One of my favorite parts about being a Fitness Supervisor is that I am able to see other individuals take their health into their own hands.

After a semester of being a Fitness Supervisor, I got hired to be a part of the Public Relations team. We write blogs such as this, that allow each of our members to show their interests and passions by writing about different health or wellness related topics. We also tweet/post/pin to our Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts with different ways to stay healthy on campus, recipes, inspirational quotes, Warhawk Fitness & Aquatics updates, and other healthy campus events. Don’t follow us? START NOW!

The next step in my journey is in the spring of 2014 I was hired as a Group Fitness Instructor. There is nothing more rewarding than being able to use your personal passion to help influence others. Another way that we help others is each month we have a “Pay-It-Forward” program where we donate certain items, cash contributions, or volunteer time to an organization that we choose needs assistance the most. There is nothing more rewarding than helping others, which is one of the top priorities for the Warhawk Fitness & Aquatics family!

Being a part of Warhawk Fitness & Aquatics doesn’t just add another job to your resume, it adds a whole different group of people to those that you refer to as “family”.  All of these positions are great on-campus jobs and also an easy way to meet so many new people. Here is what other co-workers think about being a part of the family:

“Being a freshman on campus was incredibly overwhelming for me, but working at University Fitness gave me a chance to get familiar with some amazing, hard-working individuals like myself and make friends! Not only that, but Warhawk Fitness also works with many charity organizations and gives me opportunities to make a difference right here in my Whitewater community! “ –Ensley Gossett

“I love the new friends I met in the fitness family and meeting the people that attend my classes.  It is always nice to go around campus and be a familiar face for everyone that comes to the Williams Center!” –Drew Lederman

“As a future physical education teacher, I appreciate the opportunity to the gain experience related to the upkeep of a fitness facility. I am also thankful to work with such a supporting and energetic staff led by managers who truly care for the well-being of their employees.” –Connor Driscoll

If this doesn’t prove why you should apply to work for Warhawk Fitness & Aquatics, I don’t know what will!

Are you hard working, dedicated, reliable, energetic, and fun to be around? THEN APPLY NOW!

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”

~Kenzi Weidman

 

Who do you run for?

Do you ever think while running outside, on a treadmill, riding a bike, rollerblading, etc., about how lucky you are that you have the ability to perform that activity? Sometimes we even say “go do that for me” because we are too lazy to perform activities ourselves. Can you imagine wanting to go for a run and not being able to. Not being of time, work, or for lack of motivation, but because you were PHYSICALLY unable to?

pictureHave you ever heard of the “Who I Run 4” program? It is a program where you sign up to dedicate your workouts to individuals that aren’t physically able to perform the activity themselves. They become your “Buddy”, someone you have never met, but will instantly start sharing a bond with. Here is how you can get involved:

  1. Join the Facebook group I Run For Michael at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/irunformichael
  2. Send a friend request to the matchmaker page  so we can contact you to connect you with someone!!
  3. Fill out one of the two forms below to be matched

▪       If you are a runner and want to be matched with someone please CLICK HERE and fill out the form.

▪       If you would like for your special needs child/adult to be matched with a runner CLICK HERE and fill out the form.

  1. Wait PATIENTLY to be matched with your buddy!

 

Some of the members of the Warhawk Fitness Family (past and present) have already been matched with their Buddy and here is what the program means to them:

“I believe a lot times that I take for granted that I have the ability and the ease to do so much, such as working out. As someone who works in the fitness field, this organization opened my eyes to the number of people who may not have the physical ability to do what I do on a daily basis. By being matched with a buddy, you create a relationship with a family who helps educate and motivate you as well. My buddy has what is call CDKL5 and it is a chromosomal defect, which has left her unable to walk, and/or speak, and she also suffers from seizures. By being matched, I feel my workouts now have a greater purpose. Knowing that I have the physical capabilities to do something that she can not, makes me want to help her live the experience through me. Being matched has made me realize that there are days I may not want to do something, and I then think about the constant struggles she endures and that pushes me to get up and work harder for her.” –Stephanie Punda

“I think it’s great to be paired with my buddy, Harlum who is 9 and is diagnosed with a disability without a name, which affects him mentally and physically. It’s referred to as SWAN (syndrome without a name) disability. I think the most rewarding part is having him know that others out there look up to him for the way he deals with his everyday challenges that you and I take for granted. The constant reminder of how fortunate I am to be healthy and be independent is a great way to gather extra motivation for not only the gym, but with all aspects of life.” –Jared Ward

“I joined the IR4 movement because it’s a chance to be part of something bigger.  Working out is something I love to do in order to better myself, and when I found it I can help others and give someone else strength through my workouts I realized it was a great fit!  IR4 is a great organization that helps you create a unique bond with someone who you would not have met otherwise.  Being a part of this, I hope to gain a broader perspective on life and appreciate what I have.  Most importantly I hope to help my buddy work through whatever battles they are struggling with. It’s great to hear from them on good days, but when harder days do come I hope that my support goes a long way for them and their family.” –Renee Lenda

“The IRun4 program is a great opportunity for exercise enthusiasts to dedicate their work outs towards someone in need. Sometimes we take for granted the ability to work out, play sports, or even walk to class. IRun4 is a program that changes your perspective on exercise and in life. I was paired with a 3-year-old boy from the UK who has GDD, Autism, hypermobility, and is non-verbal. I get to communicate with his mother on a daily basis and see some of his struggles and greatest moments. At the beginning of this adventure, I thought I would be doing something good for another person, but didn’t realize the good it would be doing for me. I am truly inspired by Ethan and his family’s persistence and grace and I highly recommend anyone who runs or works out to think about signing up for a buddy.” –Julia DiMonte

Never take for granted the abilities that you have. Instead, dedicate your abilities to those that don’t have the same opportunities as you! Follow the steps above to begin the journey to being paired with your buddy. Not only will you be creating a healthier you, but also you will be making a difference in someone else’s life.

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”

~Kenzi Weidman

So You Want to Run a 5K?

picMaybe you’ve run multiple 5k’s and want to improve your time. Maybe you ran your first 5k and now you are addicted. Maybe you’ve never run a day in your life and want to try your first 5k. No matter what your story is, training for a 5k is always beneficial. Personally, I have ran more 5k’s than I could count and I have trained for almost each of them, whether it be with a team or on my own. And I’ll be the first one to tell you, that the most painful and worst 5k’s were the ones where I had no previous training.

Each person is a different skill level and that makes it hard to say where you start training. If you need help finding a training program to help you achieve your goals, this would be a good place to start. But finding the training program isn’t the hard part. The hard part, in my opinion, is sticking to the training plan and eating the part.

If you’re serious about wanting to do a 5k and do it well these are the tips I’d have for you:

Get a pair of running shoes. Before you start training, I would get a good pair of running shoes. Check out this website to see what type of shoe you should be wearing. A lot of running injuries result from wearing shoes that aren’t meant for your type of foot. The last thing you want to do is get a running injury before you even get the chance to do your run.

Get a running buddy. Now this may not be for everyone, but if you like having someone to help push you and talk to on your runs, then I would highly suggest finding someone who will do just that.

Get new music or running gear. Having new stuff helps you get the motivation to take the hardest, first step out of the door. The new music will help you keep going once you get out there. Try and make a running playlist that has more upbeat music that will keep you going at a good pace and keep your focused. Having music playing will also help you from hearing how hard you’re breathing and will keep your mind off of how tired you actually are.

Make friends that are running the 5k with you. If you surround yourself with people that also are going to train, it will make finding a running partner that much easier. Not to mention that when you two hang out you probably won’t be going out for unhealthy food and beer. The hardest part of staying in shape for races for me is eating healthy. If you have friends that want to eat healthy too you guys will be good influences on each other. Hopefully.

Post Running Routine. If there were anything that I truly learned from running, it would be the importance of caring for your body after running. The general rule of thumb is to stretch each muscle for about 45 seconds, deepening the stretch as you go. Here are five great stretches for runners. Another thing I found out the hard way would be to ice. If it hurts, ice it. 15 minutes on 15 minutes off. I’m not a doctor so I can’t tell you that it will work for everything, but in my cases most of my injuries would have been prevented if I stretched properly and iced more often when I felt pain. After you’re putting mile after mile on your legs, your muscles develop scar tissue and tension that need to be taken care of. If you’re starting to feel pain and don’t know what to do, here is a good website.

I hope that I have had a positive impact on someone to try a 5k or better their time in a 5k.

Also, if you are from the Whitewater area, I would highly recommend this run, September 21st. Whitewater does a wonderful job organizing this and has multiple options for races including the half marathon, 5k walk/run, and fit kid shuffle. I partook in the 5k last year and will be doing in again this year. I hope to see some of you there.

-Yesterday You Said Tomorrow

Eric Hess