LINCOLN CITY — Joan and Rupert McDowell were the first to arrive for the outdoor group exercise class held in the parking lot of the Lincoln City Community Center at 2150 NE Oar Place on Wednesday morning, at 11 a.m.
“I publicized your class,” Joan said to the city’s parks and recreation department instructor, Lori Templeman, as she walked up.
“She’s fabulous,” Joan told the News-Times. “This is the best instructor.” Rupert said he’d been to the outdoor class four or five times since it started at the beginning of August.
“A lot of it was just us brainstorming on how could we provide fitness besides virtually. We saw this online somewhere … and here we have Open Air Fitness Live,” said Boone Marker, recreation supervisor, explaining how staff adapted to meet the challenging conditions presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The center itself is not permitted to open until the county enters phase two.
Raleigh Bartholomew, recreation program manager, set up the camera for those watching and exercising remotely via Facebook Live as people continued to arrive, all masked, greeting each other warmly.
The outdoor class meets Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 11 a.m. for 30 minutes. Starting next week, there will be a live option to the Tuesday and Thursdays morning walking group, Coastal Cruisers, which has been virtual.
“We’re going to lead a walk around our campus, same time, Tuesday and Thursday. So, keep coming,” Templeman announced before starting class Wednesday morning.
“Yay, that’s really nice. Thank you,” said someone in the first row.
Bartholomew will be starting Lincoln City Runs, a running group for teens and adults, Templeman added. Information is available at www.lincolncity.org/parksandrec or at 541-994-2131.
“We’ve got enough space for up to 20, 24 — we can spread out through the lot pretty easily,” Marker said, as people took their spots in every other parking space as denoted by traffic cones.
“All right, good morning, live exercisers and Facebook viewers! Welcome to our Open Air Fitness Live. I’m Lori, and we have 30 minutes together. We’re going to do the ABBA workout today. So if you’re an ABBA fan, this is for you.”
Templeman took her class through a basic exercise program, starting with a big deep breath, bringing arms up overhead then down. She did this a few times, offering a reminder to exhale. ABBA played on the speaker, “No more wasting your emotion.”
Think about driving your elbows back behind you, Templeman advised, making an opening in your chest. “Keep marching, but roll your shoulders back,” she commanded. There were arm circles, forward, big or small, “or somewhere in between,” she said.
“Remember to listen to your body, and stay within a comfortable range of motion — always. If something’s a little too much, just ease up a little bit.”
The group switched to a step touch, moved side to side, reaching overhead. Templeman noted the difficulty of demonstrating the arm movements while holding a microphone and keeping it positioned properly underneath her face shield.
Loosen up,” she said. “Swing your arms, standing tall and proud, rising with the sunshine you have been blessed with today.”
The nine live exercisers gathered in the parking lot did as she said. “Four more, in your square. March anywhere. Roam around your spot.
“We’re going to do a move that’s a little more moderate, and then we’ll energize it. You can plus it if you want — a back toe-tap with a reach. The only thing we’re counting is time. Remember your breathing.”
“How are we doing at home?” Templeman checked in with her remote audience. “Stay strong.”
ABBA sang, “You can change your mind. Take a chance. Take a chance.”