Saturday, December 16, 2017
You don't have to be an artist to create new dimensions on the canvas that is your life. Go beyond the common this year. Make 2012 a true expression of who you are. Enjoy the surprises you're sure to discover. This is the stuff of truly living ...

Creative You

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by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner

You don’t have to be an artist to create new dimensions on the canvas that is your life. Go beyond the common this year. Make 2012 a true expression of who you are. Enjoy the surprises you’re sure to discover. This is the stuff of truly living …

It’s a new year. And it’s time to let go of your fears and any perceived failures. Farewell to leftover negativities from a failed project, diet, or fitness plan. Spark your inner drive with the new and unknown. True, this takes some guts and maybe even a blindfold. Give yourself permission to proceed, without caution, just this once. Let exploring unknown territories be the catalyst for the new you of 2012.

Life coaches advise doing something that scares you at least once a year. Time to schedule it! That positive adrenaline rush propels us to go farther. It also instills self-confidence. Fearlessly pursuing your curiosities, which leads to further developing your individual sense of self and capabilities, produces greater self-esteem. Everyone deserves the joy of awakening a dream and living it. Until you set out, the contents of the dream itself may be a mystery.

Belly Dancing Techie

Tim Fehley, bellydancing1
Tim Fehley gets his belly dancing on!

For 22 years, member Timothy Fehley worked as a technician for an automotive manufacturer. His career led him to a management position, filled with stress and long hours. Growing obligations and an injury interfered with his workout routine, almost causing Timothy’s membership termination. An instinct turned doubt to commitment.  “I decided to take advantage of my membership and the many options offered at the Center,” says Timothy. 

Timothy got creative and explored a belly dancing class. As the only male member, he felt “quite nervous” upon entering. However, instantly Tim was put at ease by the warm welcome received. He was inspired by the intriguing movements of belly dancing and caring, charming classmates and instructor. ” I realized I was in more than just a class. I felt like part of a new family.” 

He talks the belly dancing lingo as he raves about his newly found hobby. “I especially love when Instructor Mihrimah treats us to a live drumming workout. It adds new energy to the class,” says this techie who discovered his inner exotic side.  

Instructor Mihrimah and her protégé.
Instructor Mihrimah and her protégé.

“Finding a class like this, at this time in my life, seemed too good to be true.  I look forward to being surrounded by people who help me clear my mind as I simultaneously learn new skills, have fun, and exercise.” 

Timothy’s newly discovered talent led him to his first on-stage performance. (Check off doing something scary at least once a year.) “Who would’ve thought someone with my background would end up performing on stage,” he comments, seeming rather amazed himself. 

Since then, Timothy incorporates dance and mindfulness into his life on a regular basis. (His words.) This instilled the confidence and innovative thinking he needed to make life changes, including a new career path. One step into a new class triggered a fresh direction in Timothy’s journey. “You never know where life will take you, if you let it. ”

Timothy remains the only male in his belly dancing class. “I hope my presence inspires others to leave their comfort zone and try something new.” The results go beyond fitness improvements. Who knows– you may even land a new career, show-stopping along the way.

(Not So) Set in Their Ways

Eight years ago, member Isabel See’s husband passed away. Since then, she slowly pieced back together her life. She made new friends, began exercising, and did some traveling. Her favorite destination: Being at the best spot in her life.

With two bad knees, Isabel needed a pre-surgery exercise program. She went directly to the Center’s pool for daily water workouts. This helped her recover more quickly from arthroscopic knee surgery than she had the first time. It also prepared her for two new knees through replacement surgery.

Isabel and her new knees grew quite comfortable over the past three months. She felt a fresh challenge was needed, and the pool prepared her well. She ventured beyond the comfort of the weightless pool workouts to land.  With some encouragement, she discovered Group Fitness BODYVIVE and Ramping classes.

Carol (left) and Isabel in their comfort zone.
Carol (left) and Isabel in their comfort zone.

During her fitness endeavors, she met two women who also experienced knee issues and subsequent surgeries. They became fast “sole” mates, venturing together from the comfort of the pool to land routines. Often aquatic fitness prepares one for the challenges of land routines. Many are amazed at what they can accomplish in the water’s buoyancy, despite injuries or rehabilitation dilemmas. See “Dealing with Chronic Pain: Working Out When You Hurt” at Even those unable to walk can practice balancing on one foot and then the other while submerged in water.

“I love the land classes. I realize I can do this! I have ‘land legs’,” shares Isabel. She recommends others try the unknown but advises them to discuss their condition, even if only first-time jitters, with Center staff. When instructors and trainers are aware of  issues, they can explain how to modify to fit your needs.

According to Isabel, her instructor’s post-surgery fitness advice guided her through a new routine. Previously, Isabel exercised at a circuit-training gym. Lack of supervision through this cyclical routine resulted in an injury.

Her friend, Carol Rosenthal, one of the three workout buddies, is healing an injured knee that developed from an imbalance after hip surgery. She, too, found the Ramping classes helped strengthen her knee. The third workout buddy, although unavailable for comment due to vacation, is Ramping to avoid need for an additional knee surgery.

Carol comments, “Doing something different worked well for all of us.” She advises, “Try something. If it isn’t user-friendly for you, try something else. Go for it!”

These women know what it takes. “I was very intimidated upon joining the land classes. I’m not a dancer of any sort and I can’t move fast. Then, I looked around and saw no one was perfect,” Isabel confides. She adjusted the movements to her skill level. “I wasn’t sure I could follow everything, so I did what I could. I was inspired by my classmates to go farther.”

The new land rovers with Instructor Rita Haake.
The new land rovers with Instructor Rita Haake.

Further instilling her confidence, Isabel realized how far she’d come through her aquatic work. “I can’t lift my knees as high as others. Yet, there are some who cannot do as much as I can. This motivates me to do more. It’s a great feeling,” she relates. She enthusiastically adds her kids are impressed with their mom’s progress.

This month, Isabel turns 63 years old. She is a grandmother to three. “I’m having the best time of my life. I never felt better.”

Never think something is too crazy or unreasonable. The impractical, zany attempts we make throughout life often lead us down a new path to self-discovery. Don’t hinder your potential. Evolve each moment to create a year beyond your wildest expectations. Give birth to a new you in 2012.

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