International Women’s Day Can Be Any Day

March brings many events to our attention. Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day (IWD), St. Patrick’s Day, and March Madness are just a few well-known commemorative dates. According to the National Day Calendar, there’s more where that came from and it’s hard not to relate to these initiatives. They all share a common base, to recognize actions to be made aware of and/or to celebrate those who have made an impact.

Zumba instructors Jen Gilmore, left, and Felice Merzel Danielson, Zumba Fitness Instructor & PoundFit Instructor at ZING Fitness Zumba studio are putting the fun into fitness for residents of The Summit of Plantsville, CT.

IWD is both a shout out to all women achievers and those that make the world a better place. In Southington, two individuals have been doing just that. Zumba instructors Jen Gilmore and Felice Merzel Danielson, Zumba Fitness Instructor & PoundFit Instructor at ZING Fitness Zumba studio provide exercise for inbound patient/residents of The Summit in Plantsville.

The idea came about as a way to bring variety of exercise to folks that typically have a routine in place. “The residents are waiting for us, the dancing ladies, at the door,” Gilmore said. “We wanted to bring Zumba to patients at The Summit, because exercise can help in many more ways than just physical,” added Danielson. “It’s about connecting with people and being social, that can really help improve the quality of someone’s day. We call it ‘Zingfit Zumba through the ages’ at The Summit because it’s something everyone can do!” Classes held at The Summit take place Friday mornings at 9:30 am.

The Summit At Plantsville is short-term rehabilitation, long-term, respite, hospice and dementia care facility. The Zumba classes add fun to physical activity, with lively music and movements. Safety is well accounted for, says Danielson, with Occupational Therapists present during sessions. “We modify the sets according to ability of each participant.”

Gilmore and Danielson share their story here: Their actions are a reminder that putting your best intentions into the world can be something that happens everyday, if you want it to. The theme for IWD is #BeBoldForChange. The next time you see something you’d like to change, remember it only takes one step, one action to affect change. Why not start there?

For ZING Fitness Zumba class schedules and costs use email: or visit their Facebook page for more information.





Notes From The Pavement

I’m running again, albeit slowly. Today’s route of 3.16 miles took me longer than I’ve done it previously, in my ‘better shape’ days. That’s to be expected. When you slack off for two years and find your way back to the pavement, it doesn’t matter how long it takes.

Honestly I didn’t really even take note of the time exactly. It had to be about 5:15 – 5:20 when I started. Thoughts I notice are typical: how exposed am I to a loose dog? I had just started to run when I hear a pooch crying. I turned around and saw a lab, sitting outside calling to its owner. I’m always just a bit wary that the animal will stir by the sight of a human, compared to the steady flow of traffic.

Doing intervals is good. There’s no guilt if I stop running to regulate breathing. There’s always the next mailbox post to run towards after pacing with long, walking strides. I noticed one homeowner took to the afternoon to remove their Christmas decorations in March, just in time for St. Patty’s Day.


Savage St. Loop – Southington, CT

Garbage seems to be all over the road. Not just discarded soda bottles, but floss sticks and flattened metal pieces of indistinguishable objects gone rusty. Cigarette butts make me want to run faster, but my legs feel heavy. To my surprise the end of the loop was in sight. It’ll be nice when the grass turns green and the weather gets warmer. In the meantime, one day of exercise is one step closer to health.



Running: One Step at A Time

It’s been a long time coming, but I think I found my way back. To running that is. It’s unclear why I stopped especially when I did. My workouts consisted of three to four times per week running anywhere between three to five miles. I completed four 5k races within one year, improving my time with each race. I’m not competitive with anyone but did enjoy seeing and feeling the effects of being in decent shape. The longest distance I’ve ever run is probably about eight miles but I can’t be scientific about it.

I kept track of my road running efforts using Mapmyrun. It’s a nifty program that creates mileage maps of where you run. It can even calculate calories burned, I guess depending on the time you clock the distance.  I refer to 2010 as the year of my best running.

It feels tentative but I think the funk that has taken hold since 2010 is losing its grip. Why, I wonder, does somebody just suddenly stop doing the things that make them feel healthy and vie for inertia? My best guess is depression. Suffice to say there’s enough life stresses that can cause depression. The trick is knowing that and in spite of recognition, figuring out how to counteract the ugly beast!

An impetus towards getting back on track has been a 6 week challenge to realign eating habits paired with exercises while watching television. The idea of watching Scandal and working on my abs simultaneously kind of feels scandalous!! So far, it’s been going well with the exception of some lower back pain. Exercising actually helped after laying off for one day – so it seems the body remembers what feels good. That’s what I’m telling myself.

I revisited my profile on Mapmyrun and calculated my distance today and was pleasantly surprised. I ran nearly 2.41miles in about twenty-five minutes. I stopped a few times to get used to the pace. Considering I haven’t run in some time – I was happy! It felt great to move about.

A working mantra – running, like any endeavor, is best accomplished one step at a time.

Lunch Laps Yield Friday Moment

The drizzle today didn’t seem too inviting for a hike during lunch. Instead I ventured out for a walk, wearing my festive green hoodie. There’s a flat back road near my office that is relatively traffic free, and I thought if I carried an umbrella I could get in at least twenty minutes – enough to burn 100 calories or so.
After ten minutes at a brisk pace, the dampness felt refreshing. Some brush along the way had been trimmed back and I could smell the wood from the fresh cut. Mounds of yellow grass looked like hay and I wondered how long it would take for color to grow back into the long stringy blades.
Textures From A Rainy Day
Grass and Branches – Wallingford, CT
Bronze Body on Rock – Stonybrook, NY
Trash was mixed in with dead leaves. Once summer comes the bottles and wrappers that  were tossed at the landscape would be hidden. Shades of blue and yellow were what I could see and except for an odd photo of a rock wall, the images seemed to look good together. 
A favorite blogging site I subscribe to does a weekly feature called ‘Friday Moment’ where users post an image without words. I’m inspired from that tradition, but added text here because of the newness of this site.
I hope you enjoyed today and have had a moment of discovery today too!