RetroFlex Fitness is gaining popularity in Zephyrhills and the owners of the gym may be the reason why.
Dave Vidrine co-owns RetroFlex with his wife, Alysia Vidrine, and his friends Jim and Jennifer Taylor. They started the business back in November of 2014 and have acquired hundreds of members since then.
One reason for this rise in member population could possibly be due to the sense of family among the staff and members of the gym. Vidrine spends much of his time working out with different members every day.
“I enjoy coming here every day, spending time with all the people here, talking to everybody, working out,” Vidrine said. “That’s my thing, that’s what I like to do.”
This display of support shows just how much these members care about what they call their “gym family” and they are spreading the word all over town.
“I work out with him every day,” said Josh Twardosky, a member of RetroFlex. “When I’m doing something wrong he tweaks it a little bit, makes sure I’m doing everything just right.”
Vidrine participated in his first body building competition in June of this year. He had sixty-five people from his gym show up to support him, the largest group of supporters for any competitor there.
To find out more about RetroFlex Fitness, visit their Facebook page.
Esther Solano and Tina Leon not only share a passion for health and fitness, they also share a friendship that stands the test of time.
Solano helped create Tampa’s very own Epic Boxing & Fitness, a full service boxing gym with a twist.
“We’ve been here for almost three years now,” Solano said. “It’s been great to watch us grow from when we first opened in 2014 until now.”
Located on West Kennedy Boulevard in the heart of Downtown Tampa, Epic Boxing & Fitness attracts all different kinds of clientele from around the Tampa area, like Solano’s regular, Tina Leon.
“I started coming to Epic around three years ago when they first opened up,” Leon said. “Esther and I have become great friends and workout buddies so I definitely love it here.”
The gym found its start with the help of co-owner Jaye Maddon, wife of Joe Maddon, the 2016 World Series Champion Manager of the Chicago Cubs.
“I was her boxing coach at the time and one day she came to me and told me she wanted to open her own boxing gym with a twist, and if I’d help her start on this adventure,” Solano said. “It’s been a blessing to work with her.”
Epic Boxing & Fitness will be celebrating its third anniversary next year.
“If you want to be challenged then come down and try out a session,” Solano said. “We welcome college students from UT as well as USF.”
ZenChristian Mott is a unique college student. She runs a very successful blog that is catered to assist incoming female students, called http://www.peacencurlz.com/.
At the age of 20, this University of South Florida student is a mentor, yoga instructor, author, blogger and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor.
“It is kind of for everybody. It’s a personal and natural hair blog,” Mott said. She describes the blog additionally by saying it is for, “women in the college lifestyle, love at being 20 and being young in this generation”.
Mott is a junior. She is also a double major in English and psychology. She is focusing on psychology as it pertains to childhood trauma. The blog began as an assignment for her creative writing class.
Subscriber Brittney Ball follows http://www.peacencurlz.com/ regularly and particularly enjoyed Mott’s posts. When asked what about Mott made her subscribe, Ball said, “Zen’s a junior, so she’s spent a little time in college and understands the difficulties and I think she has a nice perspective”.
Mott is passionate and wants to help people. She is careful to say that the website has no racial preference. When asked what incoming freshman could stand to gain from her blog, Mott responded, “practice self-love more.”
Yoga From the Heart is a boutique yoga studio in Sarasota, FL. Owner Lynn Burgess was voted the No. 1 yoga instructor in Sarasota. Yoga from the Heart offers a wide variety of classes for those willing to step on a yoga mat.
Assistant State Attorney Kate Wallace, also a yogi in her free time, practices at Yoga From the Heart.
“Yoga From the Heart is a place where I come just to enjoy and unwind from a busy day or a busy week,” Wallace said. “I come here to learn something new. Lynn is a teacher’s teacher; I mean, she spends so much time polishing herself. She constantly is working on getting better and keeping the yoga fresh.”
Yoga From the Heart has been operating for more than 17 years and is the longest standing yoga boutique in the city of Sarasota.
“I would say the primary way that I keep the business a success is through discipline,” Burgess said. “Discipline in how we run the operations of the business, discipline in my own study of yoga, discipline in how we market the business and explain to people what yoga is and what it can do for them.”
After losing nearly fifty pounds, Rosie Velasquez is giving back to the community of Wimauma by hosting Rosie’s Boot Camp. The women-only boot camp helps females of all ages come together in a judgement-free environment for a common goal: to get in shape.
“Most of these women, they don’t go to the gym,” Rosie Velasquez said. “They rather do a workout here in my boot camp because they’re, you know, shy to go to the gym.”
The women in her boot camp echo Rosie’s sentiment about favoring group fitness rather than the typical gym experience. Janet Huerta says that in addition to the group fitness environment she also likes the support she receives at the boot camp.
“I like the whole group fitness camp,” Huerta said. “I used to go to the gym but the whole group and the motivation that I get here is better than the gym for me.”
Velasquez also offers additional services for women who prefer one-on-one sessions.
“Well, I have some people…that are more shy,” said Rosie. “They don’t like to work out in front of people so they like to do…personal training.”
Rosie’s Boot Camp is offered Monday and Wednesday for five dollars.
USF has implemented a new Tobacco and Smoking Free Policy. Tobacco and smoking are now prohibited from the Tampa campus, which means that the university’s 24 designated smoking areas no longer exist.
“USF made this change because the university is committed to providing a healthy and safe environment for people to learn in and for people to work in,” USF media and public affairs manager, Adam Freeman, said. “By going tobacco and smoke free for the entire campus, we’re hoping to promote a healthy lifestyle and a lifestyle built around wellness for all members of the community.”
The policy went into effect Jan. 4 before the spring semester started. The university is aiming for the policy to be peer enforced. This can be done by asking people who are smoking to stop or by contacting the building manager nearest to where the smoking is taking place. Students caught smoking can be taken to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities to face disciplinary action. Staff and faculty can be brought before their supervisors. However, the consequences do not seem to be a deterrent.
“I think that it’s definitely a good idea, absolutely,” USF junior Nick Salsone said. “I see that a lot of people don’t follow the rules, but I think that they should.”
There are still plenty of people smoking on campus. The word “free” was scratched off of one of the tobacco and smoke free campus signs.
“I think if people want to smoke, they should be able to,” sophomore Madeline McKeever said. “People are going to do it regardless, so the signs don’t really stop anyone.”
USF’s St. Petersburg and Sarasota campuses already have tobacco free policies. USF Tampa has been working towards a tobacco free campus for the past four years.
Fitness enthusiast Tyler Butler is training to compete in the 2015 Strength Camp Challenge in late November. He has put in hard work and dedication, hoping it will pay off in winning the $10,000 prize. Butler aspires to be a good role model to family and friends and tries to inspire them to lead a healthy lifestyle.