Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Interview with Laura Ortiz, Veteran Recruited by Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Interview with Laura Ortiz, Veteran Recruited by Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces

Article excerpt

How did you become involved with Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces?

I became involved with Miami-Dade through a recreational therapist by the name of Jody Cox; she works in the disability services department at Goulds Community Center. Jody thought I would be an ideal candidate for the Troops for Fitness initiative, considering my line of work at the local YMCA over the past two years as a fitness instructor to the active older adults, certified personal trainer and spinning instructor. So I acted upon her advice, and the rest is history, as the saying goes.

What is your connection to the multiple dimensions of Coca-Cola Troops for Fitness?

My connection varies since, after all, I am a veteran, a Latina woman, an amputee, a Paralympic athlete, and a certified personal trainer, fitness instructor and spinning instructor. I value my contribution to helping develop and sustain programs that enrich the lives of all moved by this initiative, particularly those who need it the most.

What is your role with the Coca-Cola Troops for Fitness program in Miami-Dade?

I will be collaborating on the development of the fitness programs so that they are structured to be successful and sustainable. The end result is that by sharing our expertise as fitness instructors and creating an exercise regimen that incorporates our fitness zones, we can recognize ability, level of conditioning and modifications needed. We then have a baseline to prescribe a routine that focuses on strengthening weak areas of the body and building endurance, which leads to losing weight and improving postural alignment, breathing, balance, coordination and agility. …

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