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!

pic

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

 

Don’t Regret What You Ate, Tailgate!

pic for blogIt’s that time of year that a lot of us college students look forward to, homecoming! From all of the activities during homecoming week, to actual game day this is a time where college students get to celebrate their school pride, hang out with friends, and of course cheer on the home team! It’s overall a day of fun, and what kicks off a homecoming game better than a good tailgate party? Since it is a day of festivities and fun, you may want to put aside a healthy conscious for the sake of occasion. Save that mind set for the holidays and make this day a tasty but healthy one! I know what you’re thinking, you’re not about to show up to a tailgate party with a zip lock bag of baby carrots and apple slices. But fear not! These fun and festive tailgate foods will make you wonder why you ever stuck to the generic and boring hot dog.

If you’re grilling out: Then you have a variety of options! Kebabs, burgers, or even marinated veggies on the grill.

Kebabs: All you really need are skewer sticks, and a combination of your favorite veggies and you can add a lean protein like chicken or shrimp or you can even make a fruit one! Kebabs are an easy thing to eat when you’re at a tailgate because no fork or plate is needed!

Burgers: If you’re hesitant to stray away from your beloved hamburger, consider these healthier alternatives when grilling out. Being a vegetarian I always love having creative, healthy, and unique alternatives to meat. At family picnics I’m the one usually eating either portabella mushroom burgers, a black bean veggie burger, or an eggplant burger! Check out different veggie burger recipes here! As for you meat eaters, grilled chicken, a salmon patty, or turkey burger are also leaner alternatives!

Grilled veggies: If I haven’t already made it clear grilled veggies are one of my favorite things to eat on the grill. Some people might think that it is boring, when in fact there is so much you can make. Such as a grilled blooming onion, marinated eggplant , stuffed grilled artichokes, sweet potato fries! Just be careful of what oils and sauces you add and limit any cheese added!

If you’re bringing the appetizers:

Chip dip: Stray away from dips that are cheese or cream based because it’s easy to get carried away and eat too much of what is a very dense, and fattening dip. So instead of taco dip that you can get at the store, try a black bean dip! Also, what I personally feel is the solution to everything, you can have hummus! There tons and tons of homemade hummus recipes with different types of ingredients that you can add. The great thing about both of these chip dips is that they are made of beans so they will have more protein and nutritional content then any cheese dip or taco dip would!

Finger food: A few bite sized choices for a healthy appetizer are guacamole deviled eggs, and zucchini pizza bites! Both are a fun and nutritious twist on appetizers we’ve had before like deviled eggs and pizza bites. Pre-make these before you head on over to the tailgate and wow everyone with your unique snack creation. An appetizer for events like a football game tend to be fried, or full of cheese, which is the worst thing you can do when you haven’t eaten anything yet! So start off your meal with real food, and you’ll be full and satisfied by the end of your meal instead of craving more!

Tailgating is one of the best parts about going to a football game! So don’t ruin the experience for yourself by indulging in high fat food. You can’t cheer on your team when you’re bloated and in a food coma so eat clean, but never boring! These ideas and recipes are in my opinion exciting and different than most tailgate foods so have fun with it! Go team!

“It’s a good day to have a good day!”

-Alena Purpero ♡

Gladiator Assault Challenge

picGladiator Assault Challenge

All my life I’ve been pretty mediocre at sports. That’s probably not the best way to start a fitness blog, but it’s the truth. Everything I tried seemed to not be a fit for me, so I started running. Running is the ultimate body workout where I never have to worrying about getting hit in the head with a ball. Lately, I’ve seen a lot of friends and families get into not just running by themselves, but doing races. The color run, Tough Mudder, Glow Run, these are all races I’d like to do… but getting the courage to actually sign up took a lot longer then I expected.

Two weekends ago I finally completed my first 5k. No, it wasn’t a marathon, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right? I chose to do the Gladiator Assault Challenge, which is by far not your average 5k.  With 30 military style obstacles interlaced into the run, there is something surprising around every corner.

The race took started on top of a ski hill. Yes, on top of a ski hill. At the top, there was a DJ and loud music playing to pump you up and get you going. When the horns went off, myself and 50 other people in my heat headed down the hill and into the woods. Right off the bat we were met with a pile of mud that we had to crawl through while a military official sprayed us down with a hose. It was at this point I realized that this run was going to be a dirty dirty 5k. We climbed up wooden structures, over rope walls, through mud up to our ears, and under barbed wire. We jumped through fire, ran off a 15-foot structure into a lake, and crawled through black tubes. This race was intense.

Although the race was nothing I’d ever experienced before, the whole time I was more excited to complete an obstacle than worry about getting dirty. With each challenge, I felt stronger and more confident than the last one. I kept thinking, if I can complete this I can complete anything. After running up and down the ski hill countless of times, the race finally came to a finish. There to greet our muddy and soaking wet bodies were loud music and volunteer workers handing out beer and fruit. They also had a gear tent where you could buy different t-shirts and athletic gear at the finish line. The weather that day was in the high 50s, so after running a race in mud and water, our main mission was to dry off and change clothes. Once dry, we ate a banana, finished our beer and headed out. Although the weather didn’t allow us to stick around for very long after the race, with our participant medal in hand we marched proudly to the car.

Over all I think that the experience of doing a mud run is something you cannot describe. It is dirty and challenging, but once in the moment all that is going through your mind is “I can do this.” I felt more accomplished after running those 3 miles than I did running any of my runs over the last year. If you are someone who wants to start challenging yourself to a race more intense than just running, I strongly recommend a mud run. There are plenty of different options to try out!pic 2

Another recommendation is running the race with a buddy. Not only does it keep the race fun, but also having someone there to help push you along the way makes the whole race seem easier. Plus you can laugh at each other as you’re trudging through mud.

If you have any more questions or comments about the Gladiator Assualt Challenge check out their website!

Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.

Mary Marren