November 22, 2016

Wood-Fired Favorites

There's a new entry to the Indy dining scene, and if you enjoy wood-fired favorites, then Firebirds is the place for you. This eatery, which mixes an upscale and casual decor, will be an ideal spot for settings ranging from a planned special dinner out to a place to stop for Happy Hour with friends after work. Whatever your adult beverage of choice, the FireBar likely has it. There is a wall of wine that serves as a focal point in the dining room, and an array of other decanters on display near the bar. Firebirds features a wide variety of options for the hungriest diner to lighter eaters. Appetizers include lobster spinach queso, smoked chicken wings, chicken quesadilla and seared ahi tuna. The chicken quesadilla was flavorful with black bean salsa, corn, cheddar and pepper jack cheese. It also has sriracha sour cream for a hint of spiciness. As for the visually-appealing seared ahi tuna, it is a must try for seafood lovers.

Regarding entrees,you can choose from pineapple chicken, pecan-encrusted trout and baby back ribs just to name a few. For steak afficionados, there is center cut sirloin, steak au poivre, aged ribeye, and prime rib. The prime rib can be ordered with a loaded baked potato and fresh veggies(pictured below). The prime rib was prepared just right with its pink center and slightly darker edges.

Burgers and sandwiches are on the menu as well. There is a Durango Burger, French Dip sandwich and Smokehouse Chicken sandwich. The Smokehouse Chicken (pictured below) has java BBQ sauce, apple-smoked bacon, cheddar and red onion. The java BBQ sauce is sweet with a slight tinge of coffee flavor.
Those with a sweet tooth will be pleased with creme brulee' cheesecake, warm chocolate brownie, key lime pie or carrot cake. The carrot cake was divine, and was accompanied by a side of caramel sauce to drizzle over it.

Firebirds is located at 96th and Meridian. It is open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. until 11 p.m., with lunch and dinner menus available.

April 27, 2016

Introducing a Fitness Industry Novice

So nearly four years after the fact, I have decided to answer the question implied in my last post "Did I ever start teaching Zumba?" The answer is a resounding "Yes!" Achieving this goal made me realize that a person really can do anything with some hard work and the refusal to give up.

I taught my first Zumba class in December of 2013, after a friend offered me the option to work as a substitute instructor for one of her classes. That first class I was nervous, fearful of forgetting my 16-song routine or doing the wrong dance move at the wrong time. But you know what? It turned out great! I did it and after I did it, I realized that I had to focus seriously on obtaining my own class.

So I started applying at gyms online and then following up with a phone call, well actually a few phone calls. My last call was to a well-known gym that was 1 mile from my residence. I wasn't expecting a positive outcome because in my mind it was the major league. The manager said they didn't have any openings but their other location in a nearby town (22 miles away) did. Surprised at my good fortune, I thanked her and applied online immediately. I was called for an interview two days later.

The interview went well and not only was I hired part-time as a Zumba instructor but also as a Wellness Coach. Wellness coaching involves showing gym members how to use Cybex and cardio equipment. As an added bonus, my job involves providing encouragement and motivation to members. What's not to love?

I never would have believed that a company would pay me, a newcomer, money to create choreography, music playlists and encourage others on their fitness journeys. It is all the more special because I am still on my journey. I have weight to lose and muscles to tone, but thankfully that doesn't stop members from coming to my classes or asking for my assistance in the Wellness Center. Perhaps it even makes me more relatable.

I have now worked at "my" gym since 2014. I have taken training to teach other Group Ex classes, and am pursuing options to take my fitness career and my personal fitness to the next level. I can't wait to see where fitness takes me!

September 17, 2012

My Fitness Journey

It isn’t something I write about often, but it is a major part of my life.  I want to become fit enough to teach Zumba classes. I have my instructor’s license, what I don’t believe I have is enough endurance to teach a 60 minute class.  I can take a 60 minute class and even a 120 minute class, but teaching is different. I'm pretty sure being out of breath will not lend itself to leading a class effectively.   I’ve worked out throughout my life, but sporadically, like  do it for a year here or a year there.  For awhile it was Stairmaster. I was queen of Stairmaster, for real. Then treadmill, which was quite boring. However, since discovering Zumba  three years ago, I’ve found I want to work out often and more importantly, consistently.  I love dancing, and Zumba allows me the opportunity to dance to my heart’s content as often as I want. Also, it has made me more open to trying other classes, such as Strike, a class with weighted bars and gloves.  

One of my biggest challenges has been finding a balance between food intake and fitness. I know I always will be a foodie. It is who I am. My goal has been trying to enjoy food and social activities without gaining the weight that affects my endurance.

I think I am starting to understand what it takes to do that. It involves a no excuses mentality, which is easier to employ when there’s no cupcakes,  french fries or pizza in your vicinity and no friends asking if you want to go to a movie , have a meal at Cheesecake Factory or Outback (Mmmmm Outback).  In my case, all of the above happens often. I guess part of this journey will mean learning how to decline politely and keep focused on the goal. To be continued........