By JOHN GALLUZZO
South Shore YMCA
Indoor cycling can be foundational to a good health and wellness regimen. It challenges not only the body, but the mind, but for all who come through the far end of a class, there is a minor sense of euphoria.
“It makes my day when members tell me, ‘That was so hard! I feel amazing,’” said Kendall Connerty, a spin instructor for the South Shore YMCA.
The benefits are obvious, posted in lists all over the internet: calorie burning, for sure; shapelier legs and abs if you stick with it; and a sense of community with other spinners who persevere with you. The benefits can be physical and they can be mental. Add an underlying cause, and indoor cycling is good for the soul.
Each year, the South Shore YMCA raises $2 million to give away to people in need on the South Shore. Four special events anchor this effort: Enchanted Evening, Taste of the South Shore, Golf Classic and the Rodman Ride for Kids. To kickstart the fundraising for Rodman Ride, the Y holds April Spin-a-Thons at the Quincy and Emilson (Hanover) branches.
Funds raised during the Spin-A-Thons and the Rodman Ride are dedicated to the Y’s Inclusion Program, a suite of offerings for people with differing abilities. These programs can range from social skills programs for kids to unified basketball and tennis teams to the Hopefish swim program for young people with autism. They’re designed to open doors for everybody, to foster a sense of openness and community for all who walk through the doors of the Y.
On Wednesday, April 13, spinners will gather at the Quincy Y for either the early (8 am to 1 pm) or late (4 to 8 pm) session. They will each carry a donation that will count toward the Y’s Rodman Ride for Kids total, pooling their support to help underwrite future Inclusion programs at the Y. And they will spin.
Indoor cycling as a national craze started out simply enough, in a California garage in 1980, championed by Rolling Stone magazine as the next big thing in fitness in 1993. Although it’s evolved over time, with better equipment and even instruction techniques, it still comes down to the basic elements of motivation, understanding personal limits, heart rate awareness and breathing control. The best spin classes include several important components. The instructor can make or break the experience, as the good ones draw more out of participants than they ever knew they could give. Lighting changes can make things lively, rave-like. And adrenaline-pumping music can mean the difference between reaching the goal and almost getting there. As an added bonus for the evening session, to keep those pedals turning, the Quincy Y will present a live DJ, JG of MeggaToned Records.
“I love teaching spin,” said Connerty. “It’s wonderful to be able to encourage people to push themselves to greater limits than they believe.” She knows, too, that there are many reasons why her followers join her in class each day. “Sometimes,” she said, “it’s as simple as being an escape from the hassles of the daily grind, or an athlete accomplishing a challenging workout. Whatever the reason, I look forward to being the motivating force for members to achieve their fitness goals.
Add to it all the knowledge that by participating in Spin-A-Thon, we contribute to the growth of our neighbors, and it all makes sense. It costs just $25 to join the fun of the 2016 Spin-A-Thon. For more information on how to participate, contact Kristen Noonan, the South Shore YMCA’s Senior Director of Group Exercise, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (781)829-8585 ext. 8300.
The South Shore YMCA is a charity. For information on how to support its work through volunteering or donations, contact Mary Orne at email@example.com or 781-264-9400 ext. 3306.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month
As a leading organization in Youth Development, the South Shore YMCA is committed to educating our community on how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child abuse. While the Y is committed to child safety year-round, each April we add a special emphasis on raising awareness in our communities in support of this national movement by offering a variety of opportunities to promote child well-being and enhance child safety, including events such as Healthy Kids Day on Saturday, April 30th from 11 am to 1 pm at the Y’s Quincy and Emilson Branches and child protection training opportunities for staff and community members. Visit www.ssymca.org/safe-kids to explore valuable child protection resources with some key information that we hope will help you understand this community challenge.
Save the Date for Healthy Kids Day
The South Shore YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day is a free community event to get kids moving and learning and families living healthier. Healthy Kids Day is the Y’s national initiative to improve the health and well-being of families and to help them get a jump on creating a healthier summer. This year, events at both the Quincy and Emilson Branches will feature fun, active play and educational activities that will inspire kids to carry a spirit of excitement and exploration throughout their summer. Save the date! April 30, 11 am to 1 pm.
April Vacation Week Programming at the Y
Crazy Crafts! Use a variety of materials to get messy and create exciting craft projects. We will work with an array of materials and mediums, including paint, papier-mâché’, yarn, and more! Let your creative side run wild! For kids in grades 1 through 5, Tuesday, April 19 through Friday, April 22, 10 am to 12 pm. Cost: $80 Member; $120 Non-Member.