Happening in Kansas City
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Hailee Bland-Walsh, owner and founder of City Gym on Wornall Road in Kansas City, Mo., is celebrating the gym’s four-year anniversary in August.
“We’ve been blessed,” she said. “We’re very lucky. We’ve got over a thousand members, a very vibrant programming, lots of personal training, 45 group exercise classes on a weekly basis -- we are a full-service gym.”
Already, City Gym has expanded from its original 5,000 square feet. After acquiring adjacent space in January 2014, it’s now an 11,600-square-foot facility.
“One of the things we like to talk about,” says Bland-Walsh, “is that while we have all the amenities you might find in a corporate facility … we have the feel of a locally owned business.”
Bland-Walsh’s approach as a gym owner has been to focus on attributes that aren’t typically associated with the gym industry, such as aesthetics, cleanliness and customer service. The motto of her business is: Be fit. Be well. Belong.
“And ‘belong’ is something we really focus on,” she said. “Community -- and creating a place for everyone to feel like they’re a part of something -- is one of our core values.”
Originally from Kansas City, Bland-Walsh grew up as an athlete. She played soccer, both in college and professionally. In her post-athletic career, while living in San Francisco in 2004, she felt it made sense to continue with her love of fitness. She worked for several years as a personal trainer and fitness instructor and worked her way up to the management side of a large YMCA. Then she decided to make a move back to the Midwest to pursue her goal of gym ownership.
“I just got to a place in my career that I was ready to take on more,” she said, “and I was feeling that Kansas City was really ready for some of the concepts that I was bringing from the West Coast.”
Bland-Walsh has supported the Mid-America Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce from its beginning in 2012. She has been an active member for six months.
“It’s been great to connect with those people who are both members and/or advocates and allies with the Chamber. Quite a few of the members are City Gym members, so there’s been a lot of reciprocity,” she said.
Bland-Walsh recognizes the benefits of the Chamber in cultivating her innovative business model and the added value of owning a business in Kansas City, with its big-town-small-town feel and its recognition of innovation.
“There’s something really exciting that’s growing and developing in Kansas City. So I think, honestly, with the recent positive press -- it’s just a testament to all the cool stuff that’s been happening in Kansas City in the last five years or so.”
Bland-Walsh resides in Mission Hills, Kansas, with her wife-to-be, Tiffany Spriggs. The two enjoy traveling, bicycling, running, drinking wine, and entertaining family and friends.
Bland-Walsh also considers herself very much a community activist.
“In 2004, when I moved to San Francisco, I cut my teeth in activism in a place where community activism is the norm,” she said. “I was lucky to grow up as an adult in a place where being inclusive is the norm, so when I moved back to Kansas City that was already a part of the fabric of who I was.”
Bland-Walsh said her West Coast friends expressed concern when she told them that she’d be returning to the Midwest. They worried that she’d face discrimination.
“I never anticipated that that would be a problem, and I can say wholeheartedly that it has not been a problem,” she said. “One of the ways I have lived my activism is that I am who I am. I never hide anything, but honestly, I have never received any negative feedback.”
Bland-Walsh and Spriggs will be getting married on New Year’s Eve 2015. In June, their hopes that the U.S. Supreme Court would rule on marriage equality before their ceremony were fulfilled.
“With the timing of the ruling,” says Bland-Walsh, “it’s been absolutely perfect and serendipitous.”
Photo credit: Landon Vonderschmidt
The Mid-America Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (MAGLCC) is an organization that advocates, promotes and facilitates the success of the LGBT business community and its allies. Learn more at MAGLCC.org.
After the last 2 years of dealing with the pandemic and packing on those COVID pounds here are some motivational quotes that can be the spark plugs to our wellness engines. You can have a full tank of gas, a clean carburetor, all the fluids topped off, and 300 horsepower of Detroit’s finest under the hood, but you’re going nowhere without that initial spark. In your quest for well-being, you need a catalyst to move you from idle to ideal. Here are some motivational jolts to inspire you to get your health and fitness vehicle moving.
Make time for exercise each dayPhoto by Victor Freitas on Unsplash
Thomas Paine said, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” You will have conflicts with making time for exercise each day. The treadmill will conflict with your enjoyment of the living-room couch and its fluffy pillows. Your body will engage in conflict with dumbbells and exercise balls as it seeks better health. Embrace these conflicts with excitement, and walk through the smoke and fire. Triumph is waiting on the other side.
Marathon runnersPhoto by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash
John F. Kennedy said, “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” The firefighter’s 55-pound weight loss did not just happen one day on a call. The computer programmer’s success in the Chicago Marathon did not just happen on a Sunday in October. The 4th grade teacher’s significant drop in cholesterol level did not just happen the day before spring break. These people made things happen…and it took time.
Ralph Marston of The Daily Motivator website, wrote, “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” Let today be the first day in 28 years without a cigarette. Stay an extra five minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym today. Start training today for the three-day breast cancer walk that is scheduled for the fall. Tomorrow is always waiting to see what you put in your piggy bank today. Invest wisely and watch the dividends grow.
Full MoonPhoto by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Jill McLemore once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars.” Set that goal to trim 75 pounds from your body. Only losing 42 pounds puts you way out there with the North Star. Aim to run 750 miles this year. Coming up 68 miles short will still put you past that former planet Pluto and on your way to the Orion constellation. Dropping eight waist sizes by Christmas instead of the projected 10 will let you glow with the luminescence of several brilliant wonders in the sky. By the way, I think there’s a full moon tonight!
Zig Ziglar stated, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Tom Cruise was another aspiring pretty face in Hollywood about 30 years ago before starting to audition for parts in TV shows. Jared Fogle was a morbidly obese college student at Indiana University in the 1990s before beginning his Subway diet. Mark Zuckerberg was just another starry-eyed Ivy Leaguer until he began to implement a social network idea. They all have that common bond: They started something.
These motivational quotes should help get your wellness engine running and once your car is started there’s no telling where your health and fitness can go. Don't forget to end me a postcard when you get there!
This health and fitness article is brought to you by that guy who’s sneaky like a black hole and bright like a nebula. My name is Ron Blake and I can be found playing with my telescope at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curative has announced that it is currently providing COVID-19 no-cost testing in your area at Metropolitan Community College.
Stay safe and get tested!
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Curative is the leading provider of COVID-19 testing in the United States. Curative’s mission is to end the COVID-19 pandemic by providing simple-to-use and painless testing at scale to produce reliable data for patients and health officials. We know that broad access to testing, robust contact tracing, and a vaccine are necessary to end the pandemic.
Is there any cost?
Regarding the tests, there is no out of pocket cost to the individual. Through the CARES act, all individuals with health insurance will be covered for a COVID-19 test. No one is ever charged a copay or deductible.
For uninsured individuals, they are covered under the HRSA fund under the CARES act. Curative will never send a bill to any individual getting a COVID-19 test through any of our testing sites.
How soon do I get the results?
Curative provides results within 24 hours of arrival at our lab (if not sooner). We pride ourselves on our ability to distribute tests rapidly, test patients easily, and send them their results quickly. Other highlights include:
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Please visit curative.com to schedule your no-cost appointment TODAY at a site nearest to you. Together we can end this pandemic!
Curative believes that communal well-being is fundamental to individual health.
Curative is building infrastructure to make essential health services easier to access for everyone. Their infrastructure is designed to change as the world does—offering nearby access, affordable services, and science-based guidance.
Their efforts are supported by the optimism and ambition we share with communities across the US, and together we’re imagining new ways to help more people stay safe, healthy, and informed wherever they are.
“I wish I could work out, too, but I just don’t have the motivation!”
Give me a dollar for every time I’ve heard that and I’d be in Cabo San Lucas with an umbrella drink right now. Let’s identify a few of your motivations to get you on the right path. They are there … you just need to realize them so you can make it a great 2022.
How about getting healthy so you can be at that Christmas celebration in 30 years with all the family gathered around and exchanging presents? There will be nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, children and maybe some grandchildren, all enjoying the sounds and sights of the season. That would be amazing!
How about being healthy so you can watch the first man land on Mars in 2030? You hear all the talk about preparing for a mission to Mars, but it will be a long time in coming. Just think if you were alive and well to see it happen!
How about being healthy so you can attend that 60-year class reunion? It might even be nice to walk into the function with a spring in your step and a glow of health about you! Many of your classmates will have walked past St. Peter and those pearly gates by that time, but you can give yourself a chance to stay here with some proactive measures.
How about being healthy so you can spend more time being relaxed and retired? It would be awesome to just not have to do anything you didn’t want to do! Get up every day and use that watch they gave you as a fashion accessory only. With a healthy body, you can spend ample time in the lap of leisure well into your 90s.
How about being healthy so you can walk your dog with your grandkids or great-nephews after that Thanksgiving meal many years down the road? It will be so cool to have that turkey dinner with all the relatives, but it’ll be even more fun to be able to move around without having to catch your breath between steps.
How about being healthy so you can continue to enjoy vibrant sunsets, thrilling football games, colorful leaves in the fall, summer barbecues, or birthday cards in the mail?
Everyone can find the motivation to work out! You just have to identify which motivation will get you to your starting line each day and which will help you get to your daily finish line.
There are plenty of great things to enjoy in life. Find your motivation and start earning your frequent flyer miles for your healthy life. Then soar into the future with excitement about what will be!
This article of motivation is brought to you by a guy who knows a good thing when he sees it. That guy of good vision is Ron Blake, and he can be spotted on that bright horizon at email@example.com.