The newly renovated clubhouse at the Hammond Avenue baseball fields has also become a popular exercise center for Olney residents.  Miriam Rivera, who is Jose’s wife, has introduced a one-hour conditioning program four evenings a week. The program, which is entitled “Give Me Five More” started in early summer, and it is open to all comers of different levels and ages. The origins of the program started with mothers dropping their kids off for baseball and having time to kill while waiting for the baseball sessions to end.  Miriam, who works at Einstein Hospital, is passionate about exercise and thought why not hold a fitness program while these mothers wait. And she was right, the fitness classes became very popular.

Right now, there is a dedicated group of about 8-10 participants with the average turnout of 4-6 people. The clubhouse can only accommodate 2-4 more exercisers, but much of the exercise is outdoors. Mirim mixes cardio, stretching,  weight lifting,  running/speed walking, and general calisthenics into her programs. It’s a great mix of seriously fit participants and newcomers to exercise. They are all welcome. The program is open to men as well as women, but so far the exercise sessions have been all women. The degree of involvement also varies with some participants showing up all four days a week and others just one or two times a week.

Miriam oversees the program like an old pro despite being new to coaching.  “Although I am passionate about exercise, I had never run a class before,” she said. “At first I was scared about running a class. Can I really do this?” she said. “But it has become something I really enjoy doing.  I absolutely love it.”  The intensity of the workouts reflects the program name, “Give me Five More” and even the newcomers respond to this with extra effort.

“The classes were initially free because I was not certified, and I thought I could not charge without certification,” she said.  Now with her exercise certification as well as CPR accreditation, she charges $10 a session.

Workouts are scheduled Monday through Thursday from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. Interested people can just show up or can e-mail Miriam at miriam@felizfiladelfia.org for more information.