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Archive for "Health"

I am Officially Fully Vaccinated

Posted on April 21, 2021 by under Health, Life.    

I received the second dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine yesterday so I am officially fully vaccinated. Here’s a picture I took when I got my first dose of the vaccine at the old library a few weeks ago. The whole operation was super efficient. Having printed my form ahead of time, I was in and out in less than 30 minutes counting my mandatory observation time.


I was going to go back to the library for my second dose but the vaccine is now widely available. Rather than going downtown again, I scheduled my second vaccine at the Walgreens in Andover just down the street from our house. That part was no difficult but it took some doing for me to cancel my original appointment at the library because I couldn’t figure out where to cancel my appointment on the website. I had to actually find the email they sent me about the appointment and cancel it from there.

It was nice to be able to get it at Walgreens because (a) I didn’t have to contend with downtown and (b) I actually got to walk around the store during my mandatory observation period so I wasn’t stuck just playing on my phone. I used the time productively to pick out a card for a friend who is having a birthday celebration this weekend.

I have heard of people having issues after getting vaccinated and Brian, who is borderline anti-vaxxer (I say this because he has never gotten the flu shot ever and completely against the idea of getting vaccinated), never hesitates to tell me these horror stories of people getting sick. Other than my vaccination arm being sore, I’ve experienced no complications whatsoever.

Anyway, I’m hoping that this will encourage him to get vaccinated. I hate that he’s dragging his feet and won’t do it. Can you guys help me convince him please?

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Group Fitness Kickoff Event at VASA

Posted on January 15, 2021 by under Community, Events, Health, Zumba.    

I did very little Zumba last year because of the pandemic and other things. By the end of 2019, my addiction to pickleball had reached new heights and I decided that I need to cut back on my Zumba and Aqua Zumba classes to free up more time to play pickleball. I had already given up my Sunday morning Aqua Zumba class at South YMCA (Brynden took it over) and so I started 2020 with only seven classes. I wasn’t going to stop there, though. I had already plans to get rid of other classes, the first one being my Saturday morning Aqua Zumba at VASA Harry. Liz had actually hired someone to take it over for me starting in March.


I started 2020 with seven classes but I was gradually and systematically getting rid of classes one at a time to make room for pickleball. And then COVID hit. All the gyms closed (along with other local businesses) at the start of the pandemic. So I went from teaching seven classes to none. I guess I didn’t need someone to take over that Aqua Zumba class in March after all because, when March rolled around, there were no classes happening at all. Anywhere.

When the gyms reopened, I brought back only one class — my Monday night Zumba class at VASA Harry. I wanted to be available for pickleball in the evenings and weekends, and play a lot of pickleball is exactly what I did. Over the summer, in addition to playing in the evenings, I was even playing at 5 AM on most weekdays. Pickleball completely ruled my life last year.

But then as fall approached and the sun began to rise later and later, I couldn’t play before work anymore. We were mostly playing at Seneca Park, and we couldn’t play without the sun because there are no lights there (except for the one security light, which isn’t really enough). That’s when I decided to look for other options — enter my Wednesday morning (5:30 AM) Zumba class at VASA Woodlawn. This actually gave me the idea to add more classes. If I know exactly what days of the week I’m devoting to pickleball then I can teach classes on the other days. Seven classes was clearly too much but I could add a few more classes and maintain a good balance. This leads us to where we are today.

Last year I turned down a lot of Zumba events because I fully committed myself to pickleball. I decided this year my time would be split between the two so when the VASA team decided to have a group fitness sampler extravaganza on the first Saturday of the year, January 2, I volunteered to help. I’m really glad I did because it reminded me of how much I enjoy these Zumbathon events.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from that day…


We had 30-minute sampler sessions of STRONG and the other formats in the studio and held two hours of Zumba in the gym.


I got to lead a few songs along with my fellow Zumba instructors.





And I got to see Jessie (above) and Charis (below). I hadn’t seen them in forever.


Here’s a group pic of some of our Zumba instructors at VASA. Of course, it’s hard to tell who is who because of the masks. Not ideal but necessary given the current situation with COVID. I really can’t get infected right now because I’m still within my 90 days of immunity (some say you could even been immune for up to eight months) but I still wear my mask any time I’m around a group of people mostly for everyone else’s benefit and comfort.


We didn’t wear our masks while exercising just when we were standing around together. Masks or no masks, social distancing or not, it was a great time. It made me realize how much I love group exercise and participating in these events. I’m glad I decided to devote more time to teaching my group fitness classes in 2021.

Here’s current group fitness schedule:

VASA Harry
Monday – Zumba at 6:30 PM
Wednesday – Aqua Zumba at 6:30 PM
Sunday – Aqua Zumba at 9:00 AM

VASA Woodlawn
Wednesday – Zumba at 5:30 AM
Saturday – Aqua Zumba at 9:00 AM

Seven classes was clearly too many and one was not enough so we’ll see how this balance thing works out with five classes a week this year. Until next time. GNG.

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We Both Got COVID and Survived

Posted on December 23, 2020 by under Health, Life.    

Besides the mandatory stay at home order earlier this year which I strictly followed, I pretty much continued to play pickleball with my normal play groups and teach my Zumba classes (once the gyms reopened). We weren’t going to parties or anything like that but I continued to pursue all of my favorite activities, including playing bingo at Chicken N Pickle on Sundays. Anyway, I was just thinking to myself, “Wow! I can’t believe I got through the whole year without getting COVID.” Well, the universe responded, “Not so fast, Chingy!”

I was feeling pretty lucky for not having contracted the virus but also wondered if I was one of those lucky people who had already had it but just didn’t have any symptoms. I’ve known a few people like that. One of them being Brian’s grandmother. She got COVID around the end of October and didn’t have any noticeable symptoms at all. Also, I’ve had some friends who were positive for the antibodies which meant they’d had COVID already and just didn’t realize it. I always thought I would be one of these lucky people until the day I started exhibiting symptoms and was proven completely wrong.

I play in a couple of pickleball leagues at Chicken N Pickle and, much to my friend Steve’s displeasure, everyone is pretty casual about the whole COVID thing. Naturally, we don’t wear masks while we are playing and sometimes we are pretty casual about putting our masks back on because we’re usually eating or drinking. And, throughout all of this, there’s a lot of socializing that happens. I mean, we’re not hugging on each other but we are chatting and visiting like normal.

Anyway, on Wednesday, December 2, my friend Brooke had another friend fill in for her for our competitive women’s doubles league because she wasn’t feeling well. I texted her the next day to see how she was feeling and that’s when I found out that she tested positive for COVID. Then I’m thinking, I’m not feeling great either and started to wonder if I had it too because we were together at bingo the Sunday prior. Anyway, I was due at the doctor’s office the next day on Friday morning so they could draw my blood and complete my lab work before my annual physical the following Friday, December 11. Brian reminded me that the doctor’s office couldn’t see if I have any symptoms or if I’ve been exposed to someone positive for COVID. I’m like, “Let’s see what they say. Also, if there’s a chance I have COVID then they really need to see me because I want to be tested.”

Sure enough they couldn’t draw my blood because the area where they do the lab work is kind of an open area and they can’t risk me infecting other patients. The nurse did say that our doctor could see us later in the in the afternoon for COVID tests. My symptoms were pretty mild at this point — just fever and body aches — and Brian didn’t have any symptoms yet but I insisted they test him as well because I was pretty sure if I had it then I’d given it to him already.

My symptoms started out pretty mild on Thursday and then getting a bit worse on Friday. They were so mild at first that I actually contemplated still playing pickleball with my normal Friday night play group and then having a poker tournament at our house on Saturday night. However, I didn’t want to responsible for infecting other people so on Thursday I pulled the trigger and let my pickleball friends know that I wouldn’t be able to play for the next two Fridays. One of my friends in the group, Chris, immediately replied with “Where are you playing instead?” Assuming that I was playing elsewhere and that’s why I wasn’t playing with them. I explained that I was exposed to another friend who tested positive for COVID and could potentially have it so I’m quarantining. And then my other friend Kimberly started freaking out because we sat together while we ate dinner after league on Wednesday night and she was worried that I might have given it to her. That’s the scary thing with this virus. You don’t know when you have it because sometimes the symptoms are so mild or they start much later so, unless you’re completely isolated, there is a huge risk of contracting it from someone.

Besides pulling the plug on the poker game, I had to let my friend Quinton know about the situation because he was originally going to stay with us on Saturday night. He was coming into town to play in the inaugural pickleball invitational tournament at Chicken N Pickle, staying for the poker tournament, and then spending the night at our house before heading back home. Anyway, since we canceled the poker tournament due to potential COVID exposure, I figured he probably wouldn’t want to stay with us that Saturday night. That was the other bummer about the COVID thing. I was going to spend Saturday at Chicken N Pickle, watching the pickleball tournament and livestreaming for those at home but I couldn’t do that because (a) I had to quarantine and not expose anyone else to the virus I potentially had, and (b) I was feeling really sick by Saturday and could barely function so I really couldn’t even if I wanted to.

Speaking of foiled plans, I also notified my friend Lauren right away about our situation because she was visiting and was going to stay with us Wednesday, December 9, through Sunday, December 13. If we had COVID then she couldn’t be around us. And, even if we did test negative, we would still be in the middle of our 14-day quarantine period because the symptoms sometimes do not manifest right away. Anyway, we had pickleball and dinner plans and all of that stuff that now had to be scrapped because, not only was I not feeling well, but I was potentially sick with a virus that could be fatal to some people.

So Friday afternoon we get tested by our family physician. Check out the video above of Dr. Hane doing the test on me and also on Brian, who was a big baby about it. Brian, because he doesn’t really have any of the symptoms yet, is convinced he doesn’t have it so we social distance at home by sleeping in two different rooms and also, whenever we watched movies, we sat on opposite ends of the couch. This goes on from Friday night to Sunday night when we finally get a phone call about our test results.


This is how far apart we were watching Mulan on Friday night.


Normally when I’m sick, Brian exiles me to the guest bedroom on the other side of the house but this time, since my germs were already all over the master bedroom, I got to stay in the master and Brian slept in our upstairs guestroom. Interestingly enough, this would have been the room that Lauren would have slept in during her visit. Anyway, Brian rigged up one of our video cameras to still keep an eye on me even though we’re sleeping apart.


Here’s a picture of us still social distancing on Saturday. Of course, by now I am super sick and Brian is still somewhat okay. We don’t have energy to do much of anything and we can’t really go anywhere because we are quarantining so we just watch movies all day. We watched Peppermint, which was actually pretty good, and The Prom, which Brian immediately regretted agreeing to watch once he realized it was a musical. To be fair, neither of us knew it was a musical. We just saw a short clip (one of the funnier moments in the movie – that’s how they bait you into watching) that was hilarious and we thought we needed something light after Peppermint. Anyway, Brian would rather not have watched that second movie (he’s not really into musicals with a few exceptions) but we survived.

When we finally get our results on Sunday night, I am so relieved. I mean, I felt bad that Brian was sick with COVID too but I was tired of sleeping apart and I was ready to be done with the whole social distancing inside our own house nonsense. Also, I was kind of glad that we were both sick at the same time because then we completed our quarantine in half the time. Had I been sick first and then Brian been sick after me then we would have had to quarantine twice as long. At least when we were done with our quarantine, we were done, and didn’t have to wait for the second round of quarantine to finish. Also, it meant we were in it together.

Oh, another interesting bit I learned during this time is that, when you’re positive, you only have to quarantine for ten days. Our doctor told us that ten days after the onset of our symptoms we were free to resume normal activities because by then we would no longer be shedding the virus and there was no more risk of infecting others. Of course, I’m thinking to myself, I better feel good in ten days because if I’m still feeling achy all over and can’t sustain an upright position for extended period then what’s the point of being free?

On Sunday, December 6, after spending most of the weekend horizontal, I actually feel pretty good and I was like, “Wow! That was it?” I thought I was done — but I was wrong. I woke up Monday and all my symptoms were back with a vengeance. The nice thing is, I’m working from home so I’m not exposing anyone to the virus, and I was in training that week so it wasn’t a tough week. There’s never a good week to be sick but there were worse weeks to be sick. As much as working remotely is a blessing because I didn’t have to quit working, the downside is I think it made my recovery longer. Most of my week was spent sitting at my desk, participating in training, when I really could have benefited from being in bed and resting — which is pretty much what I did every break and every lunch. Most days I didn’t even eat lunch because, not only did I not have the strength or appetite to eat, but it was quite pointless because I couldn’t taste things anyway (unless it was sweet). I lived on pineapple chunks and grapes the week I was sick because that was pretty much all I could taste. I could also taste Pepsi but I did my best to resist because soda isn’t good for you when you’re well and much less when you’re sick.

After the whole Sunday-Monday debacle whenever I had bouts of feeling well I knew not to get too excited because often I would feel better and then I would feel bad again. I was pretty much on this crazy roller coaster of symptoms all week. It wasn’t until Monday, December 14, that I really started to feel better. I didn’t know how I would be so I had subs lined up to teach my Monday and Wednesday Zumba classes that week but I actually starting to feel somewhat normal. Although, on my Monday, day 11, I knew not to get too excited because I had been on this roller coaster and I wasn’t sure if it was just another one of those brief moments of reprieve. I woke up on Tuesday and still felt fine and I was like, “Maybe it is really over?” On Wednesday, I still felt pretty good and so I made the decision to play in the pickleball tournament for my women’s league. That’s another blog on its own though which I will write about next.

Until then, I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe. GNG.


We Made It To Labor Day

Posted on September 2, 2019 by under Health, Zumba.    

I taught my final outdoor water class today at South YMCA. This year as been the best year for me for water classes. First, I picked up some extra classes, so instead of teaching only one Aqua Zumba class like last year (and only during the summer), I’ve actually been teaching an average of four Aqua Zumba classes each week. In the peak of summer, I was actually teaching five water classes.

I always like learning new things so I was super excited to have the opportunity to teach Water Walk this year. I really didn’t want to teach it at first but there was no one else available so I took a couple of classes and shadowed another instructor a couple of times and then I jumped right in. I still prefer teaching Aqua Zumba but I’m happy that I can now add Water Walk to my repertoire.


Another cool thing is that I’ve had some friends visit my water classes, which I appreciate so much. My friend Stephanie came out to South YMCA a couple of times. I love it when Stephanie comes to take class because she really knows what she’s doing and it’s fun to watch her do the exercises in the water. I also like getting her feedback. She knows her stuff so it helps me get better.


Brynden got to shadow me a few times before summer was over. She completed her Aqua Zumba training at ZINCON this year so she’s now licensed to teach the format. She’s been doing a few songs in class and I look forward to her teaching her own Aqua Zumba classes. She’s going to be great!

Now that outdoor water classes have wrapped, here’s my Aqua Zumba schedule going forward:

  • Sunday 10:30 – 11:15 AM at South YMCA
  • Sunday 12:00 – 1:00 PM at North YMCA (we are taking a break during the month of September, though)
  • Thursday 5:45 – 6:45 PM at Genesis West Central
  • Saturday 8:45 – 9:45 AM at VASA Fitness

If you’ve never tried Aqua Zumba before, I highly recommend you do. It is an amazing workout and one that’s not as impacting on knees and joints. I hope to see you at the pool sometime!

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Have You Tried BOGAFIT Yet?

Posted on August 28, 2017 by under Health, Things to Do.    


Brian and I got to try BOGAFIT for the first time last week and neither of us fell in the water! Granted, I played it pretty conservatively. I didn’t do any jumping jacks or squat jacks on the board. Actually, I kept my feet firmly planted for the most part. Balancing on the board takes a bit of getting used to and I suspect I won’t be doing any crazy moves for a while.


Unfortunately, BOGAFIT isn’t included in your YMCA membership and requires a $35 monthly fee. However, they’ve got some free demos coming up at the Downtown YMCA. If you’ve been wanting to try it, this is your chance.

It is a fantastic workout and I’m actually considering signing up. I just need to check the schedule to make sure that it’s offered at a time that we can consistently make since you do have to pay for it. I don’t want to sign up and then have to miss.

If you have tried BOGAFIT before, let us know how long you’ve been doing it and what you think of the class/workout in the comments below.

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