Around Jonathan Street

January 15, 2009|By MADGE MILES / 301-791-7647

Linda Brooks keeps a healthy outlook

Linda Brooks of Hagerstown considers herself blessed when it comes to being in shape. She had the mindset that if you work out, you'll never get fat and never have a hard time staying in shape.

But that mindset changed as she got older. She said she didn't have the "second wind" everyone talks about. As a naturally tall, mid-framed woman, her body structure easily accommodated weight change.

Her heart was in the right place in the beginning of her quest. However, as time and challenges progressed, (when she realized that her dream was a marathon and not a sprint), she let herself enjoy every moment of her regressions.

She ate junk food and unhealthy meals whenever she was stressed or "junk" was convenient. Often she ate dinner late in the evening because of her work schedule.


In her opinion, her body was making up for earlier deprivation during her times of discipline. So needless to say, she had a lot of work to do as the natural and probable life changes occurred.

Exercise has always been a part of Linda's daily life, but it was not until 2005 when her vision came to light that fitness was going to be her career goal. She developed her own health and fitness walking program that included more than 60 participants.

Her recipe is simple: motivate others, develop people skills, be respectful and let others know that "can't" is not a word to use.

"We all have challenges whether they are personal or professional but ensuring that you have positive mentors to keep you on track will help you to become a better you," she said.

Linda's light-bulb moment occurred when she attended the National Personal Training Institute in Vienna, Va. It provided structured training and education that led to a healthier lifestyle, she said.

"My education does not stop here," she said. "I will continue taking classes even after the opening of my next venture - Activities for Life Health & Fitness Center. You never stop learning; you only get better at what you do."

Part of Linda's hope is to place in the top 10 finalists when she competes in her first fitness competition scheduled for July.

If you need encouragement or just want to talk about getting fit, you can e-mail Linda at jehovahon and enter "fitness" in the subject line.

Dance planned

Don't forget, Memorial Recreation Center is sponsoring a pre-inauguration celebration dance Saturday at the Martin Luther King Center, 131 W. North Ave. in Hagerstown.

The event will begin at 7 p.m.

If you haven't gotten a ticket yet, be sure to call 301-790-0203.

And remember, the dress is red and black, although that is optional.

It will also be an opportunity to support the For Our Kids Sake program from food items sold at the dance.

Fun Day

The Regal Valley Mall Stadium 16 will hold a Hotel for Dogs Fun Day on Saturday, from noon to 4 p.m., to promote the upcoming DreamWorks Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies release, "Hotel for Dogs."

The event is also being held to help raise awareness of the need to find permanent homes for shelter dogs in Washington County. Volunteers from the Humane Society of Washington County will be at the event from noon to 3:30 p.m. with adoptable shelter dogs.

The movie stars Emma Roberts, Jake T. Austin and Kyla Pratt with Lisa Kudrow, Kevin Dillon and Don Cheadle. The movie is a comedy adventure about a brother and sister who turn an abandoned hotel into a doggie paradise for homeless dogs. The Fun Day will introduce the film that premiers nationwide Friday and will also feature display and information stands and a donation box for moviegoers to donate items to the Humane Society. The event will be in the Regal Valley Mall Stadium 16 lobby and is free to all moviegoers.

Paul Miller, shelter executive director, is appreciative of the opportunity to raise awareness of homeless dogs and pets in general. "Hopefully this movie will get the public thinking about responsible pet ownership," Miller said. "This is a timely subject."

The Regal Valley Mall Stadium 16 is at 17301 Valley Mall Road in Hagerstown.

For more information, call the shelter at 301-733-2060.

Picture book contest

In celebration of Children's Book Week, May 11 to 17, Washington County Library is sponsoring its third annual Create an Easy Picture Book Contest.

Beginning as well as experienced authors are invited to write and illustrate a children's picture book.

The contest includes five age divisions. There will be one winner for each age division. The age divisions are as follows: Children in grades two to three; grades four to five; grades six to eight; grades 9 to 12; and adult.

Only one entry per person will be accepted.

All text and illustrations in the book entries must be original work and may be on any topic. All entries must include author/illustrator name, age division, address and telephone number.

Entries may be submitted to the Central Library in Hagerstown or to any library branch throughout the county between Feb. 1 and April 1.

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