Photo by Robin May A home gym keeps Brooke, 21, Josh, 15, and Emily, 13, fit and healthy.
For this Opelousas family, working out means never leaving the house.
Monica Williams and family are serious about staying healthy. It’s why they never have to leave home to make it happen. Upstairs in their Opelousas home is their own escape.
“We have two ellipticals, a StairMaster, a workout bench and an ab machine,” Williams says. “We work out with DVDs up there. Use weights. We do some cardio and some strength training.”
Williams hits the gym three to five days a week. And always has. An injury last year (broken ankle) may have benched her, but she’s now working her way back into the groove. And her husband, orthopedic spine surgeon Ray Williams, doesn’t miss a day.
“And the kids use it,” Williams says of her three children, ages 13-21, from a previous marriage. She notes that her 21-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son hit the gym for different reasons.
“My daughter is into being skinny,” she says with a laugh. “My son plays football so he likes to work out for strength.” She and her husband do both. And with both of them working, there is little time for trips to and from a gym.
“With our schedules ... we work so much that it’s not easy to get away and go to the gym. It’s a lot easier to walk upstairs and be in the gym. Kids are in sports, and there are long hours of work,” she says.
The couple, married for six years, have always had a workout area in their home. And when they made plans to build their new home less than three years ago, the gym was a priority.
“We’ve always had it but not as much stuff. We’ve added more,” Williams says. It’s a choice she’s glad they made. “We’re happy with the lineup we’ve got in the gym. We’ve got the basics you’re really going to use.”
The family’s regular exercise regimen leaves everyone with more energy and an overall healthy feeling. “You have to set yourself up on a routine. Make yourself do it. It’s easier to make an excuse to not do it and not get started. When you’re home you can set a routine,” Williams continues. “For us, it’s the evening.”
And while Williams does still hit the gym away from home at times, it’s great to have someone at home to work out with on a regular basis. “It’s easier when you’ve got a partner,” she says.
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DEC 19 So Bobby Jindal, who is generally unavailable to the Louisiana media on stuff like, oh, the budget, education, health care, is all up in the Phil Robertson thing. Apparently, he can comment if he thinks it will get him some national press. Here's his statement, on WAFB. If you missed it, Phil Robertson has been temporarily suspended from the Duck Dynasty program after he compared homosexuality to bestiality in a GQ interview. (He also talked about hoeing cotton with happy, singing black folks "pre-entitlement" but hey, one thing at a time.)
DEC 19 The same day a BP engineer was convicted of obstruction of justice in the first criminal trial related to the spill, here's a report from NOLA Defender about oil from the spill being found in a tar mat. So far, crews have removed 750 tons of the gunk from Fourchon Beach, the post tells us. Seems that whether it is in court or in the Gulf, this story is far from over.
DEC 19 Tyler Bridges writes in the Lens about higher education and a behind the scenes fight that is going on. It's no surprise that Louisiana's higher ed institutions should be fighting over dollars -- because they've all sustained such devastating cuts over the years of Bobby Jindal's administration. But now it turns out UL, LSU and SU are teamed up to fight a Regents' funding plan, he writes. It's very interesting -- but also embarrassing -- that universities have to do this in Louisiana.
DEC 19 Here's a post on the Education Week blog about the auditor's critical report on our voucher program. The lede is buried, as it was in most of the Louisiana media's stories: In 97 percent of the schools reviewed, the auditor could not tell how voucher funds were spent. In other words, there is no way to find out how these private entities spent our tax money. This is OK?
DEC 19 Shortly after a state audit found myriad problems in spending and oversight of the state's voucher program comes this story in the Picayune about an expansion of it. The Walton Foundation (founded by the owners of Wal-Mart to fund the progression of their idea of what America should be) made a grant to the Alliance for School Choice, and some of those millions will be coming to Louisiana, the story says.
DEC 19 Columnist James Gill writes about the (allegedly) unintended byproduct of a law passed last year, ostensibly to protect the gun-toting rights of upstanding citizens. What is also happening is, it is allowing felons to get guns as well, Gill writes. See, that's the problem with laws: They apply to everybody, not just people you like.
DEC 19 Columnist John Maginnis writes about John Kennedy, our state treasurer, and how he loves the headlines. Kennedy's treasurer gig has allowed him to set himself up as the watch dog of our state dollar, Maginnis writes, but it is clear Kennedy wants a bigger job: Governor.
DEC 19 Jim Brown blogs about the recent tax amnesty program in this week's post. If you're a Louisiana taxpayer, you'd be nuts to pay those taxes on time, he says. If you don't do that, eventually you'll be able to pay them at a deeply discounted rate, and without penalties or fees, he says. But, he points out, we're not really talking about peons like us. Roughly 80 percent of the back taxes were collected from businesses. Interesting.
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