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Tag Archives: blog

Kickin’ It With Kenneth

(Published May 24, 2022) Watch Kenneth H. in either his tae kwon do class or swim lessons, and you’ll be impressed by the way he moves his legs. In warm-up stretches, he’s flexible enough to bring his foot higher than his face. Then once he starts kicking with purpose, his movements are graceful yet powerful and his aim is straight …

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Tim Bass, Teaching Boisterously

Walk down the JCC’s fitness hallway on a Monday evening or Saturday morning, and you’ll hear music blasting, laughing and cheering, and people generally sounding like they’ve having the time of their lives. That would be the J’s Total Body BoxJump Group Exercise class, led by instructor Tim Bass. Four years ago, Tim suffered a heart attack at 53 years …

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Andrew Bowman is Living History

Andrew Bowman, an elderly black man, wearing a Civil War uniform and carrying the flag bearing the name of the regiment his grandfather, Andrew Jackson Smith, belonged to

(Published Jan 25, 2022) When Andrew Bowman first heard about his grandfather Andrew Jackson Smith’s Civil War heroics, even he didn’t believe it. “My mother’s a good storyteller,” he said, “and we always thought [her tales] were so outlandish. We joked about her being from “Lyin'” County, Kentucky [as opposed to its real name, Lyon County] because her stories were, …

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From Ballet to Boxing with Allison Weinkein

(Published Dec 28, 2021) These days, Allison Weinkein works out in the Mordoh Fitness Center as often as she can, averaging about four or five days a week. But it wasn’t always that way. “[Now] I get that little workout high that a lot of people talk about that I never believed. It ended up I was just doing the …

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The Erdel Family’s Decade at the J

A mosaic featuring photos of the Erdel family

(Published April 26, 2021) To understand just how at home the Erdel kids feel at the J, one only had to watch them as they arrived at the Sablosky Pavilion, the location for the (masked and socially distanced) interview and photo shoot to prep this piece. Audrey (9) and Evan (7) immediately ran over to picnic tables their Summer Care …

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Filiberto Learns to Swim

Filiberto Cruz Mancera (Hispanic man in his 40s) in the Regenstrief Natatorium

(Published March 25, 2021) Growing up in Mexico, Filiberto Cruz Mancera loved sports. Basketball, volleyball, almost anything athletic – except swimming. When Filiberto was about six years old, his younger brother fell into and was swept away in the strong current of a creek where Filiberto, his brother and an older sister were playing. Filiberto and his sister frantically chased …

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Joe Johnson is All Heart

Joe Johnson (a mustached Black man in his 60s wearing a yellow shirt) working out on a machine in the Mordoh Fitness Center

(Published Jan 25, 2021) To look at Joe Johnson, you might not guess that he had a heart transplant just over 11 years ago. The way he tells it, his exercise routine hasn’t even changed that much from before the transplant: “It’s just that I can do more reps now. I got stronger.” Making sure that new heart stays healthy …

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Bruce Sklare, Earth Day Champion

(Published Mar 20, 2019) Bruce Sklare, the volunteer spearheading Earth Day at the J, gives generously of his time and resources. He said his volunteerism at the J has always been based on his interest in creating partnerships and opportunities for people to improve both the quality of their lives and of the larger community. He lives and works the …

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Physicality and Philosophy with Master Jean-Pierre

(Published Feb 1, 2019) Master Jean-Pierre Decaudin has been teaching Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido for about 37 years, 35 of which have been at the J. With students who range in age from children through seniors, Master Jean-Pierre has accumulated a lot of wisdom over his martial arts instructor tenure and is more than willing to share it. How …

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Welcome Eric H. Koehler

(Published Aug 1, 2017) Eric H. Koehler, JCC’s new CEO, has been on the job a little more than a month and is already a regular fixture in the Mordoh Fitness Center as is his wife Sandy. Even son, Gedalia, has jumped right in as staff at Camp JCC. The Koehlers come to Indianapolis from Stamford, CT where as CEO …

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