Each spring it has become tradition for Ann Merrill’s fitness classes to celebrate her birthday with a potluck party. The date varies but the important thing is that all her fans can be there before the snowbirds leave because no one wants to miss the opportunity to say thank you to Ann, a favorite of so many PebbleCreek exercise enthusiasts.
An instructor and a personal trainer at the fitness center, Ann started her career when she was just 17, working at the Huntington Beach, CA YMCA. She brought all her expertise along with her exuberant personality to PebbleCreek 18 years ago and now has a devoted following of students who make attending her humor-filled trainings a priority several times a week.
This year the occasion was held at the Oasis Pool, a lovely place for this special get-together. Spirits were high on the beautiful day as I wandered around listening and adding to the conversation – about Ann, of course. Here’s a sample overheard:
“Who else could get us out of a cozy bed on a dark winter day to go to the gym and work out?”
“Even if you don’t feel like exercising, after Ann’s class you always feel so good!”
“We all know the moves she taught us by now, but Ann always changes up the routines. Her classes are different each time so it’s never boring.”
“Besides, she makes classes fun. She jokes and kids us through the workout so the hour flies by.”
“Ann knows everyone in her classes by name. She notices if we do a move incorrectly and helps us do it right. I appreciate that.”
“OMG, I count in eights all the time; a side effect of Ann’s countdowns, I guess!”
Many friends have been made among the classmates; the camaraderie is special. And even on those groaner mornings when it is tough to get to the gym, we do, because we always feel so much better after a dose of Ann Merrill fitness!