Sunday, September 26, 2010

What is the best workout you can do?

What is the best workout you can do? The one that you will actually do! In my opinion, this is the key to Zumba's success. Zumba has tapped into the fun factor and has created an exercise program that everyone can benefit from: novice exercisers to highly conditioned individuals. For someone who is just beginning an exercise program, what better way to feel successful than to join a class where "go at your own pace" is the mantra, you will start with the basics! And if you are highly conditioned, we will work together to challenge your cardio endurance and work large muscle groups with holds and pulses! There is truly something for everyone!
I have been thinking a lot about the "best" workout and I truly believe it is the one you will actually do! What does this mean? Consistency! Find something you love to do and keep doing it! Does this mean that you can only Zumba, or run or swim as your only exercise forever? Nope! But that is the topic for the next post!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


So this week I have been thinking a lot about fear. My oldest daughter, Erin, started Kindergarten on Wednesday at a new school. She had been to half day pre-school but this was her first time away all day. Every night she woke up with a bad dream that usually involved a lost lamb. We talked quite a bit about some of the things she could expect from her first day. Still, on the first day, when it came time for me to leave, she cried. I reminded her about all the great things we had talked about: learning to read, making friends, music class, recess, a brand new lunchbox! But did any of that matter? No, because Erin was scared and no amount of talking was going to fix it completely. So, fear of the unknown.
How many of us can relate? How many times have we put off doing something that we know will be good for us out of fear? Fear of rejection, fear of the unknown, fear of looking silly. How many wonderful things have we missed out on?
I think of this often in relation to exercise classes and specifically Zumba because of its dance component. One of the things I hear most often is, "Oh, I can't do that. I don't know how to dance." or "I'll look stupid." or "Everyone will be looking at me." I usually respond that I have no formal dance background. But I love music. And you don't come to a class already knowing how to do everything! What fun would that be? There would be no reason to come back. And finally, you won't look stupid and no one will be looking at you, they will be looking at me!
So wasn't my Erin lucky? She HAD to go to school and by being thrust into that new situation, she had, in her own words, "the best day ever!"
Isn't it time you had your best day ever? Let's conquer that fear together!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Zumba Saves the Day

What do you do when the power goes out in the middle of your Block Party Festival? Well, if you are the creative minds behind c.r.u.s.h. (Citizens for the Revitalization and Urban Success of Holyoke) you call in the Zumba instructors, Nataliya Yuzych and I were happy to oblige!
Luckily, c.r.u.s.h. had a battery powered generator that was able to provide just enough power to play our iPods and keep the party rolling! With everyone from c.r.u.s.h. volunteers, the mayor, and local teenagers participating, it made for lots of fun and a great way to introduce people to Zumba!
If you didn't get a chance to make it to the Great Holyoke Block Party, consider putting it on your schedule for next year. It was truly a community event with diverse music and food; from klezmer to salsa and from El Salvadorean to organic farming, there was something to please everyone.
As well, there was terrific information from Community Watch, local photographers, Vega Yoga and Creative Movement, KPAO (Kennedy Park Arts Outreach), Greater Holyoke YMCA, Nuestas Raices, Friends of the Holyoke Public Library and many more!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Welcome to Paper City Zumba with Kate O'Donnell

The idea for Paper City Zumba came from a good friend. She has lost over 100 lbs and has maintained her weight through a combination of Weight Watchers and home exercise videos. She came to my Zumba class at a local gym and loved it. Zumba spoke to her love of music, performance and voice; she is a classically trained singer with an amazing voice. She wanted more Zumba and the classes offered didn't fit into her schedule, it was hard to justify a gym membership when what she really wanted was more Zumba classes and more flexibility.

I realized that many people fall into this category and for lots of reasons. Busy schedules, busy lives, we all know how that is! And she was not the only person who shared this frustration with me. Thus, Paper City Zumba is taking Zumba out to the community and making it accessible to everyone. What does that mean? Classes are open to all fitness levels, no dance or fitness background required! The price is affordable, $5 drop in per class. What is stopping you?

Two brand new classes beginning 9/13/2010:
Mondays, 7:00pm, All Saints' Episcopal Church, Woodbridge Street, South Hadley, MA, $5
Tuesdays, 5:45pm, All Saints' Episcopal Church, Woodbridge Street, South Hadley, MA, $5

*All classes are 1 hour long, please arrive a few minutes early to sign in. Supportive sneakers, water bottle, small hand towel are recommended.