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Archive for Sunday, April 29, 2012

Zumba, tai chi or spinning, Susan Pomeroy lends a life of lessons to fitness classes

Susan Pomeroy has been a Lawrence Parks and Recreation instructor for nine years. Here, she leads Lawrence residents in dozens of classes involving swimming, Zumba and a recent Friday morning Spin-It bicycling class at the Community Building.

Susan Pomeroy has been a Lawrence Parks and Recreation instructor for nine years. Here, she leads Lawrence residents in dozens of classes involving swimming, Zumba and a recent Friday morning Spin-It bicycling class at the Community Building.

April 29, 2012

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During the week, Lawrence Parks and Recreation fitness instructor Susan Pomeroy teaches aqua Zumba, an aqua aerobics class for people with arthritis, a “water warriors” class and an aqua “stretch fusion” class.

Only in Lawrence: Susan Pomeroy

Susan Pomeroy has been teaching water aerobics, water zumba, cycling, and a wide variety of other course for the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department. To an outsider, her antics look a little whacky, but she, and the participants, have a blast. Enlarge video

Then there’s her “land” schedule, which includes cycling, more Zumba, and tai chi.

“I usually teach somewhere between 24 and 26 hours a week,” said Pomeroy, 61, in her typical upbeat, cheery tone. “Isn’t that fun?”

While Pomeroy looks like the picture of health today, spinning and dancing her way through the week, it wasn’t always the case.

“I was very overweight and very sedentary,” said Pomeroy of her condition when she dived head first into fitness about 25 years ago. She had just given birth and found herself exhausted.

“He was very hyper and I couldn’t keep up with him,” she said of her baby.

Her own fitness career started with a parks and recreation class, she said.

For the past decade, Pomeroy has led hundreds of classes, and is open to learning and teaching anything.

“Someone will say, ‘Why don’t we do this?’” Pomeroy said. “And then I’ll say OK. And then I’ll go and learn it.”

At a recent cycling class, Pomeroy claps and sings a polka song, as the class participants huff and puff away, clapping and singing along. Afterward, they all chat just like a group of old friends. Through the years, Pomeroy, a former Weight Watchers instructor, said she’s made many friends through the classes. During classes, they chat about what’s going on in their lives, and Pomeroy jokes that the classes are part therapy.

“We talk about such a wide range of topics,” said Judy Jewell, 67, who’s been taking Pomeroy’s classes for years. Jewell enjoys Pomeroy’s classes so much that she’s taken up to six a week over the years.

“I like her personality,” Jewell said. “She pushes you if you want to be pushed.”

Are the classes fun?

“Oh God, yes,” she said.

But not everyone appreciates the enthusiasm, Pomeroy said, as she’s heard about a few class participants who referred to her as “that crazy lady.” But Pomeroy takes in stride.

Her main goal is to encourage fitness for people of all ages and abilities.

“I can have a positive attitude and my positive attitude helps them have a positive attitude,” Pomeroy said. “And they can sign up for classes and feel better about themselves when they’re done.”

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