Archive | June, 2013

Bonus mailbag!

5 Jun


I wanted to waste no more time in passing along information about a few events coming up in the next several days.

The first is the annual Webster Museum Barn Sale which will run from 9 am to 6 pm, Thursday June 6 (tomorrow!) through Saturday June 8, at 394 Phillips Road.  The ladies at the museum tell me that they’ll have a “Picker’s Paradise, lots of old tools, antiques, garden art, plants and collectibles.”

All proceeds will benefit the Museum’s ongoing programs and efforts to preserve and celebrate Webster’s history.

* * *

The Webster Marching Band’s semi-annual (or is it bi-annual…in any case, two times a year) Bottle and Can Drive returns this Saturday June 8.  This is a time when more than 150 dedicated student and adult volunteers scour Webster for donations, and end up collecting and sorting more than 250,000 bottles and cans.  This is the band’s biggest fund-raiser of the year, and they’d really appreciate your help, because they have some very exciting — and expensive — trips in the works.

Chances are you received a flyer in your door this week telling you about the bottle and can drive. Simply collect all your returnables in a garbage bag and place them at the curb by 9:30 am for pick-up. You can also drop them off at Schroeder High School between 9:30 am and 4 pm.

You might also consider supporting the band’s “Just $5” campaign to raise funds for aging uniforms and equipment. You can get more information about that at  If you have any questions, or want to schedule a pick- up, call 234-8684 Option 1.



Working out in Webster just got more fun

4 Jun

CrossFit has come to Webster.

If you’re not familiar with this diabolically torturous, yet strangely enjoyable fitness regimen, allow me to enlighten you.

CrossFit  is a strength and conditioning program comprised of short, intense workouts including any or many of the following activities: running, rowing, jumping rope, weightlifting, flipping tires, carrying heavy objects, push ups, sit ups, ring pull-ups, chin-ups, box jumps, medicine-ball throws…and those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.  The chosen activities are done repeatedly, at top intensity, for 15-30 minutes straight.

Now you understand why I called it “torturous.”

But CrossFit is also addictive.  That’s why CrossFit training facilities — or “boxes” as they are affectionately called — have been cropping up all over the States ever since the brand was created 12 years ago.

The newest of those boxes is CrossFit Webster, which opened up just last week at 1847 Empire Blvd.  Last Friday as part of their grand opening celebration they held a free workout.  Actually, they called it a “bootcamp,” which more accurately reflects the intensity that typifies CrossFit training.

I have some CrossFit experience (thanks to friends who host regular workouts in their garages), so I jumped on the chance to try a session in a real “box.”

Before the bootcamp began, I chatted with Laura Rice, CrossFit Webster’s owner.  She and her husband Jeff have owned Flower City CrossFit in Brighton since 2010.  Even back then they had an eye on Webster with thoughts of opening a second gym. Finally, when the time seemed right, Laura took the leap and left her full-time IT job.

CrossFit Webster was born.

Laura found what she calls “prime CrossFit space” in a warehouse tucked back off of Empire Blvd. next to Delta Sonic. For two solid weeks, family, friends and Flower City CrossFit members worked day and night to transform the 7,000-square foot warehouse space into a gleaming workout facility.  Then they stocked it with enough equipment and apparatus to keep 48 people busy and sweating at once.

I know that for a fact, because I was one of those 48 people last Friday night.

For 18 minutes, plus rest breaks which were nowhere NEAR long enough, we sweated through a workout comprised of ring rows, situps, rowing, slam ball, jump rope, and the ever-popular burpees.  (If you don’t know what a burpee is, suffice it to say that EVERYBODY groaned when we were told they were part of the workout.)

I am pleased to report that I did not die.  In fact, once I powered through the “I-hate-every-single-trainer-in-this-room” phase of the workout (which usually occurs at or about burpee #20), it was kind of fun.  There’s a certain satisfaction to pushing your body to the edge and coming out stronger for it.

But more than that, CrossFit workouts are fun because you feel like you’re part of a community. I knew very few people in that room, but that didn’t keep us from cheering each other on, high-fiving as we walked to the next station, and exchanging words of encouragement during rest breaks.

So in that regard, CrossFit Webster has nailed it.  Great people, great equipment, great workouts.

But all this still didn’t make it very easy. But as Laura reminded me, “It never gets easier. It just sucks less.”  That is so true.

Find out more about CrossFit Webster: click here to go to their website, or click here to see their Facebook page.

Bay View’s new Adventure Complex shows what a community can accomplish

2 Jun

George Romell, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Rochester, speaks at the dedication ceremony.

On Saturday morning I was pleased to be in the crowd as George Romell, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Rochester, and Mike Stevens, Director of the Bay View Family YMCA, officially dedicated Bay View’s new “Adventure Campus.”  The beautiful new climbing complex replaces the very popular climbing tower which was destroyed by arson a year ago this month.

And it is a thing of beauty. The new Adventure Campus features a dual zip-line tower, bouldering playground, and of course a brand new, 5-person, 36-foot tall climbing tower.

But the YMCA didn’t stop there when they planned out the new complex, and that’s one of the things I like best about it all. Everything about the Adventure Campus is completely handicap-accessible. A series of new gravel pathways leading to the campus — and even to the end of the zip-line — allows easy wheelchair access.  The bouldering playground was created with sensory-friendly material in consideration of the many autistic children who attend camp there every summer.  The zip-line tower is even equipped with a lift system, so those who cannot walk or climb stairs can be raised to the top of the tower and enjoy the exhilaration of a ride down the zip-line.

At the end of the dedication ceremony, Joe Gerard was given the honor of taking the first ride down the zip-line.  You may remember Joey; I wrote a blog or two about him.  He’s the young man who single-handedly raised more than $6,000 for the cause, $5 at a time, simply by selling hand-made woven bracelets.

There’s a plaque attached to one of the big rocks in the bouldering playground with the names of people and corporations who helped Bay View YMCA realize its dream to rebuild the tower before the 2013 camp season.  But there’s no way that plaque could include the names of every individual or business who donated money or raffle prizes, everyone who served on committees to plan special events, every preschooler who put their pennies in a jar. Because as Mike Stevens said Saturday morning, this was a community effort.

Bay View YMCA Board Chairman Wendy Latko also added something which I thought was very true. And I paraphrase (a.k.a., not getting the quote exact, but it’s pretty darn close):

My children couldn’t understand why someone would burn down the climbing wall. I tried to explain that sometimes people do bad things. It was a sad lesson. But my kids have learned an even better lesson today — that when bad things happen, people will come together to make things right.