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Archive for "Hobbies"

Salsa Night at Enigma

Posted on May 10, 2021 by under Hobbies.    

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Ever since we’ve met my friend Greg, who is both an avid dancer and pickleball player, has been inviting me to various dance lessons and events across town. Most recently he told me about free salsa lessons at Enigma, a new nightclub in Old Town. The have a free lesson from 8-9 pm followed by open social dancing on Sundays. It just so happened that the Wichita Explorers club was planning an outing there on May 1 also so I told Greg I would be there. I’d basically kill two birds with one stone.

Unfortunately, on the one night that we decided to go, the normal dance instructor had been injured and they could not find another instructor to take their place. There was no dance lesson that night but we managed to make the best of it.

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Greg, who is a regular on Sundays, led us in a round of social dancing. Lucky for us, several people already knew the basics of bachata and salsa so we were able to take advantage of the space and the music and danced to a few songs. Brian danced a few songs and I got to dance with Greg too. Greg actually knows a bunch of combinations and is pretty good. Those lessons are definitely paying off!

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Overall, I really liked the layout of the place. The square bar is in the middle of the floor, right as you enter. It’s much better than having it against the wall and then when it’s busy you can’t even got to it.

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Beyond the bar is the dance floor. There was plenty of space for our group but, I imagine, it gets pretty crowded around 11 o’clock when everyone else shows up because the area is really not that big. Thankfully, Brian and I are never out that late. Back in the day, 11 or 11:30 was pretty much our cutoff. I’d expect these days we’d probably be on our way home by 10 o’clock if we did turn this into a regular, weekly thing like we used to back in our salsa dancing days.

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The lounge chairs all around the perimeter of the dance floor is also a nice feature so it’s quite convenient if you want to be a wallflower and just people-watch. I had a very positive impression of the place and would love to go back for dancing another night. Perhaps I could even bring all my Zumba and pickleball friends together. So many ideas are already swirling in my head. I can’t wait. Until then, GNG.

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Other Stuff Besides Food

Posted on May 7, 2021 by under Hobbies, Zumba.    

I know it seems like all I do is eat these days. I’m definitely feeling it. I’m currently at 135 lbs, up from my immediate post-COVID weight of 127 lbs from back in December. I’m not really doing anything to get fit beyond just teaching my group fitness classes and playing pickleball and I’m finding that I really need to do something because I can see and feel the additional weight on me.

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I took a short 4-week hiatus from teaching Zumba in April so I could play in a Monday night league with my friend Chris Wilson. I was supposed to resume my Zumba classes this week but we are short an aquatics instructor so I’m teaching the Monday night aqua class instead. It’s easier to find instructors who can teach Zumba because we have several on the VASA bench. Aquatics instructor are in short supply unfortunately. Or, I guess, fortunately for me because I actually enjoying teaching Aqua Zumba.

I’m currently teaching Aqua Zumba four times a week: Monday and Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings at the Harry location, and then Saturday mornings at the Woodlawn location. Once we Ivette returns or once we find another aquatics instructor, I’ll probably go back to teaching my Monday night Zumba class unless someone else wants to take it over. Then I would be free to participate in pickleball leagues on Monday nights. It can be quite tricky juggling multiple hobbies.

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Speaking of Aqua Zumba, it can be pretty hit-and-miss. I’ve had classes that range from 0-14 at VASA. Of course, when I was teaching at the YMCA, we had a much bigger pool and so many more members so some of my Aqua Zumba classes would average 30 students, specially in the summer time when we are outdoors. At VASA, I normally average 3-5. I would see 6-7 people on a good day and zero on bad days.

Having only a handful of participants is fine because our three-lane lap pool is quite small and can’t really accommodate that many people. Plus, it’s easier for me to learn names and connect with the members on a more personal level when there’s only a few of them.

I’m not quite sure what was going on this past Wednesday, though. At one point we had 14 people exercising with us in the pool. I think it’s the most I’d ever seen since I started teaching Aqua Zumba at VASA and it was quite refreshing. The more people we have in class, the more festive and party-like it is so I absolutely loved it.

This weekend I am teaching back to back classes on Saturday because I am filling in for Brynden’s Zumba class at Woodlawn. It works great because I’ll already be there to teach Aqua Zumba. I just need to end Aqua Zumba a few minutes early so I can put the portable stereo away and get ready for the next class. It’s a bit hectic but it’s the least I can do since Brynden is covering my Aqua Zumba class the following weekend so I can be at Picklemania. It’s the pickleball tournament fundraiser for my Rotary club. Plus, I have missed teaching Zumba. The month and a half of not teaching it feels like forever.

Besides teaching back to back classes on Saturday, I also agreed to play in the Kaycee Mac Pickleball Tournament at Chicken N Pickle from 11 o’clock in the morning to 2 in the afternoon. It seems like a lot but I’m pretty used to it. Before the pandemic I would teach three classes and play 2-3 hours of pickleball in the same day. That was usually on Sundays — my most favorite day of the week back then. Anyway, I thought I should write about something else besides food so you wouldn’t think I’m a complete slug. I have been pretty lazy lately but still quite active compared to the average Joe. I’m only lazy by Ching standards.

I guess that’s all the news I have for now. Have a wonderful weekend and will check in again next time. GNG.

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Wichita Pickleball Now Has an Official Website

Posted on May 3, 2021 by under Community, Hobbies.    

Meet Bill Mitchell. The man who inspired the new ictpickleball.com website.

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I met Bill while checking out McAdams Recreation Center a couple of weeks ago. As with all the new people I meet, I encouraged him to join the Wichita Pickleball Facebook group to connect with other pickleball players in the area. There’s only one problem. He doesn’t have a Facebook account. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this response. A lot of people these days are not Facebook. It got me thinking, how do we reach people who, like Bill Mitchell, are not on Facebook?

I came to one logical conclusion: we needed a website. And so ictpickleball.com was born. I had a couple of hours to spare and unused hosting space on brubakers.us so I made a simple website using WordPress. I purchased the ictpickleball.com domain from Go Daddy for less than $20 and then just forwarded the domain to the new WordPress site on my existing host.

Along with this, I also started an email list for those who want to stay informed. So now people who do not have Facebook accounts will have a way to keep up with what’s happening in our pickleball community without having to become part of the Wichita Pickleball Facebook group.

I don’t know why it took me a couple of years to do this. I think mostly I was too busy before and only recently had time to really think about things. Anyway, it’s live now and I hope that people find it useful.

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Singles Tournament Night

Posted on April 30, 2021 by under Hobbies.    

Earlier this year I began my journey to learn singles pickleball. I joined my first singles pickleball league. When it finished, I joined the next one. My second pickleball league ended last week with a league tournament. Unfortunately, due to lack of participation, it is the last one. Chicken N Pickle isn’t having a singles league this session, which makes me very sad.

The first session had 14 players – 8 men and 6 women. This last session only had 8 participants – 6 men and 2 women (just me and Anna). Anna ended up hurting her back so on our final night (the league tournament) I was the only female playing against 4 guys. There were only 5 of us who competed in the tournament.

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In the end, we all finished according to our league ranking. I was the third seed and finished in third place behind Caesar (number one) and Bryan (number two).

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Bryan put up a good fight but Caesar ultimately prevailed.

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Here’s a picture of Billy. He finished in fourth place.

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Here’s some video from the league tournament.

I really love playing singles but there’s just not enough interest in it for the league to continue. I guess if I want to play singles I will just have to arrange it myself.

Until next time. GNG.

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Tournaments are Back

Posted on April 22, 2021 by under Community, Events, Family, Hobbies.    

After a year of no events or gatherings of any kind, tournaments are finally back. It seems like there’s pickleball tournament every weekend this month at Chicken N Pickle. There were even two back to back last weekend, one on Saturday and one Sunday. Now that people are getting vaccinated, it seems everyone is getting more comfortable with being out and around other people.

Creating Tomorrows hosted a pickleball tournament at Chicken N Pickle a couple of weeks ago which I attended as a spectator because I didn’t know about it until last minute. We were at dinner at Carrabba’s and Joe just happened to mention that he had donated several prizes to this tournament. I normally play pickleball at noon at Nahola but made an exception because I wanted to support a cause that’s meaningful to my friend Joe.

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I didn’t get to play but I got to do the next best thing — write the bracket on the whiteboard. I love when Michael let’s me do it.

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Anyway, here are a couple of pictures of the tournament champs Mason McCanless and Caesar Naftzger who played as Big Caesar’s Pizza.

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After the tournament, I went home to get Brian and we both drove to the outdoor courts at Mulvane to surprise dad. We gave him a card and some gift cards for his birthday, which he always tries to keep on the DL.

It was a beautiful day for a drive and we had a nice visit with mom and dad and the entire Cannady clan who were all there playing with them. We didn’t get to play with them that time but I’m hoping we have more nice weather ahead and will have another opportunity to play pickleball with the family very soon.

Until next time. GNG.

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