Just For Fun Exercising and Walking Club may be a way for you to gain health benefits, have fun and meet new people. As a general goal, our club will aim for at least 75 to 120 minutes of physical activity when we get together in person once or twice a week.
Our club has evolved around five to seven women who show up pretty regularly. We are open to men and women but so far it is the same faithful members. During the school year we begin according to some (who dropped out) quite late in the morning because our walks do not begin before 9:15/9:30/ and 9:45/10:00AM due to the organizer and others having children or other responsibilities in the mornings. Sorry that we cannot please everyone. In the summer we may choose to meet earlier in the morning as an attempt to walk prior to the heat of the day.
Over the winter some yet to participate members asked why we do not wait and walk later in the day when it is warmer. Again some of us have children and we need to be home in the afternoons.
This is not a typical meet up group. We do not allow members to sign up and not show up. This is an important condition of being a member. The RSVP function is a way for us to know which member/s to wait for in case they are stuck in traffic. It is an important feature. Also checking back in for changes before heading out is a must especially due to the weather.
If a member cannot show up it is mandatory to remove one's name as soon as one realizes he/she cannot attend or at least two hours before the event is scheduled. We are a friendly group and we do wait for members who we think are only running late. But if a member did not intend to come this gets old very quickly. You get the point. So please do not RSVP unless you are serious about showing up. Then if something comes up you must remove your name! Life happens and all of us have had to remove our names at one time or another. But the rule of thump is to use the RSVP system as a means to communicate with one another.
As you begin to participate it is a good idea to gather one another's cell phone numbers as a means of communication. Once in a while we may walk in one of the regional parks and it is wise to know when and where we are meeting up with one another. Also it may be wise to have a cell phone for backup to locating club members.
Our events vary: Some members will have more time and are encouraged to arrive early for warm up stretching or to share breakfast and/or to stay afterwards for socializing over a cup of coffee or tea.
If you want to meet specific fitness goals, you may need to exercise more in another venue. Our club is about a fun way to spend some time making new friends and also have the benefits of exercise. We tend to encourage moderate walking so as not to injure ourselves. Research has shown that moderate walking is actually healthier than fast walking. Interestingly one loses more calories by walking moderately than fast. Check this out. There is research.
We will encourage one another to set aside time to unwind from our busy lives or our sedentary lifestyles by exercising together. We will try different ways of getting together to exercise.
We may decide as a group to meet at Como Park to enjoy the outdoors and/or the conservatory if there is inclement weather or at times we may simply engage in physical activities in various member's neighborhood parks. Once in a while we may take a member's dog/s to a local dog park or on a good walking trail. We will come up with a variety of ideas to get us moving our bodies and exercising.
Exercise that makes us happy is the goal. We may decide to walk briskly down Summit Ave or Grand Ave or Thomas Avenue and gather for tea or coffee afterwards.
Groundswell Coffee on the corner of Thomas and Hamline in St Paul is a good place and the Dunn's Brothers near West River Parkway at 4648 E Lake St, Minneapolis is also a good place to meet prior to exercising or to gather afterwards. There is also a cafe over by the Como Lake that boasts of a good parking lot.
In the summer we may hit the hiking trails or have a picnic and play dodge ball. Members will suggest physical activities to enjoy. If we get bored with a routine, we will try something new.
The main focus of this club will be to have Fun and Exercise Together... and to be inclusive.
All members may click on the links above (Group Tools) on our web site and look up under "Money" to see how we are doing in regards to covering the expense of the club. Meet Up charges $72.00 every six months for the use of their site and for their advertisement of the club. The blue column is money in and the red column is money out.
At the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 four members covered about half of the expense of six months of using the Meet Up web site, which is $72.00, and Teri--covered the rest. 2015 has also been difficult for the Organizer's pocket-book.
Our club needs to ask for a bi- annual dues from members (suggested dues is $2.00 a month or $12.00 per half a year) and this may be paid in person when you attend your first or second event. Thanks.
The dues may be paid online, but a percentage of the dues then goes to the WePay company that Meet Up so it is best to pay in person to either Meagan or Teri.
Meet Ups makes it sound like it is a mandatory dues when their system sends out the email because this is how their computer program operates. However, members are told to give whatever he or she feels comfortable giving for the annual membership dues or ask for an exemption from paying the dues. Having said this, please look up "Money" under the label: Group Tools. We suggest you give $12.00 every six months as long as you are a member.
Each and every annual dues and/or donation amount above the annual dues is welcomed no matter the amount. All is appreciated so that the costs of the meet up web site doesn't fall exclusively on the organizer's shoulders. If you have any concerns about the member dues or need an exemption from paying please talk with Teri.
In 2013 and 2014 Teri still had to pay almost half of the costs of the six-month charge after already paying the total amount the previous six months while the club was getting started. In 2015 Teri continues to pay most of the costs of the club since the membership has been fading. We have great ideas at our recent March 2015 planning meeting on how to grow the club. Meagan will be posting events in Minneapolis and in the western suburbs and Teri will continue to post events in the Como Park, St Paul and Mississippi River area of St Paul and Minneapolis.
It was difficult to add all these paragraphs about expenses and donations. On April 24, 2014 a new member stated that a $8.00 to $12.00 donation was outrageous. So Teri felt the need to explain in detail that $72.00 is charged by the company that runs Meet Up and thus is needed every six months to keep the web site up and running. Other members who know how much work goes into keeping the events going, hosting events and updating the website thought that $2.00 a month or $12.00 every six months was not a lot to ask for since Meet Up is charging to use their site.
Those who have lost your jobs during the restructuring of companies and during the high lay-off periods are exempt from paying dues. However some members are marked exempt because they donated enough for themselves and to go towards other members' dues. So do not judge a member by its cover or rather marking of exempt. Some members are marked exempt so that they may pay in person and not through the internet.
It is Teri's hope that the talk about the financial aspects of running a club will not put anyone off from joining. At the same time some individuals like to be informed about the reasons for a money request. One member thought that Meet Up's web sites were totally free. You may smile at this.
The organizer lost her job in January '14. Members of any club need to consider the financial aspects of whether or not the club's costs are worthy of a donation... and if so, how much? If you are someone who wants to participate and doesn't like using the internet to pay club dues, then please feel free to pay the dues by check or by cash in person. Talk to Teri via phone or by the internal message system on Meet Up. Best not to use regular email because of the hundreds of emails Teri no longer checks the account connected to Meet Up.
The web site is a great tool for the RSVP system and for meeting new folks through Meet Ups advertisements and it is also great for organizing our activities. This is why we keep it.
Remember to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have any health concerns.
The organizer is open to having event hosts to assist with planning and posting our get-togethers. If these ideas interest you, please contact Teri. This is a fairly new club. You have an opportunity to make it your club. Hope to have lots of new and returning members at our activities. Many members have commented on how friendly our club is to new folks. Hope you agree and soon become one of the regulars.