Ferris Robinson: Turn A New Leaf Over With Water Aerobics

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - by Ferris Robinson
Ruby Williams and Shanelle Williams, aka, the Williams Sisters, greet visitors at the South Chattanooga Recreation Center in St. Elmo.
Ruby Williams and Shanelle Williams, aka, the Williams Sisters, greet visitors at the South Chattanooga Recreation Center in St. Elmo.
- photo by Ferris Robinson

Whew! The hustle and bustle of the holidays is officially over, and even us procrastinators finally have our lights out of the hedges. The Christmas tree is down (albeit turning brittle at the end of the driveway) and all the ornaments are safely stored away for next year, and the household is back on schedule.  All the decadent holiday goodies, from peanut butter fudge to homemade caramel cake are eaten up and safely stored on our hips. But hopefully it won't stay there for a whole year!

Now it's time to officially turn the leaf for the New Year. Exercise is probably top on everyone's lists. It is not only important for weight control, but vital for heart health and stroke prevention. Exercise counteracts diabetes and is beneficial for probably every other disease there is.

The problem is, January is not the best month to start an exercise program. It's cold out there. The roads are typically wet and even slushy, so walking can difficult. It gets dark early, and between patches of ice and bone-chilling temperatures, it's ill-advised to lace up your shoes and head out doors to do anything.

This is where the South Chattanooga Recreation Center at the foot of Lookout Mountain comes into play. The closest city park to me, the SCRC is right across from Forest Hills Cemetery, just before the South Chattanooga Branch of the library, and is one of three of Chattanooga's 17 city parks to have a swimming pool. The Water Aerobics classes they offer year round are the best deal in town. They are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 10am or Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30pm.  There's no joining fee, and the classes are $2 each. They provide towels, a dressing room and showers, so you can get your exercise on and still make it downtown in time for lunch.

Janice Williams of Lookout Mountain has been attending the class off and on for about seven years. "I started after my knee surgery. Water exercise was part of my rehab prescription and I still go now. It's so good for my joints!" she says.

There are four instructors, each with their own routine, but they all cover the same basic things, from stretching to core-work to aerobics. And every class uses weights. The music is fast paced and varied, with Christmas music being featured during the holiday season. There are both deep-water classes that feature pilates moves, and shallow-water classes. All levels of swimmers or non-swimmers can take these classes, no matter if you've never been in a class before. And the pool is wheelchair assessable.

All the classes use either bands or Styrofoam noodles, but the weights are used for every class. And there's no need to worry about hauling a wet noodle around in the back seat of your car; all the equipment is provided for you. So all you have to do is show up!

Ruby Williams and Shanelle Williams will probably the first people you meet after you park your car for free and amble inside the blue-roofed building at 1151 West 40th Street.  They jokingly call themselves the Williams Sisters, and give Venus and Serena a run for their money as far as hospitality is concerned. They welcome you to the center, and rarely meet a stranger.

"I've loved getting to know everyone in the class, and have met the most darling people from Chattanooga," Janice says. "Also, it's a great place to take your grandchildren swimming in the winter."

Parking is free, the spot is convenient and the folks are friendly. Call 425-3550 for more info.


Holiday Hours At Creative Discovery Museum

Creative Discovery Museum will be observing the following schedule during the last week and a half of December: Closed Wednesday, Dec. 24 Closed Thursday, Dec. 25 Open regular hours Dec. 26-31 Open from noon to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 1    (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Department Officers Deliver Donations To Help Baby Left Behind

Chattanooga Police Department officers delivered donations Friday collected for Journee Akins and her family. Jasmine Akins , 19, lost her life on Sept. 7 in the 1700 block of Market St., and 7 month old Journee Akins lost her mother.    Lt. Eddy Chamberlin has been closely working with the family since the incident and also organized a drive to help meet some of ... (click for more)

2 Suspects Sought In Armed Robbery At Highway 153 Long John Silver's

Police are searching for two suspects in an armed robbery that happened Friday morning. At approximately  8:10  a.m. the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 5317 Highway 153 for a robbery at the Long John Silver's.  Officers discovered that two black men, wearing hoodies and masks, entered the Long John Silver's and forced the assistant manager ... (click for more)

Pair Charged With Beating Man With Stick, Taking His Wallet

Two men are charged with beating a man with a large stick while he slept on the steps of a downtown church, then taking his wallet. Jerry Quincy Allen, 45, and James Leo Boas, 40, both of 727 E. 11th St., are charged with aggravated robbery. In the incident on Wednesday, Bradley Casehart said he and a friend were asleep at Tompkin Chapel Church on Palmetto Street. He ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place - And Response

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Scrooge’ Of The Year

As we move into the last weekend before Christmas, the “Scrooge of the Year” has just appeared in Aurora, Ill. Actually Connie Ley has just died. She passed away on Nov. 25, but in her wake left the worst will many around the country have ever heard – her last wishes included that her nine-year-old dog should be put to death, cremated, and buried with her. Bela, a beautiful German ... (click for more)