Keepin' it 100 with Willy T.
As we’re just a few days away from Halloween and as I conclude this month’s Snickers Series (if you’re joining us late, here’s the theme I’m referencing), I jumped on the opportunity to highlight the biggest chocolate-aficionado that I know: Emma Kirwan. She also happens to be my girlfriend, and today marks 2 years that we’ve been dating.
According to Emma, her “Snickers” is going for a walk because it clears her head and helps her reset her day. In honor of that, I asked her the following questions on a recent walk as we prepare for Hallowellness:
Q: What’s your favorite Fall/Halloween tradition? Why?
A: Watching Hocus Pocus! It’s a timeless film that gets anyone in the mood for Halloween.
Q. What’s your all-time favorite Halloween costume that you’ve worn?
A. My all-time favorite was Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz when I was 6 years old. I don’t think I took off my red ruby slippers for a few days after.
Q. What’s the most embarrassing costume you’ve dressed as for Halloween?
A. I don’t think I have an embarrassing costume I’ve worn because I was always so picky when I was younger. It was a little embarrassing the amount of times I was a witch because I got to wear cool black lipstick that I would never wear on any other occasion!
Q. If you could dress as a superhero for Halloween and get to keep their superpowers, who would it be and why?
A. Wonder Woman because she is a literal goddess. She has the strength and agility that I want to acquire. Plus she’s amazing and can do anything.
Q: Here’s a scenario: While trick-or-treating, you come upon the home of a witch. She presents you with the following conundrum. The piece of candy you choose from her selection will become the only type of candy you can eat for the rest of your life. What type candy do you choose?
A. Without a doubt, it would be a Milky Way. They’re the perfect combo of chocolate and caramel, and I could probably eat a whole bag in one sitting.
Q. Settle this hot debate: Should Candy Corn be sold year-round? Why/Why not?
A. Absolutely not!! It is only good once a year, when you’re carving pumpkins or dressed in costume. Anytime else is not nearly as enjoyable.
(For the record, I completely disagree and think Candy Corn should be sold year-round. We decided to save this topic for a later discussion - ha!)
Emma is a yogi and wellness-promoting graduate student. She obtained her Bachelor’s of Social Work from James Madison University in May 2017 and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Sport and Recreation Leadership at JMU. She also serves as the Graduate Assistant for JMU’s Office of Admissions. Her two biggest loves (in no particular order) are running and donuts. She’s a Leslie Knope wannabe and aspires to work with students and spread positivity.
Thank you to everyone who has read and supported my blog throughout the Snickers Series! A special thanks to Rachel Nicely, Mark Iturriaga and Kyle Harmon for guest-writing this month.
And to Em - Happy Anniversary: You’re the real MVP!
Creating a sense of community is key when connecting to active agers in group fitness classes. These participants want to be challenged while having a great time in class. As an instructor, balancing those two can be a challenge. Whether you are a seasoned instructor skilled in teaching active agers or new to that demographic, here are six tips for helping your participants stay forever fit.
Our principal investigator, Steven, had the opportunity to write a blog for ACE Fitness. Click here to learn Six Ways to Stay Forever Fit.
“Music such a strong word with an even stronger sound it can rumble beneath your feet, cry in your ears, take away your fears, replace them with tears a never ending cycle of life’s greatest years the innovation and creation that freshens the mind and sterilizes the soul and only you will know how far it can go it can take us away to new places that we hope will last or take us back to then and dwell in the past covering every emotion with devotion of a single word creating a time in our life and a place in our hearts from yesterday to tomorrow the music keeps playing.” -Justin Thorne
This is my favorite quote on music because it amplifies the power that music can bring. Do you work out better with or without music? Chances are the answer is better. For my fellow group fitness instructors out there, you know that music is such a strong motivator when it comes to exercise. Choosing music for a group fitness class is crucial; therefore, we’ll be going behind the mic in today’s blog so you can be the next music mogul in class.
To start off some general tips on music: make sure it is reflective of your audience and your class. For example, teaching in a campus recreation facility and retirement home would require two completely different playlists. (For more insight on teaching active agers check out Steven’s latest ACE blog here). Additionally, a zumba class has a very different tone compared to a cardio kickboxing class.
Before you even sit down to plan your workout, I want you to think about your audience, the format, the time, and the mood or effect you want your music to have on your participants. One caveat to that, if you teach to the music, meaning you follow a 32-count, then you want your music to have the appropriate beats per minute. Disclaimer: I am still learning myself but here are my general tips:
Choose a song with positive lyrics and eases participants into the workout. Some of my current favorites are:
2002 by Anne Marie Jay Pryor Remix Version
Five More Hours by Deorro and Chris Brown
Main working block
Think about the lyrics and the beat here, try to match the music to your workout intensity. Remember some people are motivated by the words of the music, the beat, or even your cues.
Dinero by Jennifer Lopez
Level Up by Ciara
Youngblood by 5 Seconds of Summer
This section of the workout should indicate a shift which is slower.
Magic by BOB
New Rules by Dua Lupa
Everyone knows when it’s cool-down time when the song is relaxing and smooth.
Colors by Jason Derulo
Love Lies by Khalid and Normani
You might be asking where do I get good fitness music: we’ve got you covered! Here are some of our favorite finds:
Fitness Music Resources
Steady130- This website offers free downloadable mixes. With numerous categories you’re bound to find a mix that fits your needs!
Yes!Go- Subscription required; however, you can edit the music to your preferred BPMs. They have pre-made mixes or you can mix your own!
Power Music- A paid app where you can get access to unlimited fitness music.
Last but not least Spotify- For all my fellow broke fitness professionals out there this is a great option. Check out my profile if you ever need some inspiration.
To continue our Hallowellness journey through the month of October, themed classes are popular around the holidays. To change things up, check out Steady130’s Halloween Bash mix to bring some fun to your next class.
I hope you learned something new and maybe you’ll get a gig as a DJ one day. For now, know you have the power of influence every time you step behind mic.
An aspiring fitness music mogul,
Keepin’ it 100 with Willy T
When I moved into my full-time role at UNC, Kyle Harmon was a standout intern who showed me the ins and outs of what it truly means to be a Tar Heel. She absolutely walks the walk (maybe you’ll get the pun after reading the next paragraph) and never waivers from her positive attitude. She will definitely be back on this blog, so buckle your seat belts. Kyle keeps it REAL on this one:
“No more than three hours after Will texted me about writing for this series, I pulled my quad muscle. I was about to tell y’all how a Zumba or cycle session makes me feel like a new woman. But what happens when you can’t do the one thing that hits your reset button? It may not always be about the activity you do—maybe it’s more about being selfish, giving yourself the freedom and permission to clear your head, to breathe, to play. You can’t always go for that run, but maybe you can walk…”
Kyle is a graduate student at The University of Texas at Austin studying Public Health and Social Work. She graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she worked as a fitness instructor during her time as a student. Two years following her graduation, Kyle worked to create fitness and wellness programming at Campus Recreation and the university community as a whole. She is devoted to spreading health and happiness, and wants to create spaces for all to access opportunities to put their best foot forward, play, and prosper.
You can follow Kyle’s journey on Instagram at @kyleinharmony.
Disclaimer: this blog is not about hurricane safety; however, in wake of recent events I hope you know to not ride out an actual hurricane. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are facing the effects of storms in North Carolina and Florida.
Today, we revisit Steven’s previous blog, and discuss how to be channel resilience when riding out (metaphorical) storms in your life. Whether it be a breakup, a move, a job-loss, an unexpected death in the family; we all go through storms- sometimes it sprinkles, sometimes it rains, and sometimes it just straight down pours. Resilience is the ability to not just survive difficult situations, but also thrive and be stronger because of them.
Resilience, like wellness, is not constant, it is shaped by the stage of life we’re in or what we’re going through. Like a river, it ebbs and flows.
Recently through self-reflection, I haven’t been feeling like myself. I started a 9-5 job about a month ago and am not feeling fulfilled whatsoever. However, I knew that this was getting my foot in the door and I actively sought out the opportunities I wanted. Because I “rode out my storm” of dissatisfaction, I’m thrilled to announce I will start teaching group fitness classes next week! I haven’t taught in about two months. You’re probably aware I love teaching. No matter the subject, we are always students, there is always more we can learn.
Back to the subject at hand, I also don’t feel like my true self because my wedding is less than a month away now! Let me tell you, I am not the traditional bride. I HATE wedding planning. Weddings are time consuming, expensive, stressful, and there are so many event details and moving parts. In combination, these external life factors have taken a great toll on my happiness. However, I have chosen to believe in resilience, and the power of knowing there will be an end.
In the words of our girl Kelly Clarkson, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
After you ride out your storm, the sun will shine.
Your friend in wellness,
Keepin' It 100 with Willy T.
This one is powerful. Like, superpowerful (pun obviously intended). Marc and I originally met by working in the field of collegiate recreation, and he’s been an awesome source of support throughout my career. Hear from the King in the North himself on why he reads superhero comics to keep him going:
"My typical day is never the same. Being a creature of habit, it is sometimes difficult to navigate hectic days of meetings, projects, meetings, emails, meetings, connecting with staff, oh, and meetings!
Marc is currently the Executive Director for the Genesis Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, a community hub whose mission is to connect people in shared celebration, service, learning, and play! Previously, he worked for over 20 years in Student Affairs at 3 different institutions with the International Students Office, Residence Services, and 15 years with Campus Rec. Along with his Master of Leadership, he has extensive experience in developing leaders of the future and is committed to ensuring a respectful, collaborative, and engaging work environment which values inclusion, continuous development, and fun! In no particular order, he has defined himself as: Devout Partner | Lego Dad | Baller | Raps Fan | Comic Geek | Changemaker | Human | Lifelong Learner
Keepin' It 100 with Willy T
Last week’s blog metaphorically focused on my “Snickers,” or what I go to when I’m not feeling very “me” (here’s the blog if you need to catch up!). I encouraged friends to share with me what keeps them going and I received some awesome responses. So with this sweet treat in mind, I thought I’d share responses as we approach Halloween (or Hallowellness as Alicia coined it). Up first is Rachel Nicely, who keeps it 100 on why she exercises to ensure she’s giving her best self to those around her.
“With all the different roles that life demands, it is sometimes easy to get caught up in it all. Giving 100% of myself to those around me is on my every-day agenda, so I know that my cup needs to be completely full in order to serve those around me. When I’m not feeling my best, my go-to “Snickers” is without a doubt getting a solid lift or run in with my workout partner. Working out forces me to get out of my mindset no matter what kind of day I am having. It grounds me in a way that nothing else can! It reminds me how blessed I am to move my body is such an astounding way, while also allowing me to show gratitude for the opportunity to even have weights to lift or an environment to run in. Physical exercise refreshes my mindset and gives me a euphoric reminder of how lucky I am to live the life I do.”
Rachel is a junior at Radford University currently studying Allied Health Science. In addition to studying at Radford, she’s a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise. She loves inspiring others to be confident in themselves while also crushing goals not only inside the gym, but outside as well! She is employed at the Radford University Student Recreation and Wellness center working as the social media manager and as a personal trainer.
Who we are
Just a team of round pegs in a square hole changing the world one interaction at a time.
Look back at it