Meridian Star

March 9, 2014

We’ve Got to Ac-cen-uate the Positive

By Barbara Wells
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     “ .... and E-liminate the negative and don’t mess around with Mr. In Between.”  

What a great song, and what a great message for us all. For a long time I had a metal sign in my office which read: “Think Good Thoughts.” (It was replaced with “Be Nice or Leave.”) But seriously, studies have been conducted and books written over the years proving the power of positive thinking.

    Remember the half full, half empty glass theory? Which are you? Researchers have found that in a study of 2,800 people with heart disease, those with the greatest optimism about their heart problems were more likely to be alive 15 years later — while those who were the least optimistic were 30 percent more likely to die during the study period, Now that’s grim.

    My next question after hearing that would be, "Can I change my way of thinking?"

    Seeing how the number of students in exercise classes has grown and requests for more options of other classes are growing at Meridian Activity Center (and I’d guess Anderson Health and Fitness Center, Meridian Community College and other fitness facilities and spas are also experiencing an increase in interest), plus media encouraging us all to change – start walking, get fit, eat right, etc. is telling us that we can change our way of thinking – more and more people are doing just that.

    In January, we invited fitness therapist Dr. Stephen Kay to sit in on our exercise classes to see if we needed to make any changes. Right now we offer: floor exercise, seated exercise, two advanced yoga classes (is how I refer to them), two strength-training classes, Slimnastics and Zumba. Dr. Stephens suggested we offer a beginners yoga class, or some way to better delineate the class so the student finds the right fit. He also suggested we offer a class on back exercises or home safety (getting up from the floor) or aging and posture.

New yoga classes

    Beginning March 17, Rene Weiler will lead a Beginning Yoga class that will last for four weeks — and hopefully be accepted as a regular class, if we generate enough interest. This will start on Mondays and Wednesdays at 10:45 a.m.. It will be primarily a stretching class and will cost nothing.

    On Tuesdays at 10 a.m., Pat Wilson will lead a Chair Yoga class for those who might be uneasy about getting up and down from the floor. She will incorporate some of the regular yoga moves, but use a chair for support until you develop the strength to balance without the need of a chair. Again, this will be only four classes until we see how well it is received.

    We hope these classes will allow students to try something new that can be developed over time. Yoga is simply a process, no competition is involved aside from you and your body, what your body will allow you to do. It takes time to re-train your muscles and we do not want anyone to be hurt attempting poses too difficult. Wear comfortable clothing; bring a towel.

Spring classes begin March 17

    If you have not registered by now, you might have difficulty getting into your regular class.

     We are getting a lot of new students coming by to register. Remember, if you are a Zumba student taking classes with Janie Howard Monday through Thursday at 4:30 p.m., pay $20 up front and you get 50 percent more classes than if you pay $2 each day. And it’s a great workout .... and fun!

    We are offering computer classes in Windows 7 and Windows 8 several times a week. The classes are small and inexpensive. Word Processing is also being taught, as well as iPad and iPhone. We did offer Kindle classes ,but had little response. We are still looking for someone willing to teach eBay classes on a Friday afternoon.

Students needed

    You know that if we do not have enough students, we have to cancel a class. And if we cancel the class, the teacher cannot work – which means they get no money. When the teacher gets no money, they have to give up their house, and on and on ....

    Classes at Meridian Activity Center needed to be filled are:

    • Cake Decorating on Tuesday, from 10:30 a.m.-noon

    •  Pine Needle Basket Weaving, Thursday, from 9 a.m.-noon

    • Color Pencil Drawing Techniques, Monday, from 5:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.

    • Decorative Painting, Monday, from 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

    • Stained Glass, Monday, from 6 p.m.-8 p.m.

    We have high hopes of filling these classes this spring. Please don’t let us down. And, by the way, if you have an electric stove to donate, we can use one. (Thinking on the bright side of life.)

    Call (601) 485-1812 if you would like to help out and take one of those classes listed above. You won’t be sorry.

Trunk Sale

    It’s that time again ...

    On March 29, drive your car or truck into our front parking lot at 3300 32nd Ave., pop your trunk and set out all those wonderful re-saleables onto card tables or a blanket. Our hours are from 7 a.m.-11 a.m.. The center will place an ad in the paper and signs around the neighborhood. As usual, the $5 drive in fee will be returned if you sell nothing.

     Our co-hostess for this event is the Make-A-Wish Foundation with Brenda Golisch. If you want to donate a percentage of your take to that worthy organization, she will gladly take it. Or, you can sign up to walk in their April Walk-A-Thon with my Meridian Activity Center team! (Or with Brenda’s team.)

    Meridian Activity Center can be found by following signs posted at 29th Avenue and 36th Street, turning west on 36th, two blocks, left turn on 33rd Avenue – you will see our arched sign at the end of the block: Meridian Activity Center, 3300 32nd Ave. Phone (601) 485-1812 for information.

    Come in for a tour and to pick up a list of classes. We’d love to meet you!

    • Barbara Wells is director of Meridian Activity Center. You may e-mail her at