The multiple YMCA locations in metropolitan Chattanooga serve more than 37,000 members a year and fulfill the mission of uniting guests regardless of gender, age, faith, background, abilities, or income. Founded in London in 1844, the YMCA spread to its Chattanooga home in 1871 and continues to operate with help from local community volunteers as stalwart as I Love Lucy syndicators. Each location caters to the needs of children, teens, seniors, and families with afterschool programs and fitness-based activities. Cardio machines pump hearts, racquetball courts host fun competitions, and pools allow goggles to fulfill their original purpose: snapping the face with their elastic band to make a diver jump off the blocks faster. A sauna and steam room heat clients up after they cool down in the pools, and parents can drop their young children off at the nursery before participating in group fitness classes.
Equipment: Johnny G Spinner/Keiser cycles, aqua jogger belts, water aerobic equipment
Students should bring: Water
Average class length: Two hours
Number of Staff: 1–5
Class location: Outdoors only
Registration required: No
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Q&A with Saidah Kinerman, Instructor/Owner
Exercise is challenging, and people frequently give up on their fitness routines. How do you keep clients motivated?
I offer a variety of different exercises to meet all fitness levels. I believe the most important thing is self efficacy. It is my goal that everyone participating in class will be able to complete at least one exercise well. There is also a lot of peer support from other class members and encouragement from the instructor.
Sweating to the oldies is acceptable, but sweating to the blues less so. Do you find that certain styles and genres of music generate more intense workouts?
Definitely, most of the music that is played in class is pop and today's top hits. Mainly upbeat current tunes.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
This class combines cycling with core routines and high intensity water workouts. I relocated from California where fitness fusion is common. This class is offered in the world-renowned Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta, is convenient, and offers a total body workout.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, Robert Herzog dropped off his laundry, picked up his mail, and took the local C train to work instead of the express A train. When he arrived for work at the north World Trade Center tower that morning, nearly 300 of his coworkers were dead. Stunned by his inexplicable escape from death, Herzog battled through his trauma by focusing on the good things in his life. Earlier that year, he met his wife-to-be playing coed softball. He had enjoyed the league but felt he could do better. Tempered by the sense of charity and community that was so ubiquitous after September 11, he opened ZogSports—a sports league that donates 10% of its profits to charity—in 2002.
Since then, leagues have spread from New York and the northeast out to Atlanta and the Twin Cities. Casual competitors in their 20s and 30s team up in touch-football leagues and indoor-volleyball leagues, making new friends on the field, at postgame happy hours, and at preseason press conferences.
When teams sign up for ZogSports's leagues, they choose a charity to represent. From there, teams compete to win the league championship, come up with the funniest team name, or order the most drinks at the bar after the game, all of which earn them money for their charity of choice. To date, the company has donated more than $1.5 million to various charities.