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Thursday January 15, 2015

There's something truly special about the New Year. In reality, January 1 is not much different than the previous day but the annual changing of years gives us all an opportunity to, in theory, hit the reset buttons on our lives. We start each new year with excitement, full of redefined perspectives, new goals, and fresh outlooks on life.

Whether your goal is to learn a new skill, to meet new people or enhance your health, our community offers an abundance of resources designed to educate, connect, empower and strengthen the mind, body and spirit. In 2015 challenge yourself to seize each day taking full advantage of the opportunities around you.

One of the most common New Year resolutions that I hear revolves around health and fitness. Losing weight, getting in better shape or training for an event are among the list. A variety of opportunities are available locally to accomplish these goals and more.

Yoga & Chi Gong classes, an oriental style of meditative movement, is just one of the new offerings provided by instructor Bob Tuggle at the Spencer-Penn Centre in Spencer this month. The classes feature exercises with gentle, flowing movements that relax and tone the body. Line Dance Lessons with Sue Ann Ehmann at the Center is another fun and creative way to burn off those holiday calories. An instructor at the annual Virginia Line Dance Festival in Richmond, Sue Ann will instruct participants to a variety of music including Oldies, Country, Pop, Show Tunes, Top 40 and Disco. Register for both of these classes by calling 276.957.5757.

For those wishing to finish a 5K or half-marathon, there is a wonderful training group offered by the Martinsville-Henry County YMCA. As a past participant of this empowering program, it was a delight to meet runners from all over the region. Each with their own personal goal in mind, first time runners, reluctant runners and experienced runners formed a tight bond as they traded training tips and gave each other encouragement and comradery throughout the program. Once the training program is complete, participants are ready to take on the Martinsville Half-Marathon, Relay & 5K in March. Call 276.632.1772 for additional information. 

Taking time out to learn a new skill is another common resolution. Painting, wood turning, pottery and stained glass are just a few of the many art classes offered by The Artisan Center in Uptown Martinsville. For those interested in technology, the same facility offers classes in the Fab Lab where participants can use a variety of equipment, including 3D printers to fabricate products and works of art to make their dreams a reality. During The Artisan Center’s Maker Monday sessions, the public is invited to use Fab Lab equipment to fabricate items ranging from edible chocolate designs to clothing and even custom jewelry. Call 276.632.0066 for additional information.

To expand your horizons and learn more about arts and culture, Piedmont Arts hosts monthly Art @ Lunch and Art @ Happy Hour programs. At each event, participants are invited to come by during their lunch hour or drop by after work for drinks to discover more about the current exhibits and various topics on art. Regional artists and local experts are on hand at each event to lead discussion and explain the works seen. While at the gallery, guests will also be amazed at the skill and artistry on display this month through the current exhibits of The Art of the Quilt and Mobilizing Our Community. Call 276.632.3221 for additional information.

One of the most powerful impacts in life is the human connection. Surrounding yourself with positive people is a surefire way to bring a smile to your face and building social capitol with those relationships can also open doors. Quarterly throughout the year The Newcomer’s Network is hosted at the Martinsville-Henry County Visitor Center in Uptown Martinsville. This event is an opportunity to meet others that are new to the area as well as longtime residents that want to share their love for Southern Virginia. The group will meet this spring on April 14 at 5:30 pm. Call 276.632.8006 for more information.

No matter what your goals are for 2015, there are activities, organizations and people throughout the community that can help you get going. Take advantage of the resources around you and have a wonderful new year! For information on these and other events, check out the community calendar at www.VisitMartinsville.com.


Tags: Art, Entertainment, Henry County, Insider's Tips, Local Business, Martinsville, Piedmont Arts, Spencer-Penn Centre, ,