Fitness Blog

Fitness Blog

Katy Kroondyk is the Fitness Coordinator at Zeeland Recreation. She loves hiking with her family and listening to Taylor Swift.

dec 20, 2023


If you were to take a walk through Zeeland Recreation on a Monday morning, you would probably expect to see seniors warming up for their strength training class, the stay-at-home parent getting in a quick run after dropping off their kids at school, and the veteran keeping up with his push ups. But you might be surprised to notice the older gentlemen solving the world’s problems by the coffee station after their workout, the ladies signing a “Get Well Soon” card for their classmate who just had surgery, or the member catching up with one of our receptionists. 

It’s these surprising sightings that are a highlight of working at Zeeland Recreation. I get to see so many “Fitness Friends”! Just last week, the ladies who regularly attend Kendra’s Senior Power class celebrated their hard work throughout the year with Christmas treats and coffee. Their party wasn’t just a chance to eat good food; they shared laughs, life updates, and pictures of grandchildren. 

Forming friendships with people who are also on a fitness journey is not just great for accountability, but also for the community you get to experience! At the Christmas party, one woman shared with me that she moved to Zeeland right before the pandemic started which made it really hard to make new friends. But once Zeeland Recreation re-opened, she became a member to meet people and stay active. I would say both her fitness and “Fitness Friends” goals were met! 

So whether you are new to Zeeland or a life-long resident, I invite you to check out the fitness classes, gym, and pool. It will be good for your body and great for your sense of community!

oct 17, 2023


As the school year was gearing up to start, I pulled up my calendar and immediately felt my heart rate increase. Between work, school, and my kids’ extracurriculars, it felt like I might not have time to breathe let alone spend an hour investing in me. I think most of us have been there— allowing our busy schedules to become a reason for not taking time for ourselves. But what if making something like a fitness class a priority helped us be more present in the rest of our lives? 

That’s exactly the lesson that Laura Grant, a local librarian, learned when she committed to attending our Classical Yoga class led by Deb Weiss-Gelmi. When Laura’s son was small and she was busy with school and working full time, she realized she just needed to make more time for herself. She chose the mantra “Just show up!” 

And that’s just what she did! Laura’s goal was to be better connected with her body, and Deb helped her with this by always meeting her wherever she was on her yoga journey. During class, Laura got to know her classmates on a personal level. She described the atmosphere in class: “There is a lot of laughter, and there is really good energy!” One night Deb was focusing on standing poses and the feet. She kept talking about pressing the metatarsals (a part of the foot) into the ground, and Laura could not stop laughing at the word metatarsal! A few weeks later, Deb came in with an AI-generated poem for Laura!

“There once was a yogi named Laura,

Whose metatarsals were noble and flora,

With each pose and each flow,

Her feet learned to glow,

And now she’s a true yoga aurora.”

The laughing erupted all over again! Whether it was the endorphins from the good workout or from laughing, Laura saw that by sticking with her yoga class she had more patience and energy in the other areas of her life, especially parenting. She also found that “Just show up!” was easier to do with the accountability of attending a class with new friends and an instructor who knows her by name— who even writes her poems! 

Taking a note from Laura, I am trying to get my heart rate up in fitness classes so that it doesn’t go up when I look at my calendar. Laughing with classmates through Yoga, Barre, Cardio Golf, and more is the best cardio I can do! So what are you doing to invest in yourself? How can you “Just show up!” for yourself today?

Oct 5, 2023

The Health Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference. 

-Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken”

As a former American Literature teacher, I would probably be remiss if I didn’t include this famous Robert Frost quote in a blog about journeys. But since I’m sharing about my health journey in particular, I would like to ask some follow up questions of Mr. Frost: How long is the road? Is there an incline? How much of an incline? Should I wear running shoes or trail shoes?

But these were not the sort of questions I was asking about exercise and health after my daughters were born. For decades I had been sitting on a bench at the trailhead of health, coasting by on a 20-something’s metabolism, when all of the sudden, my body didn’t feel like my own. So I took the first step of my health journey: looking up workout videos for new moms on YouTube! You may be surprised to hear that a fitness coordinator started with YouTube, but I was really nervous about starting a health journey! I was consumed with questions like, “What if I go to the gym and look like a fool? What if I try a workout class, but I can’t get through it? Will everybody be able to see that I don’t know what to do or how to do it???”

What I know now is that those questions are not the road less taken! Many people start their health journeys with similar fears. But I’ve also learned that there are much better communities than YouTube for finding answers to the many questions we have about health! Zeeland Recreation is one such community. Whether you have been a life-long athlete who is looking to stay in shape or if you have never worked out before, there are experts at Zeeland Rec who are excited to cheer you on while you take the road that makes the most sense for you and your health! For me, it meant learning about weight lifting and functional exercises, and attending fun classes like Barre. Walking my health journey road has also included continuing to set new goals for myself; this summer’s goal was to learn to love running! 

If you find yourself like I did, sitting on the metaphorical bench overwhelmed and worried about how to take initiative with your health, I suggest stopping at Zeeland Rec to make an appointment with one of our excellent personal trainers or dropping into a class such as Cycle60 with Kellie, HIIT with David, or Cardio Drumming with Kendra. I think you will discover that walking the road of a health journey is way more fun and successful when you do it with others. Our goal is to help you walk whatever health journey road is the best for you! That might mean the road ends up being more well-traveled than before which sounds great to me: a well-traveled road is better than a health road not taken!