Wednesday, August 27

As Seasons Pass

by Richard Kordesh

Each gardening season blossoms differently.  After this year’s extended winter, we faced a halting start with a few of our traditionally reliable vegetables.  Perhaps because the cold had lasted well into April, fewer bugs turned up as food for the birds in May and June.  To compensate, our winged friends ate seedlings that, in past years, they had left alone.  Beets sown in May barely saw the light before being nipped to the ground.

Consequently, we had to restart cucumbers and pole beans.  I adjusted to the birds’ heightened interest by spreading loose netting over the lost plants’ replacements.  This second time around, the cucumbers spread and the pole beans surged.   Today, the latter’s vines stand over six feet tall.  Beet and arugula seeds rest, waiting to spawn a fall crop.

The season unfolded uniquely in other ways as well. This is the first summer in which Maureen and I have experienced our habitat alone.  Our youngest, Greg, remained at the University of Iowa after the spring semester.  The four bedrooms that kids used to occupy now stand empty. 

Yet, even with the family more dispersed, the garden still draws us together for celebrations, reflections, and horticultural renewal.  In late spring, Tim dropped by to seed a row of black-eyed peas.  Home for a short break, Greg started two rows of sweet onions.  Kathy planted roses, astilbe, peonies, and hydrangea: their flowers will adorn benches and tables at her wedding next June.

Despite the challenges, our roots hold firm, even as our vines spread to new places.

Guest blogger Richard S. Kordesh is the author of Restoring Power to Parents and Places and has worked professionally in the community development field for 35 years. Visit Richard's website for more

Tuesday, August 19

New JCC Fitness Specialist Is A Real Ironman

by Lisa DeHayes

“Swimming for me is like trying not to drown for an hour,” says JCC newcomer and Fitness Specialist, Chad VanDerwall. 

Still, Chad has been hitting the waves a lot lately, training for his first full Ironman competition in Louisville later this month. The event includes 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking and a full marathon, 26.2 miles…all in one day.

He’s also been hitting the bike trails lately. Chad and his wife, Becky, moved to Indianapolis a little more than a month ago when she got accepted for a yearlong pharmacy residency at I.U. Health. Chad’s been training by biking the Monon Trail…and beyond. One weekend, he continued past the trail to Kokomo (about 80 miles roundtrip in case you’re wondering).

But Chad most enjoys running. The new course he’s teaching, Athletic Performance Training, is designed for runners, particularly those who want to compete in the Monumental Marathon on November 1. 

“But it’s really for anyone who wants to increase his or her functional movement,” Chad says. 

Chad modeled the course after a run camp in Michigan for people training for a 5k through marathon. 

“There were about 1,000 people enrolled in the camp and we divided into groups of five to 10 runners,” he says. “It was designed to help anyone at any level, beginners to pros.”

Chad says Athletic Performance Training is structured so that it can be tailored to the individual. There will be a dynamic warmup, leg strengthening using a variety of Power Pack and Band Shuffler exercises, followed by core building. 

“For core work, it’ll be not just abs, but lower back and hips, too,” Chad says.

When he’s not working or training, Chad and his wife are most likely grabbing a bite to eat in Broad Ripple or making a different kind of pit stop with Charlie, their four-legged family member, at the dog park in Broad Ripple Park.

Chad Fast Facts
·       Favorite restaurant: The jury’s still out, but Boogie Burger is a frequent stop
·       Hometown: Kalamazoo, Michigan
·       Sports: Played and coached high school hockey
·       Favorite team: Detroit Red Wings (but he’s a fan of Peyton Manning)

·       Favorite music: Anything by Eminem

Tuesday, August 12

Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet

by JCC Staff

It is the 1980s, and 19-year-old Jason Becker has it all. 

He is a flash guitarist, has a supportive, loving family and is about to begin one of the most sought after gigs in rock music – guitarist for the David Lee Roth World Tour. 

Becker is also likeable, creative and cute. 

Then he discovers that he has ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. But that is not the end of Jason Becker’s life – in some ways it is the beginning.

Becker's story is poignant and entertaining, full of inspiration and great music. 

Time and time again people have proven that with perseverance and dedication one can thrive with difficulties that seem unimaginable to most. Jason Becker is one of those people. Jason faces the life altering obstacle of ALS head on. He maintains his sense of humor, writes music and serves as a role model to those around him. 

The JCC is proud to partner with the ALS Association, Indiana Chapter, to bring
Becker's story to the community when we screen the film Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet. 

The event is scheduled for Thursday, August 21, at 7 p.m. and is presented in coordination with the Heartland Film Festival. Profits will be donated to the ALS Association, Indiana Chapter.

Tuesday, August 5

State's First Juried Mobile Photography Competition at JCC Indy

by Lev Rothenberg

When my friend, Asrar Burney, brought up the idea of a Mobile Photography exhibit at the JCC, I was surprised, because I knew that he was a serious photographer. I also did not believe that phone photography rose to a serious art form.

Was I ever wrong about mobile photography!

Our Mobile Photography Gallery Show and Competition is full of amazing and thoughtful work. The scope of textures, clarity and topics is truly impressive.  

Many of today’s phones have better cameras than some of the best cameras of years past.  And the fact that a great camera is so accessible opens up so many artistic possibilities.

Over 20 photographers from around the state shared their images with us – images of beauty, emotion, visual acuity and warmth. 

Our internationally recognized judges we very impressed by the quality of art we received, and you can view it at our gallery show from August 12-Setptember 5. 

Proudly, this is the first juried mobile photography competition in Indiana.

Join us for our free gallery reception, awards ceremony Thursday August 14 5:30-7:30 p.m. and stay for a free  one-hour introduction to iPhoneography by Rad Drew, one of our internationally recognized judges.

You can hear Rad and photographer Freddie Kelvin talk about the show on WFYI’s Art of the Matter.

More about Lev Rothenberg

Tuesday, July 29

RECESS is coming to the JCC

by JCC staff

Have you noticed that kids get more wiggly and less fit as the school day gets longer and the study load gets more intense? 

The demands of curriculum and performance standards create challenges in terms of what can fit into a typical student day. Unfortunately, it often means less recess and physical education when cuts need to be made in the schedule

But our new partnership with General Mills and Kroger is aimed at maintaining health and wellness for families throughout the school year by offering monthly exercise, nutrition and cooking classes. 

We're calling the program R.E.C.E.S.S., which stands for Recreation, Education, Culture, Exercise, Skills, Success.

The best part is that it's FREE to JCC Indy members, and program classes register new participants each month.

Here are more details on the program offerings: 

Family R.E.C.E.S.S
This is an opportunity for parents and kids to play active games together. Exercising together is a powerful tool for promoting a lifelong love of movement and establishing the habit of regular exercise as parents model exercising for their kids. Children must be eight years old upon registration.

Thursdays 5:30-6:30 PM, November-May

Kids Only R.E.C.E.S.S  
Keeping exercise fun is the key to getting kids to stick with it. This program will focus on letting kids play diverse, fun games that encourage movement, team building and cooperative play based on the CATCH curriculum developed at the University of Texas. These classes focus on children working together to solve a problem or reach a goal while being physically challenged and keeping all kids moving as opposed to traditional games that often eliminate players. 

Limited to the first 15 kids, ages 8-11 years old
Tuesdays 4:30-5:30 PM, August-May

Healthy cooking and nutrition for families 
Parents and children cook quick and tasty recipes together. Parents are empowered to model healthy eating in a non-confrontational setting. Kids will pick up cooking skills to pique their culinary curiosity and learn recipes they can create with parent support. Families can plan to eat the healthy, balanced meals they have just created. Children must be eight years of age on the registration date and must be accompanied by at least one parent.

Limited to the first 5 families 
Thursdays 5:30-6:30 PM, August-May

Healthy cooking and nutrition for kids only
Cooking with kids aims to improve food literacy and acceptance of a greater variety of foods among youth through hands on curriculum involving cooking, tasting and peer-influence. The curriculum and menus will focus on exposure to fruits, vegetables and whole grains with an emphasis on tools and techniques that create the foundation for independent food preparation and culinary exploration. Take away materials will provide at home tips for parents to employ follow up lessons.

Limited to the first 10 kids, ages 8-12 years old
Mondays 5:00-6:00 PM, August-May

R.E.C.E.S.S. participants will be asked to confidentially complete brief questionnaires at the beginning, middle and end of each month to assess program success for knowledge retention and adoption of healthy habits.

Instructors include: Andre Grimes, BS Kinesiology MBA, CPT, Health and Wellness Coordinator at the JCC; Erin Dietrich RD, JCC Dietitian; Megan Daugherty, RD, JCC Dietitian; Katherine Matutes, Ph.D., CPT, RYT 200,  Director of Health and Wellness at the JCC. 

For more details, contact Katherine Matutes at 317-251-9467.