As fitness instructor Kristy Madden welcomed her class at the Parker Recreation Center for a Feb. 26 workout, she had a relatively new set of protocols to announce. “If you need to catch your …
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As fitness instructor Kristy Madden welcomed her class at the Parker Recreation Center for a Feb. 26 workout, she had a relatively new set of protocols to announce.
“If you need to catch your breath, pull the mask away,” Madden told her students. “Please do not get dizzy … if you’re struggling with breathing, please unhook … when you get your breath, put it back on.”
During Madden’s Tabata Bootcamp, participants remained in spaces made up of taped-down squares.
The event was one of the many group fitness classes provided by the rec center, which recently moved into level yellow restrictions. Under those guidelines, the rec center can have up to 50 people or 50% capacity in each area.
“We’re moving in the right direction,” said Andy Fraser, supervisor of facilities for the center. “It’s good to see people in the building.”
While guests still must make reservations to visit the facility, they can now do so for a three-hour time block.
If the county reaches its next threshold, 5-star certified businesses such as the rec center will be under the even-looser restrictions of level blue.
“Hopefully the numbers keep going in the right direction,” Fraser said.
While some guests of the facility have been frustrated with the requirements, most have been understanding and cooperative.
“It’s really varied, the vast majority are really happy to have an opportunity to come in and work out and use the facility,” he said.
The rec center’s staff has taken on a whole new set of duties during the pandemic, including more cleaning, mask enforcement and all-day reservation calls, Fraser said.
“It’s been a lot more put on to staff during this whole thing,” he said.
The rec center has also started up group sports again and is planning a spring season with soccer, volleyball, swim team and gymnastics.
Bryan Gentilini, the center’s aquatic supervisor, said he’s excited to see the lap pool getting more use again.
“We’re just happy to be open and providing the service,” he said. “We’re looking forward to opening up a bit more.”
Swimmers are required to wear masks from the locker rooms to their towel but can then walk across the pool deck and swim without them, Gentilini said.
“We require any spectators to have masks on the entire time,” he said.
Spectators are allowed to pull the mask down for a few seconds at a time to catch their breath.
This summer, Gentilini is looking forward to seeing Parker’s newly renovated H2O’Brien Pool open for its first full season, he said.
“We know it’s been tough on everybody,” he said. “And it’s been tough on us as well.”
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