Sober Saturday! It takes a community!
Community Partners: Teaching from the Heart:
Last year brought many changes to our daily routines. The hardest thing for some to adjust to was fitness centers closing and exercise classes going virtual. Luckily in the Midcoast, we had the resilient leadership of Amanda Strong and Shizuka Jacobo and the vision of a fitness community they call – “Midcoast Strong”.
With the YMCA closed and their tribe of friends missing Zumba classes, the pair went virtual, quickly transitioning so the happy band of dancers they had been teaching for years could keep their feet moving and their hearts happy. The pair had studio space in Rockland, and when the weather allowed, classes were held outside. Each dancer enjoyed their own large square to keep socially distanced while dancing. “It was a blessing to see friends in person, to enjoy the sunshine,” one dancer told me. The ladies added classes, resurrecting a favorite weightlifting class called ‘Group Power”. For this they ordered weight sets for students to take home and follow class virtually. They seemed unstoppable as they
figured out how to reach their community, regardless of pandemic restrictions.
Since its inception, Midcoast Strong has offered free classes to those in recovery, and now they extend the invitation to anyone affected by domestic violence, through a partnership with New Hope for Women. These ladies s
hare and foster a strong sense of community, believing that giving back and staying active are key to community connections, and healing whatever you may be dealing with. “Exercise is about more than physically getting fit, “one student told me, “it’s about feeling good, confident. They (Shizuka and Amanda) teach with so much love, you can’t help but feel good when you leave “.
As we move into spring, Amanda and Shizuka are happy to announce the expansion of Midcoast Strong Studio – they have added additional instructors and an array of new classes. “We promise to be the better part of your day, no matter how you arrive” is their motto. And we loyal followers, especially in the recovery community, promise to show up.