By Tia Wayling, Recreation Services Co-ordinator with the Regional District of Central Kootenay
Similar to other industries, Recreation has had a rough 18 months being either shut down completely or partially opened with fluctuating restrictions. We lost a lot of good staff members because of it. Some have returned and others moved on to other endeavors. As head-spinning as the provincial and public health orders have been these past few months, the outlook we need to take on the most recent order is that of a small win. Even though some program participation will require proof of vaccination, it means we at least have the ability to offer it. As a high intensity fitness instructor, I haven’t been more excited to hear that I could start teaching spin classes again than I was last week, even if there are restrictions around it.
I was fortunate to teach a few outdoor spin classes in the spring, but the energy and ambience was not the same as it is indoors. While the breeze and dancers enjoying my music on the hillside were welcoming, the variable weather and having to keep bikes and myself three metres apart from everyone else didn’t give the same vibe as an indoor class. I’m an interactive instructor that likes to play lots of games and hype up a class. Listening to my participants and actively helping is hard to do from a distance.
Another silver lining to having limited services is that starting from scratch will not feel as intimidating for the beginner. It’s been so long for some people that used to be regulars, many will feel they are starting from scratch. A lot of people have changed as well as their routines. There’s going to be an adjustment period to get back into the swing of things. This truly is the perfect time to hop on the participation bandwagon – everyone is going to be awkward!
This fall, grab a friend and take a Zumba class, or sign up for our “Gotta Start Somewhere…” program where you can demystify the equipment in the Fitness Centre and learn some of the basics to get started in the gym. You can even sign up your teen for some kickboxing or photography classes.
Despite the small win, the next five months (or more) will still be challenging for everyone. While we’re still not in a place where we can unlock the doors so the public can free-flow through the building, we are working towards getting back to that. But, we’re excited to see people in the building again cheering on the Thundercats, children participating in recreation programs, and adults getting their sweat on to their favourite cardio-inducing class. We’ve been in a state of low intensity for far too long. It won’t come without bumps along the way so your co-operation and understanding during this new phase of operations is greatly appreciated. Check out our updated Leisure Guide online at www.rdck.ca/recreation for revised start dates and program information.