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Swim Lesson at L.A. Lee YMCA/ Mizell Community Center in Fort Lauderdale
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Pool & life-saving swim lessons to be part of new L.A. Lee YMCA/Mizell Community Center in Fort Lauderdale

The YMCA of South Florida is building a swimming pool that will allow the YMCA to offer swim lessons and water safety education to the children and families in the Sistrunk community, at the new L.A. Lee YMCA/Mizell Community Center, located at 1409 NW Sistrunk Blvd., Fort Lauderdale.

“Drowning deaths are the leading cause of death among small children, but we know drowning is preventable with swim lessons,” said Sheryl A. Woods, President & CEO of the YMCA of South Florida. “Disproportionately, 65% of African-Americans have little to no swimming ability. With so many bodies of water in South Florida, the Y is dedicated to making sure that ALL children have the opportunity to learn how to swim and that ALL families are educated about how to keep their loved ones safe in and around water – regardless of their race or ethnicity, or where they live.”

Drowning Prevention is a critical initiative at the Y in South Florida. Broward and Miami-Dade counties lead the state. The Y’s goal is to reduce the number of drownings in South Florida. With this new pool in the Sistrunk community, more people will be able to learn to swim, be safe and have the opportunity to enjoy water activities.

Here’s why it matters:

· 3 children die every day as a result of drowning - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

· 88% of youth drowning incidents occur under adult supervision - National SAFE KIDS Campaign

· Formal swimming lessons reduce the likelihood of childhood drowning by 88% - USA Swimming Foundation

· For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

In addition to offering life-saving swim lessons and drowning prevention programs, it will also provide fitness and lap swim programming for all ages, including active older adults. For additional information, contact the YMCA at 954-334-9622, or visit ymcasouthflorida.org.

The YMCA of South Florida is building a swimming pool that will allow the YMCA to offer swim lessons and water safety education to the children and families in the Sistrunk community, at the new L.A. Lee YMCA/Mizell Community Center, located at 1409 NW Sistrunk Blvd., Fort Lauderdale.

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Give Miami Day 2020
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6 Health and Fitness Nonprofits to Support During Give Miami Day 2020

While there are over 850 deserving nonprofits participating in Give Miami Day 2020, here are six health and fitness-related organizations to check out and support.

If ever there was a time to stand up for Greater Miami, it’s now. Due to the pandemic, local nonprofits are seeing significantly increased needs while facing decreased revenues. Starting today, November 19, it is our turn to give back to these charities and organizations during Give Miami Day 2020. A record-breaking movement in previous years, Give Miami Day is the chance to support nonprofits. Hosted by The Miami Foundation, the goal is to connect philanthropy with the community's needs and make Miami a greater place to live.

While there are over 850 deserving nonprofits participating, here are six health and fitness related organizations to check out and support.

1. Empowered Through Fitness

 

The mission of Empowered Through Fitness is to provide tools and interventions for empowering women and girls through access to community resources that will aid them in creating and sustaining an active lifestyle. Empowered Through Fitness has brought various fitness instructors to Chapman Partnership monthly through the Empowered TRY program. During these events, participants engage in a confidence-building activities and experience fitness modalities like yoga, dance, and bodyweight movement.

 

2. Miami Marlins Foundation

 

The Miami Marlins Foundation makes a positive impact on South Florida by creating opportunities for youth to stay active, achieve academic success, and build leadership skills. Their sports-based youth development programs focus on wellness and empowerment, utilizing baseball and softball as the vehicle to provide kids with life-changing social and emotional learning experiences.

3. Special Olympics Florida

 

The mission of Special Olympics Florida is to provide year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for people with intellectual disabilities who wish to participate. This gives them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.

 

4. The Underline

The goal of The Underline is to deliver and activate a 120-acre, world-class linear park spanning 10-miles below Miami's Metrorail that will transform regional mobility and celebrate diversity, culture and lifelong learning.  When we are able to gather once again, The Underline will offer free, year-round health and wellness, art and culture, education, civic engagement and volunteer programming to connect and serve our community.

 

5. Smoothies 4 Students Inc.

 

Smoothies 4 Students combats diet-related illnesses and problems in K-12 education caused by food deserts around underfunded schools, and underserved communities. By providing healthy options and nutrition education to students with limited access to quality foods, Smoothies 4 Students empowers young people to reach for the stars while providing them with the fuel to do so.

 

6. The Warrior Flow Foundation

 

The Warrior Flow Foundation ignites social change by bringing trauma-informed yoga, mindfulness, sound therapy, and stress reduction programs, among other modalities, to places where they are most needed. This including hospitals, homeless shelters, schools, police stations, first responders, and more.

Miami Beach
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Miami Beach Announces Shores Forward Partnership with Ocean Conservancy

Miami Beach has announced a Shores Forward partnership with the Ocean Conservancy that will support the city’s #PlasticFreeMB initiative and other environmental programs intended to protect and preserve local waterways and beaches.

Miami Beach has announced a Shores Forward partnership with the Ocean Conservancy that will support the city’s #PlasticFreeMB initiative and other environmental programs intended to protect and preserve local waterways and beaches.

“The economic fate of our city is inextricably tied to our success in keeping beaches and waterways clear of trash and other pollutants as we prioritize the protection of our marine habitats,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber observed. “This partnership will make the city a better steward of our world-famous backyard.”

Shores Forward is an Ocean Conservancy initiative to protect Florida’s ocean and coastal areas in partnership with local governments. The Ocean Conservancy will partner with the City of Miami Beach to address areas impacting ocean health, such as ocean debris, marine wildlife, water quality, carbon pollution, climate change, education and outreach. Miami Beach will benefit from project funding, increased expertise, project management capacity and connections to relevant partners.

“Ocean Conservancy is thrilled to have Miami Beach join Shores Forward,” Chief of Strategy for Ocean Conservancy Kacky Andrews said. “This is an all-hands-on-deck moment. Protecting Florida’s coasts means we all have to work together.”

The city hopes to collaborate with Ocean Conservancy on various city projects involving green infrastructure, living shorelines, bioretention cells, blue and green roofs as well as natural and artificial reefs.

Ocean Conservancy along with local nonprofit Miami Waterkeeper is assisting the city with its first fertilizer ordinance. Ocean Conservancy will help promote alternatives for turf lawns to further improve Miami Beach’s environmental stewardship. The organization plans to work with other South Florida stakeholders to develop local seagrass nurseries and provide specimens for plantings with the goal of providing abundant seagrass coverage throughout Miami-Dade County.

“The addition of Miami Beach to our Shores Forward is big news for South Florida and Biscayne Bay. These partnerships with local governments are crucial to the health of our ocean and the communities that depend on it,” J.P. Brooker, director of Ocean Conservancy’s Florida Conservation program added. “This partnership is just the first step in a long journey. We look forward to beginning our work with Miami Beach on the many new projects in store.”

Sweat From Home
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Sweat From Home Brings a Fitness Community to Your Living Room

If there is one thing we all learned this year, it's that you can truly workout anywhere. Sweat From Home offers live-streaming, interactive workouts for everyone, wherever you are.

If there is one thing we all learned this year, it's that you can truly workout anywhere. As long as you have a computer or smartphone, you can also participate in a workout class or have a trainer telling you what to do. Sweat From Home offers live-streaming, interactive workouts for everyone, wherever you are.

Launched during the pandemic, trainers Brendan Bellantoni and Kyle Bergman started Sweat from Home when they lost their job as fitness instructors. With their love of coaching and fitness, they decided to create a virtual workout community. Sweat From Home currently offers over 40 classes per week from a growing list of coaches across bodyweight, bootcamp-style, strength, spin, yoga, and shadow boxing.

There are a couple things that set Sweat From Home apart from other online fitness classes. Sweat From Home has two trainers per class, one demonstrating the workouts and one watching participants and coaching for form. Interaction and personal connection is very important to the team. For that reason, coaches will also utilize breakouts rooms through their Zoom classes to split the class in half for a bit and allow for a more intimate vibe similar to what people would experience in-studio.

Each month, Sweat From Home partners with different organizations to give back. Their goal is to make fitness as accessible to as many people as possible, especially since boutique fitness is known for being pricey on a per class basis. During the month, they hold weekly donation-based classes where 100% of the proceeds are given to a nonprofit partner. In addition to collecting donations, Sweat From Home also donates a class for every class purchased, helping an individual or community in need of a great sweat.

"Our mission is to deliver the world’s best live-streaming, interactive, and inclusive workout with coaches that SEE and care about you; and a giveback promise in each class designed to give everyone and anyone the an incredible workout. Every time."

Online fitness is here to stay. Check out Sweat From Home and book your first class today. A drop in class is $10 and a 10-class pack is $90. They also offer an unlimited membership for $149. Learn more at sweatfh.com or check them out on Instagram at @sweat.fh.

Miami Marlins Manager
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Miami Marlins Hire Kim Ng as MLB’s First Female General Manager

The Miami Marlins are hiring Kim Ng as their new general manager, making her Major League Baseball’s first female GM, the team announced Friday.

The Miami Marlins are hiring Kim Ng as their new general manager, making her Major League Baseball’s first female GM, the team announced Friday.

Ng, 51, has most recently served as MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations for the past nine years, when she was the highest-ranking Asian American female baseball executive. She has also served as assistant general manager for the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers, working with teams that made the playoffs eight times and won three World Series titles.

“On behalf of Principal Owner Bruce Sherman and our entire ownership group, we look forward to Kim bringing a wealth of knowledge and championship-level experience to the Miami Marlins,” Marlins CEO Derek Jeter said in a statement. “Her leadership of our baseball operations team will play a major role on our path toward sustained success. Additionally, her extensive work in expanding youth baseball and softball initiatives will enhance our efforts to grow the game among our local youth as we continue to make a positive impact on the South Florida community.”

New Marlins general manager Kim Ng will be the highest-ranking woman in baseball operations among the league’s 30 teams. Kirby Lee/Image of Sport/USA TODAY SportsNg, who broke into baseball as an intern and also spent time in the Chicago White Sox front office, will be the highest-ranking woman in baseball operations among the league’s 30 teams and is believed to be the first female general manager in any of the major North American men’s sports leagues.

“I entered Major League Baseball as an intern and, after decades of determination, it is the honor of my career to lead the Miami Marlins as their next General Manager,” Ng said in a statement. “We are building for the long term in South Florida, developing a forward-thinking, collaborative, creative baseball operation made up of incredibly talented and dedicated staff who have, over the last few years, laid a great foundation for success.”

“This challenge is one I don’t take lightly. When I got into this business, it seemed unlikely a woman would lead a Major League team, but I am dogged in the pursuit of my goals. My goal is now to bring Championship baseball to Miami. I am both humbled and eager to continue building the winning culture our fans expect and deserve.”

Ng will be the fifth person to lead the Marlins’ baseball operations. She succeeds Michael Hill, who was not retained after the 2020 season.

“All of us at Major League Baseball are thrilled for Kim and the opportunity she has earned with the Marlins,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “Kim’s appointment makes history in all of professional sports and sets a significant example for the millions of women and girls who love baseball and softball. The hard work, leadership, and record of achievement throughout her long career in the National Pastime led to this outcome, and we wish Kim all the best as she begins her career with the Marlins.”

A Zoom introduction for Ng has been scheduled for 11 a.m. ET Monday.

Jeter became baseball’s first Black CEO after his group bought the Marlins in 2017. He then hired Caroline O’Connor, who as senior vice president is one of the highest-ranking women in professional sports.

The Marlins achieved surprising progress in Year 3 of Jeter’s rebuilding effort, reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2003 and sweeping the Chicago Cubs in the wild-card round. They were swept by the Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series.

The Marlins have never made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, and they did so in 2020 with the worst run differential (-41) of any team in the postseason. Ng inherits a roster that has the lowest current payroll for the 2021 season at $46.5 million and only one player, shortstop Miguel Rojas with a $5.5 million club option, under contract for the 2022 season.

Ng started her baseball career with the White Sox and rose to become assistant director of baseball operations. She worked for the American League for one year and then joined the Yankees, becoming the youngest assistant general manager in MLB at 29 and only the second woman to attain that position with a major league club. She was the Dodgers’ vice president and assistant general manager.

With MLB, Ng directed international baseball operations, working with the front offices of the major league clubs and many other baseball leagues and entities around the world. She led a team that set policy for and enforced international signing rules, established MLB’s first system for registering international players for signing, managed protocols for signing international players and negotiated agreements with international winter leagues.

Ng graduated from the University of Chicago, where she played softball and earned a degree in public policy.

This story was originally published on ESPN.com.

Club Pilates Brickell
News

Club Pilates Brickell to Host Donation-Based Classes Benefiting Miami Waterkeeper

Club Pilates Brickell is hosting two donation-based classes this week to benefit Miami Waterkeeper.

Club Pilates Brickell is hosting two donation-based classes this week to benefit Miami Waterkeeper. The studio is celebrating four years by giving back to the Brickell community.

Club Pilates Brickell partnered with Miami Waterkeeper to raise funds toward keeping South Florida water clean and safe for this community. Miami Waterkeeper works to ensure swimmable, drinkable, fishable water for all South Florida through community outreach, education, science & research, legal advocacy.

There will be two donation-based classes. A donation of $25 is suggested, however, any amount is appreciated. Click below to register and sign up for classes.

Thursday, November 12 at 4:30 pm

Saturday, November 14th at 2:30 pm

Contact Club Pilates Brickell for more information about either of these two classes at brickell@clubpilates.com.

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Ride a New Wave with Sea Sycle by Ride Element

Take a spin class overlooking the ocean the new outdoor pop-up studio Sea Sycle by Ride Element at the W Fort Lauderdale.

Take a spin class overlooking the ocean at Ride Element's new outdoor pop-up studio Sea Sycle at the W Fort Lauderdale. Breathe in the ocean air and enjoy weekly sunrise and sunset classes four floors above the beach.

Ride Element, a Fort Lauderdale spin studio, has hosted several other classes and events at the W Fort Lauderdale previously including Pump Your Ride and Glow Your Ride.

Classes will be held weekly on the rooftop in a safe, socially distanced environment. Bikes are spaced 6-feet apart and there is deep sanitation of all shared surfaces and equipment after each use. While masks are required for entry, a mask is not required to ride. Participants should bring their own spin shoes or plan to use sneakers for class.

"Sea Sycle was created to provide an alternative option to those indoor cycling lovers that are not comfortable in an indoor setting due to COVID. We decided to take advantage of the Sofla fall and winter to enjoy riding outside with an incredible view provided by our partnership with the W Fort Lauderdale. We have done many events with them in the past and Sea Sycle is here to stay through at least the end of the year," said Ride Element owner Ana Gajardo. "We can’t wait for people to experience this amazing cycling class while enjoying breathtaking views of the ocean!"

Morning classes include an all-day pool pass and evening riders are welcome to enjoy a post-class cocktail at the outdoor terrace or the Living Room bar. Pricing is $20 for a single class or $54 for a 3-class pack. There are only 20 spots available per class.

"We love our community and we look forward to welcoming you back whenever you feel ready," said Gajardo.

The schedule right now is Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9 am and Fridays at 6:30 pm but check seasycle.com for the most up-to-date schedule. Book your spot online or call the studio for any questions at 954-280-7433.

Slamball Demonstration
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ADAPT Gym in North Miami Announces Youth-Targeted Nonprofit

ADAPT North Miami launched a non-profit organization, ADAPT Non-Profit Foundation, LLC to encourage a journey to wellness and core physical development.

ADAPT, North Miami’s largest fitness & wellness facility, has launched a nonprofit organization, ADAPT Non-Profit Foundation, LLC. ADAPT, a longtime advocate for youth development, created the nonprofit in order to sponsor young members of South Florida’s community on a journey to wellness and core physical development. The foundation will collaborate with key partners on various initiatives throughout the year, all with the same mission to support South Florida’s youth, the future of our community.

Youth development is at the core of the foundation's mission. ADAPT understands the value of regular exercise and creating healthy habits at a young age. Physical activity can help children and adolescents improve cardio-respiratory fitness, build strong bones and muscles, control weight, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and reduce the risk of developing health
conditions. ADAPT Non-Profit Foundation, LLC aims to help provide the youth throughout South Florida access to the resources needed to better manage their health and wellness, despite socioeconomic level.

“We want to open our doors to any adolescent interested in developing their athletic ability, or wanting to prioritize their wellness,” states Jorge Sanchez, co-founder of ADAPT. “We don’t want finances to be a barrier to these kids getting the guidance, activity, and development that they need, especially during this time.”

Funds and donations are accepted at any time through the ADAPT website, or through the participation of organized activities by ADAPT Non-Profit. The nonprofit’s first event is the annual Turkey Bowl on Thursday, November 26th between 9 am - 11 am at the Miami Shores Recreation Field. All are welcome to partake in friendly flag football games for every age and level of play. ADAPT will collect $10 per player and provide t-shirts on the day of the event. All proceeds will go towards the sponsorship of young locals in the Youth Development Program at ADAPT.

ADAPT Non-Profit Foundation is also hosting a food drive this November to collect canned goods for locals in need of assistance, to be donated to Feeding South Florida. A drop off box will be accessible daily at ADAPT Gym at 14901 NE 20th Ave, North Miami, from now until Thanksgiving. Feeding South Florida is requesting holiday foods such as canned cranberry and vegetables, as well as boxed mashed potatoes and stuffing mix.

For more information on ADAPT Non-Profit Foundation, LLC, visit www.trainadapt.com/nonprofit.

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News

COVID-19 Restrictions Inspire Florida Dance Companies to Create Beyond the Stage

South Florida dancers are pivoting their repertoire to maintain the ability to delight audiences and help people stay positive during difficult times.

When cities across Florida initially went into lockdown due to COVID-19, many artists assumed that they would need to cancel a performance, maybe two. Seven months later, some performing arts organizations have missed much of their season and are unsure about when they will be able to head back into the theater to do what they live for - perform in front of a theater audience.

You may think that COVID-19 closures have left the local arts community feeling hopeless, but conversations with some of Florida’s directors and dancers prove otherwise. In response to regulations and concerns surrounding the pandemic, Florida artists are creatively pivoting their repertoire to maintain their ability to delight their audiences. These artists are also being reminded of how crucial the arts are to helping people stay positive and connected during difficult times.  

“People are really craving an emotional distraction right now. Ballet offers beauty amidst the chaos, it gives people hope,” says Jennifer Kronenberg, Co-Artistic Director of Dimensions Dance Theater of Miami. 

"The Nutcracker" is a holiday institution. It is one of the largest productions in a year for many companies; a show that is beloved amongst longtime ballet patrons and first-time audiences alike. This year, for the second consecutive year, Dimensions Dance Theater of Miami joined Ballet Vero Beach for their rendition of the festive ballet, “Nutcracker on the Indian River.”

“Nutcracker on the Indian River” is a unique telling of the original ballet. The storyline and score follow the show you may have seen as a child, but its magical backdrop has been re-envisioned in the brownstones of New York City and Clara’s holiday travels to Vero Beach in 1919. The second act, usually a trip through a multicultural candy land, features the lush flora and fauna of Florida’s Indian River Lagoon and includes performances by land crabs, cranes, manatees, river otters, and bougainvillea. “Nutcracker on the Indian River” was created in partnership with The Indian River Land Trust, an organization that preserves, conserves, and improves the area’s natural resources.

Adam Schnell, Artistic Director and CEO of Ballet Vero Beach, knew that performing their beloved “Nutcracker on the Indian River” in the theater this year would be nearly impossible. With the sizable cast and crew required to perform “The Nutcracker," COVID-19 regulations surrounding performance venues, and student cast members, the risk would just be too high. Ballet Vero Beach has always incorporated film into their performances to help bridge the gap between an old-world art and a new world audience and for this year’s “Nutcracker on the Indian River” it came to the forefront.

When considering their options for the 2020 performance, Schnell decided to move the action outdoors. The concept for making a portion of the production a magical on-screen journey was born. Interior scenes were filmed at the Hallstrom House, built in 1918 to resemble a New England mansion. Exterior scenes were filmed exclusively on Indian River Land Trust properties, including a stage built on the banks of The Indian River, where the second act of the production is purportedly set. Filming “Nutcracker on the Indian River” and placing it at these unique and historical settings has added an entirely new, whimsical dimension to their seasonal gem.

Even though the dancers have been back in the studio rehearsing for “Nutcracker” and their respective upcoming digital seasons, things are not business as usual. The dancers are rehearsing in smaller groups, with masks, and are getting tested for COVID-19 regularly. For the filming of “Nutcracker on the Indian River,” the student performers were separated from the professional dancers and they filmed outside, a unique benefit of being in Florida this time of year. 

Pivoting is nothing new to Kronenburg or Schnell. In order to run a thriving ballet company, it is essential to create works that speak to your audience and the local community. Dimensions Dance Theater of Miami prides itself on being representative of the unique energy of Miami. They hire local artists, partner with local musicians, and perform works that embody the vibrant culture of Miami. Schnell has been incorporating film into Ballet Vero Beach’s performances since the company’s inception and talks about using this time as inspiration to find the “crackle between the performers and the audience” in the digital space.

The 2020 film, “Nutcracker on The Indian River,” is a traditional ballet performance in an unusual setting, with a multimedia digital component, extra safety precautions, and an audience and donor base that extends beyond the local community. These circumstances exemplify how arts organizations all over the world are pivoting to meet the unpredictable, ever-shifting demands brought about by COVID-19. 

“We’ve been pushed to be more creative than we’ve ever been,” says Dimensions Dance Theater of Miami Company Member Chloe Freytag. “It has been an opportunity for growth; how can we take the circumstances we are given and still deliver a high-quality, artistic production that supports joy in our community?”  

While most artists are itching to get back into the theater, many see a silver lining in that COVID-19 closures have brought the opportunity to get in front of a larger, more national audience. “We want to bring art to as many people as possible, that’s what keeps me going,” says Schnell.

“The Nutcracker on The Indian River” will be available to the public for free from December 23 - January 6 on https://balletverobeach.org/.

If you are interested in supporting your local artists during this challenging time, please consider making a donation to Dimensions Dance Theater of Miami and Ballet Vero Beach.

Photos by Joe Semkow.

Downtown Strength and Conditioning
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Op-Ed: Where Do We Go From Here? Looking Forward in the World of a Gym Owner

Now with most of our South Florida fitness studios, gyms, and fitness centers back open, it begs the question, "where do we go from here?"

It's been roughly four months since we reopened the doors of Downtown Strength and Conditioning; almost equal to the amount of time our doors were shuttered by the local government as part of its COVID-19 response.

To say its been a wild ride would be an understatement. The closure for many studios meant adapting our business models during lengthy shutdowns, finding new ways to deliver training to our clients, and navigating a reopening or even a permanent closure.  

Now with most of our local fitness studios back open it begs the question where do we go from here?

We survived … right?

It would seem that the work has just begun. With our studios closed for months on end we had to rebuild membership bases, recover financially, and learn to operate our gyms in this new world.

They say the only thing constant is change. If we learned one thing through the whirlwind that COVID-19 took many of our fitness businesses through, its that nothing is the same as it was.

Those gyms who “made it” through the last few months since March have their work cut out for them. Many who survived closure now need to survive a world where the gym experience is different i.e. wearing a mask during a training session, rising operating costs, and a population who in some cases are afraid to return to a physical gym.  

RELATED Op-Ed: Confessions of a Miami Studio Owner During COVID-19

What’s different? What’s the same? What now?

We reopened our gym along with a slew of new protocols implemented. We have found that many of these protocols will work long term and are here to stay. Nothing in our post-lockdown COVID-19 world is the same as it was, and a one-size fits all approach no longer works. We see examples of this daily in our gym.

When we reopened, we added more class times, bringing our daily weekday schedule to roughly 14 classes including open gym time. More classes gave us the opportunity to keep classes small, and seemingly safer. We imposed tighter class capacities limits and more equipment along with this, no sharing allowed.

What small classes also did was end up giving clients a more personalized and high touch experience; a benefit that members ended up really liking so smaller more frequent classes are here to stay!

Like many gyms we implemented more extensive deep cleaning measures, another “benefit” to this post COVID-19 world. Although at a greater expense for many of our businesses to add to already high operating expenditures, cleaner gyms had us wondering if gyms should’ve always been doing things like Chemical Fogging or use of wipes on anything and everything all the time. This was yet another area of procedures that were modified, improved upon and here to stay.

Adapt or Die …

Our first few weeks and months we’ve learned to adapt almost daily. We had to constantly have our pulse on the business and what was working or not. Local government changed rules a few times as well which also meant we had to change along with them.

We tried different workout formats to limit movement around the gym for example, removed the infamous chalk bowl we so often see at Crossfit and Olympic lifting facilities, and stopped climbing our ropes, to name a few small changes.

We realized we had to be so agile, and so reactive to the changing climate and member needs all in an effort to help them ALL feel safe, if we wanted to keep on surviving.

RELATED Gyms Are Open in South Florida. Here’s What Owners Are Saying About It

Safe? What does that mean exactly?

Feeling “safe” these days is relative. It seems what is deemed safe is ever changing and varies based on the individual and that’s OK.

In a group training environment finding a way to customize the safety aspect can be viewed as challenge. If we can customize workouts to individuals, we realized we could serve the needs of our community by being aware of each member’s individual needs in this capacity too.

Today in October, over six months since the initial closure we are providing our service in many different (and new) ways. In the gym we have a robust class schedule, we have some classes during off hours for those who want to be in groups of 1-3 people, we have open gym time each day for those who want to be alone, and larger group classes for those members who want the “old normal”.

For those members who aren’t ready just yet to step back into their favorite gym we offer online virtual class options four days a week, member equipment rental, and home programming options.

For all our members we offer flexible membership options with ability to stop, start and pause via our online portal for ease of use in this time of uncertainty and always. These are just a few ways we’ve worked to meet the needs of many at the same time.

Onward and Upward ...

We’re still here and we’re looking ahead. We survived and look forward to continuing to learn and grow through this “adventure.”

Although the world seems to be changing around us daily, our goal has stayed the same and our commitment to our community has never wavered. Our member experience, offering best of breed coaching and killer workouts all while being smart and safe remains our top priority.

No matter how or where you’re finding your fitness these days we realize, like our booty shorts, one size does not fit all in our COVID-19 world and that’s OK! We look forward to seeing you for a workout soon … and don’t forget your mask :)

News

54D to Reopen Coral Gables Studio October 19

54D will be reopening their Coral Gables studio next Monday, October 19 for the start of the next nine-week training program.

54D will be reopening their Coral Gables studio, located at 4210 Ponce de Leon Blvd, next Monday, October 19 at the start of the next nine-week training program.

“We developed a holistic online program, designed to offer the same in-studio experience to all of our loyal existing members, as well as to the thousands of people who followed our daily IG Live free training during quarantine,” owner Rodrigo Garduño said. “Now it’s time to reopen our doors for those who were anxiously waiting to meet again with their fellow Coral Gables family members of fitness aficionados.”

Members and staff will be following a strict safety protocol. 54D studios have been retrofitted with industry-standard air purifiers and will operate under stringent safety and hygiene standards, as proposed by medical health experts, to ensure the well-being of members and staff.

Groups will be reduced to 20 members per class and masks will be required at all times. Strict cleaning measures will be implemented and take place during the day, with additional spacing time assigned between classes to ensure the thorough disinfection of the different training zones and equipment. The new time slots available to existing and new members will be 6:00 am, 7:15 am, 8:30 am, 9:45 am, 11:00 am, and 6:30 pm.

RELATED Miami Fitness Brand 54D Has International Success During COVID-19

While the studio does have lockers and showers, they will remain closed according to the local guidelines. 54D also has cryotherapy rooms which will be open for members.

For graduates of 54D's program, there is Steel by 54D. This space is right next door to the Coral Gables studio and offers a space with state-of-the-art training equipment. It will be open on a reservation basis only and operated under the same strict safety guidelines.

54D’s reopening in Coral Gables is concurrent with the ongoing progress to launch the brand’s second U.S. location, in Miami’s chic Design District neighborhood. The studio is expected to open in 2021.

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News

Pedestrian-Friendly "Woonerf" Streets Are Coming to Wynwood

Pedestrians will have the run of woonerfs slated for Northwest First and Third avenues from 25th Street to Wynwood’s northern boundary at 29th Street.

As a neighborhood, Wynwood seems to have it all. The former industrial district has transformed into a globally recognized destination for its murals, cafés, bars, nightlife, and entertainment. Add in the office space, retail shops, and residential buildings that have moved into the area over the past several years, and nearly all the pieces of Wynwood's work-play-sleep puzzle have come together.

Still, elements like open spaces and greenery are sorely lacking. While Wynwood's edgy feel has become characteristic of the area, some business owners and residents are looking to Wynwood's future as a more walkable and livable neighborhood.

Enter the woonerf, which, surprisingly, is not the sound you make when firing foam darts from an oversize toy gun. Woonerfs, Dutch-inspired "living streets" designed with pedestrians and cyclists in mind, have long been proposed for Wynwood and are now one step closer to being approved. Cars are allowed on woonerfs (pronounced voo-nerfs), but strategically placed landscaping and bollards force drivers to slow down, pay closer attention to the road, and coexist with others using the street as a shared, social space. (We know. It's Miami. Have a little faith.)

RELATED The Underline Launch Date Announced As October 1

The living streets are part of a larger proposal, called the Wynwood Streetscape Master Plan, that offers a new look for the art and entertainment hub and gives streets and sidewalks a makeover. Late last month, the City of Miami's Planning, Zoning & Appeals Board voted 10-1 to recommend that the city commission approve the streetscape plan. Commissioners are expected to consider the plan at their October 22 meeting.

"The biggest takeaway of this whole plan is to prioritize pedestrians over vehicles," says Albert Garcia, chairman and cofounder of the Wynwood Business Improvement District, a city board that represents property owners. "This ranks pedestrians as number one."

One of the Woonerf conceptions showing a garden experience.

Pedestrians will have the run of woonerfs slated for Northwest First and Third avenues from 25th Street to Wynwood's northern boundary at 29th Street. A third "living street" is planned for Northwest First Place from 20th Street to 23rd Street. The streets can be closed on weekends for community events.

The plan also incorporates protected bike lanes, new crosswalks, street-end parks along Wynwood's eastern boundary, and a 1.8-mile "wellness loop" for walkers, runners, and cyclists. The idea is to reimagine Wynwood's existing infrastructure and make more out of its outdoor spaces.

"Land in the neighborhood is quite expensive," Garcia says. "Most of it is being redeveloped. There's no county- or city-owned land in Wynwood, so there are no public parks. The plan basically calls for converting some of those roadways into linear parks. That's one aspect we're very excited about."

Widened sidewalks and added crosswalks are a critical component of the plan, Garcia notes. Wynwood's sidewalks are heavily trafficked, and people regularly spill out from the walkways onto the street. Garcia says seven streets are proposed to be redesigned with expanded sidewalks.

Another Woonerf conception showing a promenade experience.

Wynwood's streetscape, designed by Miami-based ArquitectonicaGEO, would get an infusion of green via the planting of shade trees and "urban wild" landscaping. Garcia says the point isn't to turn Wynwood into a lush garden or change the character of the neighborhood, but rather to introduce some tree canopy and offset the heat island effect in the neighborhood.

"Wynwood is largely just concrete," Garcia says. "It's part of the attraction and part of its detriment because of the heat and humidity."

Add some street furniture beneath the shade trees, and visitors have places to sit and hang out. Wynwood Walls, although privately owned, is the only space that's free and open to the public. The streetscape plan proposes more such spaces.

"Part of the issue is equitable access to open public spaces," Garcia says. "Right now, if you want to enjoy hanging out in the shade somewhere, you need to pay for a coffee or meal or pay to go into a lounge. This will be the first time where there'll be areas open, free to the public, and available 24/7."

This article was originally written by Alexi C. Cardona for The New Miami Times and can be found here.

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News

Fitness Brand 54D Launches First Live Broadcast Competition, Offers $20,000 in Prizes

20 of Miami 's fittest workout enthusiasts will test their physical limits and go head-to-head for the grand prize in 54D's first-ever 54D Games.

Twenty of Miami's fittest workout enthusiasts will test their physical limits and go head-to-head for the grand prize in 54D's first-ever 54D Games. The man and woman to come out on top will split evenly $20,000 in prizes.

The competition will be broadcast live around the world via YouTube starting tonight at 9:00 pm ET. It will be live-streamed from 54D’s flagship Coral Gables studio and will follow strict health guidelines and regulations for the safety of all contestants and the 54D team.

RELATED 54D ON Celebrates First Graduating Class, Announces New Perks for Online Alumni

Contestants went through a rigorous application process to make it to the Games. All 54D Games hopefuls had to submit a video application putting their fitness abilities to the test. The top 40 contestants were then interviewed on IG Live by 54D founder Rodrigo Garduño, and finally, the roster was narrowed down to the final 20 contestants who were voted on by 54D followers on social media. The finalists are:

The contestants' stories are inspiring and symbolize the impact that 54D has had on their lives, both on a physical level as well as on their mental wellness while going through challenging times.

Watch when the competition kicks off at youtube.com/user/Rodrigogaropao.

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News

Downtown Miami YMCA Reopens on Thursday

The YMCA in downtown Miami will be reopening to members on Thursday, October 1 after being closed the past few months due to the pandemic.

The YMCA in downtown Miami will be reopening to members on Thursday, October 1. Located on Biscayne Boulevard on the 15th floor of the Southeast Financial Building, this YMCA branch has been open since July 2018 but was closed the past few months due to the pandemic.

The Y is a nonprofit focused on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. While the programs and facilities of each location may vary, the volunteers, staff, members, and donors of the Y are all united by a deep commitment to move the community forward and bring about lasting personal and social change. 

The downtown Miami YMCA is an all-inclusive fitness center with everything to help you live healthier and be part of a community. This location has an indoor basketball court, an indoor track circuit, a spin studio, a yoga and barre studio, and a turf area spread among two floors. There are two cardio zones and a large variety of machines and weights. The locker rooms have digital lockers and several amenities, including a steam room. Everything is clean and spacious.

Members can take advantage of personal training sessions or check out the group exercise classes. Jaguar Therapeutics is also on-site for physical and chiropractic therapy.

In light of COVID-19, the Y has a new list of protocols they will be following including single entry and exit points, regular temperature checks, and a mask requirement for all members. Staff will be managing traffic flow, limiting participation in classes, and monitoring the gym for social distancing.

"Safety is our top priority. We have patiently waited to reopen and we've been mindful of the pandemic and Miami being an epicenter," said COO Jake Steger. "We waited intentionally and we felt like the numbers decreased enough to open and do it in a safe and responsible way."

Memberships are available at a new reduced rate and start at $59 per month. Group classes are included in the membership and parking is free for up to two hours with validation.

The YMCA is open Monday -Friday, 6:00 AM– 8:00 PM, and Saturday from 7:00 AM – 12:00 PM. Stop in to check it out yourself or head to ymcasouthflorida.org/downtownmiamiy for more information.

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News

54D ON Celebrates First Graduating Class, Announces New Perks for Online Alumni

Online human transformation movement 54D ON is proud to announce the graduation of its first generation of online program members.

Online human transformation movement 54D ON is proud to announce the graduation of its first generation of online program members. Spots for the first generation of the new 9-week online program sold out in less than an hour after launching pre-sales on July 13, with the 6th online generation opening for enrollment September 21 and starting September 28.

A major player in the global fitness industry, 54D has embarked on a new era with 54D ON, a 9-week online program divided into three specialized areas including physical training, as well as tutorials on nutrition and recovery. Online members are divided into smaller groups led by one of 54D’s coaches who are dedicated specifically to them, offering full guidance.

The 54D ON program was designed to deliver measurable results through a combination of high-intensity training and discipline. 54D has taken an educational approach for the online program, creating training sessions and tutorials so participants can learn proper exercise techniques and good nutritional practices by the time they complete all the courses throughout the nine weeks.

The revolutionary online program was developed to offer existing members and newcomers an opportunity to follow the brand’s emblematic high-intensity program from anywhere, any time. Competitively priced at $385 for the entire 9-week program, participants of 54D ON are guided every single day with daily tasks, with the 54D team monitoring participants’ progress and activity through the platform. 54D in-studio and online system delivers results through a no-excuses, full-commitment approach to fitness.

RELATED 54D Wraps Up Record-Breaking Instagram Live Trainings With Final Class and Launches New Online Program

For graduates of the program who have tested their limits and reached a new level in the fitness journey, the fitness brand is also announcing the introduction of a 54D ON + Lower Body Add-On offered exclusively to graduates, which can’t be bought separately and is offered combined with the base online program. The add-on product has a cost of $45 and comprises 27 episodes of 30 minutes each. It can be found on the dashboard of the regular 54D ON classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

54D ON launched in July after the brand gained international acclaim when founder Rodrigo Garduño began hosting daily workouts on IG Live amid the pandemic. The daily videos broke records with an average of more than 35,000 devices joining the live sessions and over 150,000 additional users streaming the posted daily videos. The brand gained a global following, including supermodel Adriana Lima, singing sensations Fonseca, Juanes and Carlos Vives, Yankees legend Jorge Posada, professional athletes, and more.

Check out more information or sign up for the program at https://54d-on.com.

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News

Amazon Teams Up With Echelon for the $500 Prime Bike

Amazon teamed up with Echelon to build and sell the Prime Bike. The $500 exercise bike for at-home workouts is available now from Amazon.

Update September 23 @ 10:00 AM: Since publishing this article, Amazon stopped selling the product and said the bike “is not an Amazon product or related to Amazon Prime.”

“Echelon does not have a formal partnership with Amazon. We are working with Echelon to clarify this in its communications, stop the sale of the product, and change the product branding,” an Amazon spokesperson said.

Amazon teamed up with Echelon to build and sell the Prime Bike. The $500 exercise bike is similar to the Peloton bike minus the screen — even the color scheme and design are the same. The bike is available now from Amazon.

Echelon builds several fitness products and the Prime Bike is Echelon’s third smart bike. The other two feature video screens and are available for $999 and $1,1999. The Prime Bike has features including multiple adjustments and front-mounted wheels for easy movement. Instead of toe clips that many stationary bikes have, the Prime Bike uses straps to lock riders’ feet to the pedals. A screen is the notable missing feature, but that can be quickly resolved with a tablet.

“We were built on the idea of attainable fitness for everyone. The Prime Bike was developed in collaboration with Amazon, aiming to create an amazing, connected bike for less than $500, and it’s proven to be a phenomenal match,” said Lou Lentine, President, and CEO of Echelon Fitness. “Amazon looking to us to partner on their first-ever connected fitness product is recognition of our commitment to deliver quality at a reasonable price-point as reflected in our explosive growth over the last year.”

It’s worth noting that this same exercise bike is also available at Walmart for $500, where it sells under Echelon’s branding of the Connect Sport Bike.

This story was originally published on TechCrunch by Matt Burns and can be found here.

Miami Beach
News

Miami Beach Passes Proposed Florida Friendly Fertilizer Ordinance on First Reading

The Miami Beach City Commission has passed an ordinance orequiring the use of best management practices and specific management guidelines to minimize negative effects associated with the misuse of fertilizers.

Last month, the community saw unprecedented fish kill and algal blooms in the northern Biscayne Bay basin due to multiple factors, including extremely high-water temperatures, low-dissolved oxygen, increased freshwater flows from the Biscayne Canal and Little River, and an influx of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus — primary components found in many fertilizers.

In an effort to combat these nutrients from entering the city’s stormwater system, the City Commission today has unanimously passed an ordinance on first reading, which requires the use of best management practices and specific management guidelines to minimize negative secondary and cumulative environmental effects associated with the misuse of fertilizers

“These increased nutrients are one of the main pollutants that are degrading the water quality and health of Biscayne Bay — Miami Beach is committed to doing our part to protect our environment,” shared Mayor Dan Gelber. 

The proposed ordinance regulates and promotes the following:

  • Prohibits fertilizers from being used during the rainy season from June 1 through November 1;
  • Establishes fertilizer free zones adjacent to waterways and storm drains;
  • Establishes proper fertilizer application rates and methods;
  • Requires proper training of commercial and institutional fertilizer applicators;
  • Establishes training and licensing requirements; and
  • Establishes enforcement and penalties.

Currently, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department and the Public Works, Greenspace Management Division are required to apply Florida-Friendly Landscaping principles and best management practices for fertilizer application on public properties, including prohibition from using glysophate. Additionally, all city landscaping contractors are required to follow industry practices and standards found in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s “Florida-Friendly Best Management Practices for Protection of Water Resources by the Green Industries”.

“Commercial landscapers operating on private property are not currently required to abide by these standards,” explained Commissioner Michael Góngora who sponsored this item. “If this ordinance passes second reading next month, it will be a game-changer in limiting the amount of fertilizer runoff entering our bay.”

Several county and city governments in Florida that have enacted fertilizer bans to address improper fertilizer use on private properties. Manatee County, Pinellas County, Lee County, Martin County and the cities of Miami, Melbourne and Cape Coral are examples of communities that have enacted a blackout period for fertilizer use during the rainy season.

The draft ordinance was developed using template language provided by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and existing fertilizer ordinances that are in place in municipalities throughout Florida.

"This is a strong fertilizer ordinance and an important step towards limiting pollution in Biscayne Bay,” added Executive Director & Waterkeeper Rachel Silverstein with the Miami Waterkeeper. “Along with septic, sewer, and stormwater, the overuse of fertilizers contributes to algae blooms, seagrass die-offs, and the recent fish kill. I am thrilled that the City of Miami Beach is taking this important step."

News

Flywheel Files for Bankruptcy

Flywheel Sports, known for its spin classes, has filed for bankruptcy as the pandemic continues to devastate the boutique fitness industry.

Flywheel Sports, known for its spin classes, has filed for bankruptcy as the pandemic continues to devastate the boutique fitness industry.

Its parent company filed for Chapter 7 in New York late Monday, signaling that it is likely liquidating and permanently closing its remaining studios. Flywheel hasn't returned requests for comment, but some of its current and former instructors posted on social media that the company had gone under.

At its peak, the 10-year-old company had more than 40 studios across the United States that offered cycling and barre classes. But Flywheel was having troubles well before the pandemic hit.

Peloton sued Flywheel in September 2018, alleging the smaller company copied the technology used to create its in-home bikes and the leaderboard that lets customers race against each other. The decision made Flywheel's at-home bikes unusable, with Peloton offering its own bikes to Flywheel's customers.

In summer 2019, Flywheel permanently closed about a dozen of its studios. And in February 2020, Flywheel was forced to shut down the virtual classes that were connected to its in-home stationary bikes because of the two-year legal battle with Peloton over patent infringement.

RELATED 10 Must-Try Miami Spin Studios in 2020

Weeks later, the pandemic stuck and forced Flywheel to temporarily close all its studios. The company reportedly laid off 98% of its 1,200-person staff. Flywheel had recently begun offering classes in two cities (Hamptons, New York and Miami, Florida), but those are no longer bookable, according to its website.

The newly bankrupt Town Sports International (owner of New York Sports Club and other chains), dropped its plans in April to buy Flywheel after reaching an agreement just four months prior.

Without studios or an at-home bike, there isn't a strong path forward for Flywheel. Meanwhile, Peloton (PTON) has found success and reported blockbuster earnings last week. SoulCycle has reopened dozens of studios and has begun selling its $2,500 in-home bike.

This story was originally published on CNN by Jordan Valinsky and can be found here.

News

Peloton Announces New Bike and Treadmill Options

Peloton revealed two new fitness products to its community this week - the Bike+ and a lower-priced treadmill, which join their existing Bike and Tread.

Peloton revealed two new fitness products to its community this week - the Bike+ and a lower-priced treadmill.

"After years of research and development, including invaluable Member feedback, both of these products take everything you love about your Peloton experience and build upon it to expand the world of strength, stretching, and yoga", said Peloton CEO John Foley in an email to Peloton members.

For $2,495, the new bike has a larger, rotating touchscreen to stream its classes and make it easier to complement cardio workouts with floor activities. There is also a new digitally-controlled brake that will automatically change your resistance depending on the instructor's cues. The touchscreen also includes a powerful stereo soundbar and subwoofer to bring more of the immersive in-studio feeling into your home.

"Many of you are already enjoying Peloton workouts off the Bike with the Peloton App and have asked for combined cardio and strength classes on The Peloton Bike. I’m excited to share a new full-body Bike Bootcamp experience that we will launch next week with some familiar faces," said Foley.

Beginning Wednesday, Peloton's core bike will now cost $1,895 — a $350 reduction — with the monthly financing rate dropping $9 to $49 a month. For existing Bike owners, you can trade up to the new Bike+ with a $700 credit.

The price of Peloton's treadmill, renamed Tread+, remains $4,295. Peloton is adding a new lower-priced treadmill next year for $2,495.