When I asked Myrika Schneider, the studio director at PUSH Fitness in St. Paul, if the class she’d invited me to would kick my butt, she giggled.
“You’ll love it,” she said. “You’ll be with Connie.”
At 6 a.m. on a Tuesday morning, I logged into a virtual Tabata class — my first time doing the circuit exercise — taught by a 58-year-old Black woman named Connie Sheehan, the founder and owner of PUSH Fitness, from a living room in Chicago, where she’s caring for her mother who recently suffered a heart attack.
She did not have any weights or equipment, but her vibrant demeanor and energized presentation proved sufficient.
“Today is going to be the best day of your life!” she told the class, while “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors played in the background. “You didn’t know that when you woke up, did you?”
I’d caught the virtual bug after I canceled my gym membership a few months after the COVID shutdown, bought a discount exercise bike and started online spin classes.
The positive vibe of the instructors is infectious. It was also an important barometer. They could pedal at 120 revolutions per minute in a hip-hop spin class while rapping every word of Warren G’s “Regulate.” At that time, I had barely reached the humming phase of my pandemic fitness journey. I had — have — work to do.
“I’m here for you,” said Schneider, who teaches classes at PUSH Fitness. “I hope that I’m always giving that vibe and energy out.”
I am at this crucial stage as a 37-year-old African American man with a family history of diabetes and other ailments. It haunts me. The pandemic has only complicated my pursuit. Yes, I like to work out, but sometimes Netflix and chips are a welcoming distraction.
While African Americans have a disproportionate susceptibility to a variety of health challenges, the pandemic has only heightened our collective awareness as studies have shown we’re also one of the most vulnerable groups facing the coronavirus.
“As a voice for the Black community, it’s kind of our job to keep the message going,” said Maurice Buchanan, co-owner of Wurk, a fitness and boxing gym in Minnetonka. “Please take care of yourself, even if you’re at home.”
That’s why Sheehan and others like her act as critical motivators, especially as winter approaches and 2020 adds more chaos to its list of calamities. To muster the energy to lead people through any form of exercise — therapeutic for its participants — is an incredible task. For a Black instructor, it seems miraculous.
“I’ve never, ever had a workout where I said I wish I hadn’t done that,” Sheehan said. “Even if it’s hard, even if it’s like a crappy run, you’re still like, ‘OK, my body feels better.’ ”
This month, she’ll celebrate the fifth anniversary of PUSH Fitness, a gym she started in her 50s upon leaving the corporate world. After one class with Sheehan, it was easy
Football, food and aerial Yoga: Elli AvrRam’s first Maldives trip is sure to kick in your travel bug, amp up fitness goals – travel
Elli AvrRam’s sultry bikini looks, billiards-chess-football game and “very tough” aerial Yoga session in these throwback pictures from her first Maldives trip are sure to give you major weekend vibes
Updated: Nov 08, 2020, 18:16 IST
For those who are still locked in for safety reasons amid Covid-19 quarantine, Malang star Elli AvrRam has the perfect virtual escape to offer and her flood of pictures from the Maldives are proof. From the Bollywood diva’s sultry bikini look to billiards, chess and football game or “very tough” aerial Yoga session, the throwback pictures from her first Maldives trip are sure to give you major weekend vibes.
Elli has kept fans on Instagram hooked with her regular updates from the island nation and we can’t help but take travel and fitness inspiration from the same. While one picture showed her in a blue and peach bikini teamed with an orange coloured sheer shrug, another picture showed her enjoying a floating breakfast inside a pool while donning a fuchsia pink bikini.
Elli also tried her hands at Jet-skiing, snorkelling and swinging over the turquoise ocean waters at the Kandima Maldives resort.
When it came to sports, Elli was seen slaying in monochromic ensemble with a white net top and a black skirt to match with the colours of chess, a blue and peach bikini while aiming for the balls on billiards table and a blue jersey-black shorts while playing soccer. She captioned the football video, “I LOVE playing soccer! (For fun of course) When joining @deannepanday on a trip, there’s no ‘lazing around’…it’s all about fun activities and good vibes Thank you @kamakarma for getting us to play a bit with the boys from team Kandima Ps. observe how the goalkeeper is being too kind in not catching the ball ha ha….good times! (sic).”
Donning a green halter-neck top paired with green athleisure shorts, Elli even tried aerial Yoga during her vacay. She shared in the caption, “Finally got to try out Aerial Yoga Very tough and so much fun! (Video coming soon lol)” sic.
Elli wrapped up her trip this weekend but as she returned home, fans travel bug has been kicked in while their fitness goals amplified courtesy the actor’s motivating pictures and videos from the Maldives.
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