NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
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‘Tracking Running Wolf’ Archives

Running Wolf Fitness Center and Connie Norman

By Lydia Caros Connie Norman was the face of Running Wolf Fitness Center (RW) for 4 years. She was a tireless worker who believed in the program and in promoting health in the local Native American community. She was a teacher/trainer for the Living In Balance classes at NACC and offered the classes to other Native organizations for years, as well as training community members to teach the class. Managing the Running Wolf program was a natural extension of those efforts. When NACC and IHB started to co-manage the Running Wolf program, it was clear that funding was going to be the most difficult issue. The clinics tried very hard to provide funding for the program; but neither clinic was able to fund the entire program out of their operational funds. Both clinics spent a significant amount of staff time and funding, but their financial support was meant to be temporary. It was made clear at the onset that outside funding was going to be necessary. Connie worked valiantly to keep RW going. Funding continued to be a challenge, and we think that foundations may have been wary of funding a project that had TWO non-profits managing it, since RW was not an independent entity. Despite the constant stress of funding worries, Connie reached out to the community and encouraged people to exercise. Many in the community have benefitted, and there have been several articles in the past attesting to wonderful life-changing results from individuals starting a regular exercise program at Running Wolf. Connie was there to cheer them on and advise them. She also reached out to all the local Native organizations encouraging participation. Her networking abilities were stunning. (more…)

Running Wolf Fitness Center CLOSED Management by Clinics ends Dec 31st

To the Community, Since 2010, the Running Wolf Fitness Center has operated as a program of the Native American Community Clinic and the Indian Health Board. It was under their management that Running Wolf moved into the Phillips Community Center. Recently because of capital expenditures and financial restrictions the two clinics will no longer manage Running Wolf. The last day of operations at the Phillips Community Center will be Friday, December 20, 2013. The Minneapolis American Indian Center is working on assuming management of Running Wolf and is actively seeking funding to cover the operating costs as one if its program at the Center. Running Wolf will be temporarily closed until this funding is secured. Minneapolis American Indian Center and Al Olson, the Mille Lacs Urban Special projects coordinator along with other community members are working to keep this valuable asset local and affordable to all members of the Phillips Community Neighborhood. We thank the community for their support and patience through this time of transition for Running Wolf Fitness Center. Sincerely, Indian Health Board Native American Community Clinic

Fitness and Wellness classes combine for better health @ Running Wolf

By Connie Norman Hello from Running Wolf Fitness Center! This month I wanted to talk about the whole program of health and wellness that is offered at Running Wolf all for only 10 dollars a month! When folks think about going to a fitness center, I believe they think about only the treadmills and other weight equipment and the fitness classes like, Taiji/Qigong, Zumba, Yoga and Cardio-Kickboxing and the personal training opportunities that are offered regularly at Running Wolf. However, if you check out our Running Wolf calendar you will often see the other health and wellness classes offered that are so important to building a lifelong wellness program for yourself! For example, last month we offered a 6 week workshop called “Living in Balance”. It is a chronic disease self-management program that brings people together weekly to learn how to live a healthy life with chronic conditions and develop their action plan for healthy living. This workshop is part education taught by 2 trained facilitators most of whom are also living with a chronic condition. It is also a time of sharing and support and many people have come away having broken out of their isolation and depression, because they realize that they are not alone. They meet others that also have chronic conditions and while they learn from each education session each week, they also develop trust and learn from each other. Often lifelong friendships are developed here. We offer the 6 weeks from 5 to 7pm with a healthy meal and if you complete the sessions- you get a 20 dollar gift card and a wellness action plan as well. (more…)

Tracking Running Wolf

By Connie Norman As the manager of Running Wolf Fitness Center, I must say that I am not sure that Running Wolf Fitness Center will be open after the end of August. Come what may, I’m reminded about the many generous and positive people we have here volunteering at Running Wolf. As I thought about it, I realized that there have been many wonderful volunteers who have made Running Wolf a special place for the participants who came here to get healthy! Without these volunteers I believe we wouldn’t have been here even as long as we have. The strong sense of helping others be healthier and happier is alive and well at Running Wolf So I would like to share about our many wonderful volunteers! Each one brings the spirit of volunteerism in this day and age that so many people struggle to make ends meet (and that is the case for some of these volunteers) they continue to believe that volunteering for Running Wolf is important for the health and wellness of our community. Robin, Christopher, Chris, Jewel, Margaret, Dr Sara Barrett, Michelle, Justine, Emily and David are just a few of the many wonderful volunteers we have had long term here at Running Wolf. (more…)

Tracking Running Wolf Sacrificed for Safety, Loosing Pounds and Gaining New Life! – a Story of Survival

By Connie Norman Hello from Running Wolf Fitness Center. We are so grateful to the Alley Newspaper that we are able to share our success stories of Running Wolf Fitness Center clients with all of you. I hope you find it motivating so you, too, can make time to exercise and take care of your health! I am excited to share our next success story with you! Billy came to Running Wolf Fitness Center one year ago as part of a weight loss challenge with Native American Community Clinic and Running Wolf Fitness Center. Billy came and did a baseline data check in and we found that he had high blood pressure and high cholesterol and a high BMI and body fat. He also has chronic debilitating back pain. But Billy started working out daily at Running Wolf and met weekly with the dietitian from NACC. At the end of the 12 weeks he came in second in the weight loss challenge losing only by a tenth of a pound! Billy continued working out daily at Running Wolf to continue building his strength, flexibility and endurance and to lose weight. He has become the poster child of Running Wolf! To date, Billy has lost 55 pounds and is no longer taking medications for high blood pressure and cholesterol. His back pain is reduced but he continues to use a back brace when he works out so he can complete his workout. He is determined to continue this path to health and wellness. (more…)

Running Wolf Fitness Center: A Wellness Dream Betrayed. Will We Save It?

By Robert Albee Quite often, I sit in our conference room overlooking the westside entrance to the Phillips Community Center. There I usually see a stream of people entering the building, standing by the door to Running Wolf Fitness Center waiting to be let inside. Or it’s somebody leaving, having worked on their physical fitness routines. Almost everyone is smiling whether coming or going! All that could go away soon, perhaps in a month or two. It seems like Running Wolf’s sponsoring organizations, Native American Community Clinic and the Indian Health Board are dumping Running Wolf and have quit seeing its value and it’s profound impact on the rest of the Community. Building the program, they received considerable funding from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and U-Care of Minnesota, who invested close to $100,000 to get Running Wolf started. Now it seems as if they don’t care if these assets remain in Indian Country or become alienated. Do they even care who they toss the keys to as they focus more on their clinical operations? (more…)

Success By Leaps and Bounds “Look if I can do it anyone can…”

By Connie Norman Hello from Running Wolf Fitness Center. Wow its June already! I wanted to share another special Running Wolf fitness Center success story with you. This is for all of us who struggle to develop a regular routine of exercise and wellness activities so you can live a healthier life. Late last November Mr. Jackson came into Running Wolf after being dropped off by Metro Mobility. Mr. Jackson used a rolling walker and had serious one sided weakness and balance issues since a diagnosis of severe spinal stenosis and muscle atrophy a year before. His goal was to get stronger, develop better balance and be able to increase his endurance in walking and standing. He worked out 3- 4 times a week and worked with our trainer to develop a good progressive workout routine. He also was able to use the large Park Board gym in the Phillips Community Center building to focus on walking endurance with our trainer. One day while he was at Running Wolf- he asked about the other programs he saw in the building. I gave him a tour and he met with the Waite House Chef Austin Bartold – who instructs the 6 week Adult Culinary arts program as well as cooks and serves food daily at the center. He also met with John Richards -Coordinator of the Waite House Urban opportunities-Self Sufficiency programs like the employment services and computer education classes. (more…)

No Hurdles Between You and Running Wolf. Run-on Over!

By Connie Norman Hello from Running Wolf Fitness Center! We all know that the days are getting longer and warmer, meaning it’s time to pull yourself out from the comfort of your winter layers and revive your sluggish energy levels and winter blues wobble with some exercise at Running Wolf! But finding what motivates you and keeping it up to step into your exercise gear and get active can be harder than you think. “Motivation is a lot more complex than people realize. Motivation is defined as ‘the process that initiates, guides and maintains goal-oriented behaviors’. It is therefore not the simple fact of turning on a motivational switch. You actually have to attack motivation from lots of angles to then find the recipe to ‘get going! There is no magic pill and no secret concoction that will put you on the path to long-term fitness and health. Some keys to success are: the right motivation, knowledge and tools and a low cost neighborhood fitness center like Running Wolf Fitness Center. Running Wolf Fitness Center memberships are only $10 dollars a month for individuals and $30 dollars a month for a family of three or more living in the same household. (more…)

“Let Food Be Thy Medicine and Medicine Be Thy Food”

Hello, This month we are very lucky to have an article written by Dr. Sara Jean Barrett, a Naturopathic Physician in Bloomington also doing health sessions here at Running Wolf. www.altsolutionsforhealth.com  – Connie Norman By Sara Jean Barrett Hippocrates, a man commonly known as the father of modern medicine, is responsible for this insightful quote. In 431 B.C. he was really on to something. Our cells are made from and operate on what we consume. Throughout history many cultures have recognized the power of eating certain foods for all sorts of ailments. In the modern era food can be more than our medicine, it can also be our poison. We live in an age where we are surrounded by damaging products in our food; refined sugar, trans fatty acids, and high fructose corn syrup just to name a few. Additives, fillers and synthetic compounds are rampant in our foods and we must be diligent to avoid them. Even over 2,000 years later we still have nature’s perfect foods that promote health. In this article I am going to highlight some “super foods” that can have medicinal properties. Wild blueberries- these tiny fruits pack a giant anti-oxidant punch! Wild blueberries (as opposed to cultivated) may even have more antioxidant power. Studies have shown that blueberries can reduce diabetes risk, improve vision and urinary health, and slow the aging process. No need to go hunting in the woods for wild blueberries, they are available in the frozen section of many co-ops and grocery stores. Green tea-this light tasting tea is full of antioxidants and a compound called EGCG. Green tea may help reduce the incidence of breast, stomach, esophageal, prostate, and bowel cancer. For the anti-cancer effects you will need to drink between 5-10 cups per day. Green tea does possess caffeine so if you are sensitive to caffeine be cautious about drinking several cups per day. Green tea is a nice coffee replacement in the morning and can also be [...]