August, 2014 - A Few Headlines
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AW Stories of the Month - Interview with Debbie Wasserman Schultz
AW Stories of the Month – Invisible Leadership
Cantankerously Yours – Women, Women, Women…
Mommy Moments – Back to School Jitters (New Writer!)
Paws-itive Press – Names for your Pet
Travel with Terri – Belize
Wellington Amphitheatre – Current Schedule of Events
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The Zoo Health Club, Bringing Positive Changes to Your Workout
By Krista Martinelli
Under new ownership, the Zoo Health Club – Lake Worth West – is making positive changes in people’s lives. New owners Bonnie and Jonathan are happy with their medium sized facility, saying “We’re the Goldilocks of health clubs, not too big and not too small.”
All of their staff is certified to teach the fitness classes. They also offer boot camp trainers and personal trainers. One of their personal trainers specializes in working with sports-specific training. As for classes, they offer Zumba®, Tai Chi, Pilates, self-defense for seniors, yoga, Bokwa® (African dancing) and many other classes, ranging from beginning to advanced.
Most of their equipment is new and in great shape. The few pieces that need updated are being changed out.
Bonnie brings many special talents to the Zoo, and so does Jonathan. Bonnie is trained in special Ed, and science. Because of necessity (with her own sons), Bonnie learned to teach with a kinetic component – studying mixed with exercising. The Zoo is proud to be the only gym to offer something brand new – Learning in Motion. It’s a program that helps students, K – 12th grade, and as Bonnie explains, “We’re the only ones doing it.” Call the Zoo for more information about this. (561) 891-6571.
“We take a personal interest in our clients. We always greet them and say goodbye to them. We know what their personal workout goals are and we care about them,” says Bonnie. “That’s what makes the Zoo Health Club unique.”
She also explains that people need to know a few things about losing weight. Even though it’s simple, many people aren’t realizing that you need to burn more calories than you are taking in. “Working out with a buddy is really the best way to stay on top of your goals.” They recommend doing weights at least 3 times a week and doing cardio workouts at least 5 times a week. “Another thing people don’t realize is that resting your muscles is just as important as working out,” says Bonnie. And after you work out with weights, it’s good to have a little protein – like a protein bar, protein shake, handful of nuts, etc.
At the Zoo, they sell protein bars and they are also distributors for Juice Plus, a popular multi-vitamin system.
“People have different goals. Some want to build muscle, some want to define muscle or increase power. It’s very individual. You meet your goals so much faster when you use a personal trainer.” Bonnie explains the many benefits of muscle building, including improving balance, better bone density, improving memory, lowering blood pressure, and more.
There are about twenty Zoo Health Clubs nationwide and the number is growing steadily. There are Zoo Health Clubs in Lake Worth West (at Lantana and Jog), Lake Worth East and Royal Palm Beach.
Personal fitness and health touches upon a very powerful note, especially for Jonathan, who recovered from a heart attach one year ago. Meanwhile Bonnie says she’s always been an athlete and a teacher.
There are showers and lockers available and cleaning is always happening at the Zoo. “In between everything we do, we are constantly cleaning,” says Bonnie. They wipe down each piece of equipment three times a day. “This is the cleanest I’ve ever seen this gym,” says one happy client as she works out.
Bonnie and Jonathan also have an “eye for autism” and want to work on programs that help autistic children. They are also working out an arrangement with A.R.C.
The two things that people tend to skimp on when they are trying to get healthy, according to Bonnie, are water and good fats. It’s very important to drink lots of water before, during and after your workout. Meanwhile, it’s important to have good fats for your body – including nuts, olive oil, avocado and fish oils.
Bonnie has 3 boys and one girl in her family. Since three of the kids are athletes, including gymnastics, cheerleading and basketball, she is very familiar with sports and the needs of young athletes.
Another difference with The Zoo is “that we are really going out of our way to be senior-friendly. We want them to know this is a safe place for them to come, ask questions and work out.” Insurance pays for seniors who work out in their “Silver Sneakers” program.
Best of all, the Zoo Health Club is an affordable gym with rates ranging from $19 per month to $29 per month, depending on the package. They also offer discounts for military, seniors, students, police officers and fire fighters.
“We invite you to come back, see what the Zoo Health Club is like under new ownership and enjoy a whole new gym experience,” says Bonnie. Mention this story, the “AW Spotlight” story, and get a 3-day pass to try out the Zoo. Your body will thank you for it!
The Zoo Health Club, Lake Worth West
SW Corner of Jog & Lantana Roads
Ask for a free trial pass
An Interview with Debbie Wasserman Schultz
By Marla E. Schwartz
Classy. Intelligent. Wise beyond her years. Well-spoken. Thoughtful. A survivor. All just a few words to describe the extraordinary person that is Congresswoman and Democratic National Chair (DNC), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (DWS). Miami Book Fair International was the place to be for its 30th Anniversary where this poised Representative was on hand to speak about her book, “For the Next Generation: A Wake-Up Call to Solving Our Nation’s Problems” (St. Martin’s Press) to a crowd that was very pleased to have her in town.
DWS was born on Long Island, NY, attended the University of Florida, graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science in 1988 and a Master’s Degree in 1990. She has been married to Steve Schultz for more than 20 years and together they have three children. The Congresswoman resides with her family in Weston.
She’s the first Jewish Congresswoman ever elected from Florida and introduced a resolution, which passed the House of Representatives and called on the President to declare an annual Jewish American Heritage Month. President Obama subsequently did so, with the inaugural month taking place in May, 2006. Many people don’t realize it, but Jewish people are only 2% of the entire population of the United States of America.
Her appointment as DNC chair was confirmed in May 2011 when she became the third female chair in its history to hold this honor. She has worked tirelessly for more than twenty years dedicating her life to improving the lives of everyone living in South Florida. DWS represents Florida’s 23rd Congressional district, which includes sections of Broward and Miami-Dade counties. It was on January 4, 2005 when she was sworn in as a member of the United States House of Representatives.
Dan Gelber, a former state Senator and leader in the Democratic Party introduced DWS at MBFI ’13. He was elected to the Florida House in 2000 and unanimously selected by his Democratic colleagues as their Leader. In 2008, he was elected to the state Senate, and in 2010 he was his party’s nominee for Attorney General of Florida. He’s an accomplished attorney, practicing in Miami. He’s not a stranger to the book fair, having introduced former Vice-President Al Gore and many other prominent politics.
This is a summation of his introduction:
“I met Debbie in the late ‘90s and almost immediately became close friends with her because she led a battle against so many things that are wrong-headed in this state,” he said. “This is a person of incredible passion and principles. She has a vision that’s very unique. I was very fortunate to be with her in the legislature and watched her in her career going from the Florida House to the Florida Senate to the U.S. Congress to the Chairman of the National Democratic Committee. It’s really a pretty incredible story for somebody who started as an Aide in the Florida Legislature and she’s our Debbie Wasserman Schultz and she’s no one else’s, and we’re very fortunate to have her coming from this community.”
Then – she took the stage to a load roar of applause accompanied by a standing ovation. “Thank you, thank you so much – it’s great to be home. And I have to tell you that it’s a little surreal to be doing this in front of a hometown crowd and incredibly special. Dan, thank you so much for that really touching and incredibly warm introduction,” DWS stated. “This book and writing it, people said to me, ‘Debbie you didn’t have enough to do, you have to cram a book in, too?’, and the answer is, ‘yes, I really did.’”
In her book she points out how it’s possible for each of us to continue making this a great nation and how to make the future a promising one for the youngest among us. Although DWS is always on a tight schedule she made the time to answer many of my questions. We didn’t get to them all though, which is okay – because they were covered by audience questions after her presentation. If you go to www.www.booktv.org, you can watch the entire event. In the meantime, she did have time to eloquently answer some of my questions.
AroundWellington.com (AWC): First of all, thank you so much for writing your book, it’s very well-written and gives people so much hope.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (DWS): Thank you.
AWC: You’re welcome. How long did it take you to write it?
DWS: It took three years because I have a lot of balls in the air. And when I first thought about writing and then finalized the project in 2010, my reason for writing it was really that I realized with the election of 2010 when the Tea Party swept across the country and then started hurtling out one manufactured crisis after manufactured crisis. My role as a mom and as a lawmaker was really crystallized in the sense that we really need to measure the nation’s success by looking at how well our children are doing, and I felt that if I wrote this book I’d be able to use it as a wake-up call to other moms like me, for regular people who were becoming increasingly frustrated that major issues that will dramatically impact our children which are stalling because of this polarization. But after we finalized the project, about five months later, President Obama asked me to Chair the Democratic National Committee.
AWC: Congratulations. What an honor.
DWS: Thank you, thank you. So it was a real opportunity to take my advocacy to another level. But hard to write a book while helping to re-elect the President. So we put the project on hold for a little while and then I came back to it and we pushed the publication date forward about four years.
AWC: What will it take to open up the eyes of not just the American people but for the Tea Party to realize just how much damage they’re inflicting upon this country? I’m concerned just as a regular American citizen.
DWS: Right – and I wrote this book for the regular person to hopefully use it as a roadmap because the problem is that people are getting disillusioned and frustrated and throwing up their hands and thinking it’s just impossible that there’s nothing they as individuals can do. The book is separated into major issues such a healthcare, education, energy, the environment so people can – because there’s so much – and give people hope so they can wrap their minds around how they can begin to understand and make a difference on all of the things that need to be done now. It’s so challenging. I’m Jewish and I was raised on the values of Tikkum Olam, repairing the world, which is also a big concept to get your mind around. So, while repairing the world seems really difficult to obtain, if you take the challenges on one issue at a time, and shrink those repairs down into smaller parts, it seems obtainable, allowing people to make a difference. So I hope that THE NEXT GENERATION gives people a roadmap on issues that speaks to most of them.
One of the things I say at the beginning of the book is that if you’re a Washington insider who knows the issues backwards and forwards, this book is not for you. It can be, for example, for people who are at the beginning of shaping their political perspective. If they read this then it will help them think about each issue as this books lays out each problem as I see it, what the solutions are, and also gives them some guidance on how to get involved and make a difference.
And I wrote the book because people are really busy and we give them a list of organizations because you know what happens – people read the book – they feel motivated and they’re ready to go – and will try to figure it out themselves. So this is why I put in the contact information, to make it easier for people and to help them save time.
AWC: I like that your daughter works with animals.
DWS: She’s actually doing her community service right now.
AWC: One of my girlfriends wanted me to ask you this question and I debated about whether asking you it or not, but I’m going to go for it. But, you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.
DWS: (laughs) Okay. I usually answer everything.
AWC: Who is the most annoying person in the Senate or the House?
DWS: Oh, I’m not going to answer that question; that actually contributes to the exact problem that I wrote the book about – and adding to the vitriol is not constructive.
AWC: Do you have anyone in particular that you hope will run for President in 2016?
DWS: Given my role as the Chair of the DNC, we’re likely to have a primary and I’m neutral because I have to manage the primary process so I cannot appear to have any favorites. But if history is any guide for you, I was national co-chair for Hilary Clinton’s Presidential campaign in 2008 and I think she would be an incredible President. Vice-President Biden who is already doing a phenomenal job as President Obama’s partner and I know that he’d be someone who is also mentioned along with some other really wonderful people in the democratic party who really understand that we have to make sure that we focus on helping people reach the middle class on working together, on focusing on budgeting that takes the balanced approach and doesn’t slash things that are important to the future of our kids.
And you know, one of the things that’s important to me is for people to take out of this book is that politicians often talk about doing what’s right for the next generation, or that ‘this is what we have to do for our kids’, but that’s not an abstract concept for me. I have the next generation in the back seat of my car. So for me what I realized is, because I was in the legislature for seven years before my husband and I had children, and so being a mom changes you. Your friends say to you, ‘you’ll understand when you become a parent’ – and you do. When you become a parent you really do realize that every decision – personal and professional – is done through the lens of being my children’s mom. And it’s a totally different perspective that I had before I was a parent – so whether it’s education, or healthcare or investing in infrastructure or making sure that we have a long-term energy strategy or acknowledging that there is global warming and climate change, should we conserve our environment or protecting civil rights or civil liberties, all things that I talk about in the book. There are huge significant challenges in and if we don’t stop fighting and don’t stop finger-pointing then our children are going to inherit those problems and it’s really going to devastate them, especially since we’re in a global economy, I mean – that’s also sometimes an abstract concept – but we really live in a global economy where our kids are competing with peers their age from around the world. This means we’re really at a disadvantage when we put these issues on a backburner because of the ‘my way or the highway policy’ of the tea Party and their unwillingness to actually reach across the aisle and compromise.
AWC: It’s frustrating because I can even see on Twitter or Facebook when somebody makes a negative comment and they can be so negative, it reaches everyone!
DWS: If you look at my twitter feed (@DWStweets), I get the nastiest comments you’ll ever read.
AWC: I think as a human being that our culture with that meanness in it, and putting it out there – is distressing contemptible.
DWS: I know.
AWC: You deal with it very well.
DWS: (sighs) Yah, but you know – it’s a sticks and stones thing. I mean, you have to consider the source, but it stirs the pot and contributes to this problem. There are huge benefits to social media – but there are also pitfalls, and it can allow people the audacity to inflict their hatred on people; and they’re emboldened by the fact that they can make these pronouncements anonymously.
AWC: What do you think President Obama’s legacy will be?
DWS: I think that there’s many (quite a few); clearly the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the economy – making sure that everyone has a right to quality affordable healthcare and that it’s not just a privilege; I remember my parents telling me my whole life that if you don’t have your health you don’t have anything and having personal experiences as a breast cancer survivor.
AWC: I’m so glad you survived.
DWS: Me too. I think health care reform certainly is going to be a big part of his legacy; and the fact that he brought us back from the brink of economic disaster when he inherited the largest set of problems that one President has ever had to deal with; the automobile industry in America was going down the tubes, without his leadership we would’ve been in big trouble; he pushed through the American Recovery Investment Act which stopped the bleeding and the massive job losses and he started to turn everything around. Without him being bold and doing things even though they may not have been the most popular, we would be very, very dire straits right now.
AWC: Do you have any Presidential aspirations or is that something you don’t want to discuss yet?
DWS: That’s not what’s in front of me right now.
AWC: Everyone wanted me to please ask you that question.
DWS: Oh, that’s so nice and I really appreciate the feedback. I hope people like the work I’m doing and I try to make sure that I’m a voice that’s maybe a little bit different because I’m one of the younger women serving in congress, one of eight women in congress with children younger than ten, it’s a perspective and a voice that I think is significantly underrepresented and so issues when moms like me run and are elected, that wouldn’t normally reach the top of the legislative agenda, can – and that’s what is in front of me right now.
It was her battle with breast cancer that inspired DWS to introduce the Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young Act, or EARLY Act (H.R. 1740), a piece of legislation that directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop and implement a national education campaign about the threat breast cancer poses to all young women, and the particular heightened risks of certain ethnic, cultural and racial groups. This bill became law as part of the Affordable Health Care Act in March, 2010.
Additionally, as a fighter for South Florida families, she passed the PROTECT Our Children Act, which creates the largest law enforcement effort ever formed for the protection of children, and, the passage of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act to combat childhood drowning.
In 2011 she joined the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, a bipartisan Members’ organization dedicated to promoting women’s economic, health, legal, and educational interests. The Caucus serves as both a legislative resource on women’s issues and an advocate on behalf of those issues.
Because of all that she has done and all that she will do – she’s also interested in ensuring that our first responders, our local police and firefighters, have the tools they need to do their jobs. And she continues to take up the fight to give our troops and veterans the equipment and compensation they deserve. And when DWS puts her head to setting goals and seeing them to fruition, mark my word, she’ll make them happen.
It’s important to support someone who endeavors to make our society better for everyone. Please purchase her book at any local bookstore. And go to http://www.miamibookfair.com/ for more information.
Marla E. Schwartz is a Senior Writer for Miami Living magazine and freelances for Lighthouse Point magazine, AroundWellington.com and MiamiArtZine. She specializes in interviewing celebrities, including: Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson, Andy Garcia, Sharon Gless, Lev Grossman, Gloria & Emilio Estefan, Jeff Lindsay, Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill, Brad Meltzer, Craig Robbins, Michael Tucker & Jill Eikenberry, Robert Pinsky, Thane Rosenbaum and now Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Her photographs have appeared in these publications as well as in the Miami Herald, Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel and Palm Beach Post. She has served as the Playwright-in-Residence at the Broward Boys and Girls Club and has extensive experience teaching playwriting, creative writing and acting at places such as the Fantasy Theatre Factory (Miami), Ft. Lauderdale Children’s Theatre, Lycée Franco-Americain International School (Cooper City), Miami Country Day School and the Philadelphia Young Playwrights Festival. Her play HOLD ONTO YOUR DREAMS was produced in Miami at New Theatre’s 1-Acts Festival Winter Session 2012; her play BRUNCH SOON was produced three times in Miami in 2013, at PAX MIAMI/WHITE ROSE THEATRE COMPANY in February, at the NEW LIGHT FOUNDATION/GAB STUDIO in the Wynwood Arts District/Miami in November, and in New Theatre’s 1-Acts Festival Winter Session in December. Her play, America‘s Working? was produced in Los Angeles at the First Stage and Lone Star Ensemble theater companies, in Florida at Lynn University and then Off-Broadway. Her script, The Lunch Time Café, was a Heideman Award Finalist, Actors Theatre of Louisville. Her full-length play A PART OF THE FAMILY was produced at Venture Theatre in Philadelphia, PA and was part of last years’ South Florida Theatre League’s/WLRN’s SUMMER PLAY READING FESTIVAL. She has been involved with the 24-Hour Theatre Festival produced by Adam and Carrie Simpson at Lynn University for the last five years. Her play THE AGAPE PRINCIPLE was recently produced by The Playgroup at the Lake Worth Playhouse. This script was a third place winner in the 15th Annual Short Play Contest sponsored by The Writer’s Network of South Florida. She was commissioned to write two one-minute plays for the 2nd Annual South Florida “One-Minute Play Festival” 2014. Her one-act play ROADWAY TO HEAVEN will receive a Staged-Reading this summer at the Pittsburgh New Works Festival (http://www.pittsburghnewworks.org/on-stage/staged-readings-week-2/), directed by Joe Warik, produced by Prime Stage Theatre Company (http://www.primestage.com/) in Pittsburgh. She’s a member of The Dramatists Guild of America, Inc. and the South Florida Theatre League.