And it sums up the last week in the life of the Midtown staff as the pool and tennis areas are prepared for the spring and summer seasons.
Here’s what’s been going on at the club lately, and what you can expect when the pools and outdoor courts are open for members on Saturday, May 1st:
Last week, the covers came off of the three pools in preparation for the second season of the club’s luxury outdoor expansion area.
If you’re new to the club and about to enjoy your first warm-weather season, Midtown has three pools to serve the needs of members big and small. They are:
An 18-inch-deep Kiddie Pool, A 2-to-4-feet-deep Intermediate Pool, and A 25-yard, 4-to-6-feet-deep, 6-lane regulation lap pool.
And because Midtown staff is nothing but dedicated to quality control and member service, Aquatics Director Tim Auerhahn took it upon himself to test the waters (not once, but twice!) to ensure that a positive experience is had by all.
If you can’t wait until Saturday to enjoy the outdoors at Midtown, you can relax by the pools in one of the comfortable lounge chairs.
Spring in Rochester isn’t exactly balmy, so the pools are heated until Mother Nature kicks into high gear later in the year. Until Memorial Day, the pool is open for lap swimming Monday through Friday, from 6am – 8am, and then again from 11am – 1pm. On Tuesday and Thursday, the pool has evening hours from 5pm – 7pm. On the weekends in May, the pool is open from 10am – 2pm. Regular hours resume on Monday, May 31st.
The pool area isn’t the only outdoor space being prepped for spring and summer.
The club’s nine outdoor tennis courts are also just about ready for member play beginning Saturday. The clay is down, the surface is rolled, the lines are straight, and once the nets are up, play can commence! Check out the slideshow.
The courts open on May 1st (the same day as the pool), and you can call the front desk now to reserve court time.
To start the season off on a high note, the club is offering the Midtown Mini-Triathlon on Saturday, May 29th from 9am to 1pm. This event is guaranteed fun for all activity levels. Hit the pool for a 20-minute swim, followed by a 20-minute cycle on the pool deck, and end with a 20-minute run. You can sign up yourself or a team, but you better do it quickly, as this event will sell out. Call the front desk to register today.
See you poolside! I’ll be the one chasing a three-year-old and 18-month-old twins.
Pass the margaritas.
How do you plan on using Midtown’s outdoor space this spring and summer?
The food kids are served in school cafeterias is, for the most part, junk.
That’s what celebrity chef Jamie Oliver thinks, anyway. And I happen to agree with him.
I have watched with rapt fascination the ABC television show ”Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution,” and while very little about the state of this country’s nutrition surprises me anymore, what this show is documenting has.
He sets up camp in Huntington, West Virginia, recently named by the CDC as the “Unhealthiest City in America,” and heads into the school system to see what the kids are served in the cafeterias. He finds the elementary school kids being served pizza (eggs, sausage, and loads of cheese) for breakfast, and processed, breaded chicken nuggets and french fries for lunch. The students wash down their meals with chocolate and strawberry milk, which the kids overwhelmingly choose over plain white milk, and which contain more sugar than a can of Coke.
He finds virtually the same scenario in the high school cafeteria. French fries are in huge demand there, and when Jamie yanks the fries in one episode, the teenagers are not happy.
There is a complete dearth of freshly prepared food available for the kids to eat in school.
Perhaps more frightening than what the kids are eating is their inability to identify even the most basic of vegetables. Jamie enters a first-grade classroom armed with broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, and other produce. When asked to identify these veggies, the kids are completely stumped.
And this? Makes me want to cry.
Yes, Jamie Oliver chose a region of the country that struggles to overcome cultural stereotypes. And yes, there is not enough talk of exactly WHY the kids are eating pizza for breakfast and processed nuggets with a five-page, completely unpronouncable ingredient list, and iridescent-pink milk for lunch (much of it boils down to the lack of money for fresh-food initiatives and a completely convoluted USDA food classification system where French fries are considered a vegetable), but the bottom line is this:
This kind of food is what is contributing to the childhood obesity problem in this country, and it needs to stop. Now.
Jamie Oliver is shining the spotlight on Huntington to expose a problem found in every school in the country. He is attempting to completely revamp school cafeteria food, so that students are offered healthy, freshly prepared meals every single day.
But the problem is bigger than school lunch food. We have to change not only what we’re feeding our kids in school and at home, but also the way our kids think about the food they eat.
Midtown member Christina Le Beau, author of Spoonfed, a blog that focuses on ways to help parents empower their children to make healthy-eating choices, says, “We shouldn’t be treating our kids like mindless eating machines who aren’t worthy of real food. Children need nutrition, not government-subsidized calories disguised as nutrition. The only reason kids get stuck in the rut of eating so-called ‘kid food’ like chicken nuggets and colored milk is because that’s what adults think kids eat. And adults think that because food marketers have made it so easy to turn off the common sense and reach for the quick fix.”
It doesn’t have to be this way.
My three-and-a-half-year-old daughter has never eaten a chicken nugget. She eats edamame by the handful, and recently recoiled at the chocolate chip cookie the nice woman in the Wegmans bakery offered to her, because she wanted the fruit flats she was used to receiving instead. Kids can learn to make good food decisions. I won’t say it’s easy (and my children certainly do not eat 100% healthfully every single day), but we can guide them in the right direction and help them understand why potato chips and deep-fried Twinkies are not good for their little bodies.
I recently read Bean Appetit: Hip and Healthy Ways to Have Fun with Food, written by Shannon Payette Seip and Kelly Parthen. This pair founded Bean Sprouts, a kids’ cafe and cooking school in Middleton, Wisconsin. The authors are on a mission to encourage kids to get excited about healthy eating by offering them nutritious food in a fun and hands-on atmosphere. The book is fantastic because it teaches parents how to involve their children in making their own healthy food that’s so appealing kids are certain to gobble it right up. My older daughter loves the dragonfly sandwich made from whole wheat pita, one baby dill pickle, slices of turkey breast, fresh fruit, and other yummy ingredients.
We can’t afford not to make the effort for good nutrition. Our children’s lives are at stake.
As Midtown members, you’re undoubtedly committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle for yourself and for your family.
So I’m curious. If you’re watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, what do you think about the show?
If you have children, what are your thoughts about the school lunch program in their school? How do you feed your kids when they’re at home?
Here’s something you already know: Losing weight is really, really hard to do.
Here’s something you may not know: It’s entirely possible to drop pounds, inches, and body fat if you possess the right combination of perseverance, willpower, self-belief, and determination.
And having a highly qualified team of trainers providing you with support and encouragement along the way doesn’t hurt either.
In January, over 400 people signed up for the “I Lost It At The Club” weight-loss competition. This group, which included both Midtown staff and members, participated in a three-month-long contest to see who could achieve the greatest success in the following categories:
Highest Total Percentage of Weight Loss
Greatest Percentage of Body-Fat Loss
Greatest Number of Inches Lost
Midtown trainers weighed each participant once a week, and provided those competing with nutrition seminars and weight-loss tips.
The tough job of actually losing the pounds, inches, and body fat, however, was left up to the participants. They exercised at the club. They ate healthfully. They resisted the temptations to have seconds, to skip a workout, to hit the couch instead of the StairMaster.
At the end of the three-month-long competition, the elite members of this group received their payoff. The winners of the “I Lost It At The Club” competition received some great prizes, including private tennis lessons with Ajay, personal training sessions, a catered, healthy dinner for four from the Cafe, and a spa prize package.
Some of the winners participated in a photo shoot for an upcoming issue of Spirit Magazine, wearing new clothes from L’Avant Garbe.
But the best prize of all?
The knowledge that hard work pays off, and as a result, their new bodies are stronger, fitter, and healthier for it.
Congratulations to all of those who lost weight, inches, and body fat through this competition!
Here are the winners in each category:
Highest Total Percentage of Weight Loss: Kevin Monaghan
Greatest Percentage of Body-Fat Loss: Marie VanGraafeiland
Greatest Number of Inches Lost: Gerry Stryker
Did you participate in “I Lost It At The Club”? If so, how did you lose weight?
In high school and college, I was the classic bookworm. I studied. I co-edited my high school paper and wrote for my college one. I read stacks of books and wrote short stories and poetry. I ate whatever I wanted, and didn’t give much thought to what I was putting into my body. My eating habits were awful. I was the only vegetarian I knew who didn’t eat vegetables.
One day, I stepped on the scale and was horrified by the number staring back at me. I turned to my sister, a long-time runner, and asked her about her sport. She encouraged me to lace up my sneakers and get back into shape. That was almost seven years ago.
I ran 30 miles a week and was in the best shape of my adult life. Running had given me back my strength, my energy, and my body. I was addicted. On the one day a week I did not run, I felt as if I had accidentally worn my slippers to Wegmans. Something was just off.
I set a goal to train for a half-marathon.
Of course, my journey has had detours. My detours are now three and 17 months old.
In 2006 my daughter was born, and 30 miles a week, plus a full-time job, plus freelance work was no longer possible. Instead, I ran 20 a week, and while it wasn’t enough, it had to be enough.
Image Courtesy of Timtak
In 2008, my twins were born. And a life that seemed chaotic before their arrival suddenly morphed into the very definition of mayhem. Running was squeezed into the crevices. Five miles one week, fifteen the next, and three the week after that. I had no schedule. No rhythm. And certainly no speed. They had colic for six months. I functioned on less than five hours of broken sleep a night until well past their first birthday.
My runs suffered.
And in October of last year, I stopped running. We moved. I had taken on a number of large freelance projects. I had three children under the age of three. I told myself that there wasn’t time. That I would start again soon. That there would be plenty of time for running in the future.
It was the wrong decision.
Running makes me a better writer. It makes me a better mother. It makes me a better human being. It is something that is mine, and mine alone. Whether I am on a deserted road or on the treadmill at Midtown surrounded by fellow runners, I am completely centered, focused, and driven. My outside distractions, my kids, my deadlines, my mountainous piles of laundry cease to matter in the slightest.
I needed to find a way to bring running back into my life.
In February, I joined Midtown. The club has, in many ways, given me back my life. I am “me” again.
I drop off my children in Kidtown, where a wonderfully kind, patient, and dedicated staff takes incredible care of them. I can complete my runs knowing that they are in a safe and fun environment, which means so much to me. The social scene of the club is something I’m looking forward to enjoying as well. My family and I attended the Bunny Brunch recently, and we all had a blast.
My Midtown story isn’t that different from yours, minus, perhaps, the Twinsanity. Each of you has made healthy living a priority. Each of you belongs to Midtown (or would like to) for a reason. Whether it’s the pursuit of a lifestyle change, a fitness goal you want to attain, or a sport you want to perfect, Midtown is serving an important purpose, and I would love to hear about it. Write a comment, use the form on the Contact page, or send me an email at Kristi@meetme-atmidtown.com.
This blog is for you, Midtown’s members and future members. It will feature member profiles, an “Ask the Trainer” series, commentary on current health news, and special posts, such as “Midtown’s Best-Kept Secrets,” which will highlight aspects of the club you might not know about. And of course, I want to hear your ideas, too. If you have a suggestion for a post on this blog, please share it.