Giving Back

This is the post I’ve been trying to get to y’all since last weekend.  Since my internet is FINALLY working again, hopefully I can post on a normal schedule this week. 🙂


Last weekend, I had the opportunity to be a part of a community event – The First Annual Solus Pro Kids Professional Athletes Basketball Game.  I know, it’s a mouthful!  Solus, one of the gyms where I teach Zumba and SHRED, is a sports performance training center.  They work with athletes of all ages as well as people looking to get fit with the help of a coach/trainer.  It’s not your typical gym, and I love that!  When you come in to workout, you are meeting with a coach or a trainer that is educated and experienced.  There’s no wandering around a weight room randomly picking up whatever weights look good at the moment or jumping on whatever machine is available.  Workouts are thoughtfully planned, and the coaches watch everyone’s form so they can help each person get the most out of the workout.  There are some local teams that come in to train at Solus, and then some individual athletes workout there as well.  It’s not unusual for me to walk in to teach my class and see a professional athlete working out.


John Cena even came in for a workout at Solus not too long ago!


Solus also has a great heart for our community, especially for the kids.  To reach children in our community, they started the Solus Pro Kids Foundation, which “is dedicated to preparing and educating children and young adults about physical activity, proper training techniques, and basic fundamentals to promote a healthy lifestyle.” (source)  They basically run an “after school” program at one of the local elementary schools where they teach fundamentals of sports and help to foster a love of healthy activities for the students.  I have been to the school to teach Zumba before (let me tell you, those kids can DANCE), and it was obvious how much those children love the Pro Kids Foundation.  The event last weekend was a fundraiser to enhance the program and also to expand it to other schools.  The kids from the program were all given Solus Pro Kids shirts and proudly sported them at the game.  During a timeout, they got nearly the entire crowd out on the floor doing the Cupid Shuffle (of course I was out there).

The game last Friday night was a “pros vs joes” type of event, and included some professional athletes, college and high school coaches, businessmen from the area, former college athletes, and the coaches and trainers from Solus.  They asked me to play (it’s okay to laugh, that’s what I did), but I declined.  The idea of trying to shoot over a 350 lb NFL player didn’t sound like it would work out too well for me.  I put a routine together for my cheerleaders and coached them as they performed during halftime, and I also threw out shirts to the crowd.  The game was a big hit, and it was fun to see some guys from this area that have been so successful in their athletic careers.

Artis Hicks



Artis is an eleven year veteran of the NFL.  He has played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns, and is currently playing for the Miami Dolphins.  Artis is from this area, and his wife and kids live here year round.  He is an extremely nice guy, and man does he kill his workouts at Solus during the off season.

Michael Jasper



Michael, or Jasper as most people call him, was picked up by the Buffalo Bills in the 2011 NFL draft.  This guy is BIG – I’m talking 6’4″ almost 400 pounds big.  I used to love to stand next to him at Solus because he is nearly four times my size!  He always joked with me about coming to Zumba class and dancing – maybe one day I can actually convince him to take my class!

Both guys are incredibly nice, and I look forward to watching their careers in the NFL continue to prosper.  It was such a unique opportunity to see these guys playing basketball (I’m sure it was just a little outside their comfort zone, even though they were very good), and I loved seeing them interact with the kids after the game.  They signed autographs and took pictures with everyone that asked.  Seeing these NFL players give back to their community was touching and inspiring.

*Although I work at Solus, I was not compensated for this review of their facility or the event they hosted.  All thoughts and opinions are completely my own.*

So tell me…

What do you do to give back to your community?


3 Responses to “Giving Back”

  1. 1 notsodomesticated April 7, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Hooray for your internet working!! And that sounds like a really neat opportunity! I can’t believe they asked you to play! I would have run the opposite direction!! 😉

  1. 1 The run that DID actually happen « southern fit foodie Trackback on April 16, 2012 at 9:23 pm
  2. 2 Farmer’s Market Haul « southern fit foodie Trackback on May 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm

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