February 2019 Volume 2 Issue 2
February 2019 Newsletter
‘Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.’
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Welcome everyone to February where we celebrate our most vital muscle, our heart.

It is not news that good nutrition, regular exercises benefit our four-chambered rhythmic muscle. Yet there are so many simple things we can do to protect our hearts. We slipped over to the American Heart Association ’s website, which seems to have a monopoly on simple hacks to keep our hearts healthy all day long. We then culled (fancy word for ‘stole’) a few of its recommendations to share with you here.

A recent study by the American Heart Association has linked loneliness with heart problems. It’s a rising epidemic and no laughing matter. The good news is that this is easily remedied. Come over to the Beede Center and meet up with friends or make new ones. This month we are promoting “Refer a Friend.”

Bring a friend to have a free workout or swim on us. Earn $100 in Beede Bucks when your friend purchases a monthly recurring membership. Beede Bucks are good toward membership, personal training, group exercise and aquatic classes. Your Friend gets $50 off the $99 joining fee and the 12th month free! Hurry, this offer ends on Feb. 28.

It is always a pleasure for our staff to witness friendships forming among members who never knew each other before. Get a bit of exercise or a swim in while you’re at it. All good for your heart. All good for you.

Pictured above. Beede member Lisa Bingen and Personal Trainer John Donaldson met here a few years ago. The two were married in a small and elegant ceremony with family and close friends. A good example of how exercising is good for your heart.
‘The harder the conflict, the greater the triumph.’
George Washington

Member’s paradigm shift opens playing field to all

This month we are thrilled to feature Mike Welsch, a marathon swimmer, former triathlete and Boston Marathoner who trains in our pool. Yes, quite a few of you do this, but Mike’s story has an interesting origin.

Back in 1978, when Mike was an enlisted Marine at NC’s Camp Lejeune and his 19-year-old brain was still forming, he drank too much, boarded a motorcycle, and sped away. It ended badly. There was a collision with a police cruiser and the amputation of his lower left leg.

“I will be paying for that for the rest of my life,” Mike said.

Traditionally, when someone says, ‘I will pay for this,” thoughts automatically go toward the negative. Mike may have originally been headed there, too. View that statement through a paradigm shift, however, and you’ll see that Mike has since been paying society back in aces.

Born an athlete, with a love of hockey, Mike began running on his prostheses from the start. His doctors warned him he’d ruin his stump and the alignments of his muscular and skeletal structures. “The doctor said, ‘don’t run.’ Stop it.’” Mike recalled, adding he holds the deepest respect for the Veterans Hospitals that still work with him. “But I had it in my head, I’m not stopping.”

The artificial legs issued in those days were clunky - designed solely to support balance and labored walking. Mike, as we already caught on, flirts with rules. He began training for triathlons, which are continuous races beginning with a 2.4-mile open-water swim, then a 112-mile bike race, and ending with a 26.2-mile run. These events are grueling for conditioned athletes with four fit limbs. Mike was one of two in the 1980s hauling a cumbersome artificial one.

“I was training my body and building my mind at the same time,” said Mike, who held his own on in the swim and bike segments, but fell to the back of the pack in the running.

Every training and race Mike and the other gentlemen, his mentor Pat Griskus, now deceased, competed in was a laboratory of sorts for prosthetist and orthopedics. Data, such as pressure, range of motion, comfort and flexibility, was calibrated to design limbs specific for individual athletes for a variety of purposes. For instance, in early races, Mike used the same prosthesis for running as he did for cycling. Today’s athletes - thanks to Mike - use a customized limb specific for each segment.

This fusion of art, science and strong spirit saw Mike cross a series of finish lines. A sampling being two half Ironmans, triathlons and half triathlons, the Boston Marathon (11 times), The 192-mile Pan Mass Challenge (18 times), and the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim. He was a member of the 2000 USA Amputee Hockey Team. This summer, he completed swimming the lengths of all the big lakes in New Hampshire.

Mike, who turns 60 this month, is determined to be a powerful competitor until the day he dies. He may not always make the podium - though he did at the Salem, Mass 2-mile swim recently - he is always improving his times. He is proposing a book, and continues to champion the needs of disabled athletes. His enthusiasm gets fired up while speaking at schools and substance abuse support groups about the perils of alcohol.
“They can’t see the danger of alcohol abuse. They see the beer commercials with the beautiful girls, the new bourbon commercial that says, ‘Get hooked on bourbon and your life’s going to be wonderful!’” Mike said. “It doesn’t work out that way. I pray that if my words can save even one kid from the type of tragedy that I had to experience, then my mission in life will be complete.”

They do more than rhyme. The very foods we eat affect our digestion, which directly impacts our moods. A ‘cheat meal’ every now and then is OK, but don’t make them a habit if you seek personal health and relationships. Nutritionist and Personal Trainer Brian Kalagher held a successful nutrition workshop last month. Missed it? No worries. He’ll be holding more. Keep an eye out for postings. 

We know. We had to google this oh-so-hip lingo, too. JOMO means Joy of Missing Out and FOMO is Fear of Missing Out. They’re both connected to social media. A few of you may have a Facebook friend whose posts show a beaming family on exotic vacations, every parent-child hug captured by a professional photographer, who earlier created a photo collage of their expansive house and dope car. It’s hard not to compare, especially if you’re scrolling in your outdated kitchen wearing pajamas. We all think we missed the opportunity boat. It’s called FOMO.

JOMO is opposite. Once you get over yourself, you realize that your FB friend did a boatload of editing - there are free apps that zap wrinkles and whiten teeth in photos, you know. The obvious becomes clear. Few post images of challenging family moments, overstuffed closets and dented Subarus. You become enlightened and wonder why you’re wasting your time - a nonrenewable resource - scrolling through other people’s photoshopped fantasies. So you stop and redirect your nonrenewable resource to zoom in on the joys of your own life. Very good for the heart.

We could go on forever but we have a lot to cover and you get the idea. Being good to yourself is being good to your heart. Cheers to a heart-healthy you!
Dates to Remember

Thursday February 14th
Valentines Day-Be especially good to your heart

Monday February 18th
Registration open to all. Beede Center open 7am-6pm in observance of Presidents Day

Tuesday-Friday February 19-24
February Vacation-please note no programs will be held Saturday February 16-24th.
Birthday Bash & Splash at Beede

Break out the pointy hats and pinata! It’s cake time!

Beginning in March, the Beede Center hosts birthday parties on Saturdays from 1 pm to 3 pm. What fun you will have treating friends of your children to our Kiddie Pool, the Shallow End* of the lap pool and even the Dive Well! *

Greet your guests in our lobby and escort them to our Fitness Studio near the pool deck, for your private soiree. Everyone swims for an hour or so and then it’s back to party central for cake and birthday wishes. What an exciting way to start a new year!

(All of our lifeguards are top-notch Red Cross certified, not that you’ll have to test them on that.)

The cost for 10 guest children and unlimited adults is $200. We do have requirements for the Shallow End and Dive Well. *Kids must be able to swim 25 yards of crawl with rhythmic breathing, 25 yards of back crawl, tread water for 30 seconds and a 30-second back float to swim in these pools without an adult.

Not yet there? No problem. Just bring an adult to stay within arm’s length. This may also be a good time to review our swim lesson offerings for spring. A quick note to mom and dad, you won’t want your angels within arm’s reach at every party they are invited to.

Amanda Smith, our Aquatics guru, has all the fiesta details. Please email her at asmith@concordma.gov .

Swim International Waters!

We are hosting a swim challenge that aligns with the 21-mile crossing from the beautiful White Cliffs of Dover to the welcoming shores of France.

Participation is easy. Just put your name on the chart by the Therapy Pool, then swim 21 miles in the lap pool, then back to the chart at the Therapy Pool to mark off that you’ve finished. It’s that simple.

We understand that not everyone will swim the 21 miles in one swoop, so our organizers - Aquatics Director Amanda Smith and Head Lifeguard Mark Ryder - have set aside 10 weeks to complete the mission. You may even do it in intervals, such as swim a half mile on Feb. 7 and the other half on Feb. 19 and so on. Just record your progress on the chart. You have until April 5 to get from one coast to the other.

There are some excellent benefits to swimming the English Channel here rather than the far side of the Atlantic. For starters, we don’t have anywhere near the shipping traffic, so you shouldn’t be run over by a cargo ship. You don’t have to hire a boat crew at $4K a pop to monitor and feed you via poles or ropes. (This could be quite distracting to other swimmers.)

No worries about nasty currents unless the guy in the next lane is doing the butterfly. No need to cake yourself with whale blubber (in fact, we’d prefer it if you didn’t) to survive cold water temps. Our temp will be between 80 and 82 degrees F. Also, no passport required, just your Beede Center ID!

Important info. The measurements we are using for the lap pool, which is set up for yards: One mile equals 1,800 yards or 72 lengths or 36 laps. New England’s own Liz Fry, at 52, is the oldest person to accomplish a round trip. Peter Stoychev of Bulgaria holds the official record for a one-way crossing. He did it in 6 hours and 57 minutes.
Generous in perpetuity
This is how we describe. you, our members. Late last month we set out a call for basic household staples to donate to our friends at Hanscom AFB whose pay was impacted by the government shutdown. Within 24 hours we had more than 50 boxes of cereal, 20 pounds of Grade A coffees, and so much else filling our lobby. A huge thank you for your generosity and kindness.
Family Fun Day!

Bouquets of thank yous to the hundreds who made our first Family Fun Day such a positive and enjoyable success.

Guests, some as young as a few weeks old, visited our facility, feasted on healthy snacks (well, maybe not the littlest ones) and had fun in our pools and gyms on Sunday, Jan. 13. The infamous “Rock” made a cameo appearance in the Dive Well, and challenged scores of you to climb aboard.

We look forward to being a part of your family’s healthy activities and were so happy to have you as our guests. Stop by the front desk anytime for more information on membership opportunities and enrolling in our wide variety of programs.

‘That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.’
Abraham Lincoln

The Winners’ Podium!

Congratulations to the hundreds of you who completed 10 workouts between Dec. 15 and Jan. 15. We know that’s a hard commitment, with the holidays and all, so we’re happy for everyone of you. Wear your winning shirts with pride!
Winter Weather Advisory

We are in the midst of February, which has never been known for its tropical climes.
We have already experienced winter weather and are sure to expect more. Heavy snowfalls may necessitate our opening late, closing early or not opening at all.

We make this decision in concert with the Town Manager’s office and the Public Works Department. Once a strategy is decided, we send you an email and update our voice mail on 978-287-1000, and on social media.

Safety is paramount. We need to clear and sand walkways and the parking lot before slush becomes hazardous. Please wear shoes and boots designed for a wintry climate.
This sums up our newsletter for the month. We are happy to receive your suggestions on features and ideas. Have a wonderful February and we’ll see you all again next month.

Your friends at the Beede Center.