Daily Life

Friday Question of the Day – Favorite Gym?

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I’ve been a member of various gyms, 24 Hour Fitness, Crossfit and others and now I’ve taken the simple route and just run on my own. The indoor cycling gym Cycle Scape Fitness is opening this month in downtown Walnut Creek which sounds intriguing. What is your favorite gym and why? What’s the most important part of a gym?

La Fiesta Square getting Parking Meters in Lafayette

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La Fiesta Square, Lafayette

With plenty of new and popular restaurants having opened up recently within downtown Lafayette, La Fiesta Square has decided to install parking meters in the popular parking lot. (Yes, even the 20 minute parking spots). I spoke with some La Fiesta Square store employees who aren’t aware of free validation offers which is what I would have expected. We’ll find out soon enough. One reader commented that they witnessed a parking attendant threaten someone with a ticket for going to a non-La Fiesta Square restaurant:

Just watch out for the parking attendant who monitors the lot to the right of the restaurant; it is part of La Fiesta Square, and we saw one customer get threatened with towing and tickets just because he walked toward American Kitchen and not toward Chow.

So I suppose this isn’t surprising. It’s getting so crowded that even the Lamorinda Music/Lamorinda Theatre parking lot has a “No restaurant parking” sign out front (see photo at bottom). There are free parking spaces if you drive past La Fiesta Square until the road turns into Hough Ave. Thanks to a reader for sending word on this.

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Lamorinda Music/Theatre Academy parking lot:
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Progress on All Abilities Playground in Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek

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Heather Farm Park

The $1.25 million dollar all abilities playground is coming along nicely in Heather Farm park across from the Clarke Memorial Swim Center in Walnut Creek. According to the Walnut Creek picnics page it will be closed through October so it should be opening in a couple of months. Check out the project costs here.

From the Walnut Creek Civic Pride site:

Walnut Creek’s All Abilities Playground will be 30,000 square
feet in size and is being designed to fully address the needs of the whole child by intentionally addressing the physical, cognitive, communicative, social/emotional, and sensory needs of all children, including the estimated 10-20 percent of our children who have some type of disability.

The new playground will have distinct play areas that will appeal to a range of ages, from toddlers to children as old as 12 years of age.
2-5-Year-Old Play Area
5-12-Year-Old Play Area
Multi-Age, All-Abilities Play Area: Centrally located between the two age-group areas, this area has a large multi-element ramped structure
Free-Play Climbing Hill: Also centrally located, this area will have concrete ball elements, facilitating free, unstructured play for all ages
Sand Play Lot
Swing Set Zone, featuring both traditional swings and accessible bucket swings

Check out the free-play climbing hills:
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Friday Question of the Day – How Young is Too Young to Head a Soccer Ball?

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Photo by Flickr user heisnofool

The fall kids soccer season is about to begin. Earlier this summer I read about US women soccer stars getting the word out on the dangers of children heading soccer balls with, “guidelines calling for the elimination of heading the ball by players younger than 14″ due to the potential for brain injuries. The article notes that, “many soccer organizations in the United States suggest that coaches start teaching children to head the ball only after those players turn 10″. The American Youth Soccer Association (AYSO) points out on their, Is Heading Safe, page, in bold that, “AYSO does not recommend heading below the age of ten. Coaches are not encouraged to teach or practice heading at these early ages”.

So imagine my surprise when my six year old kid comes home from soccer camp one day this summer and starts throwing the ball up in the air trying to hit it with his head. He told me that’s what they did at camp.

When I emailed the camp about their policy they replied with:

Heading is specially important because incorrect heading is not safe in the long run.
We adjust the intensity of all skills to be age-appropriate.  Heading skill is taught to the younger age by reducing the distant from where the ball is served to the player to reduce the power from the ball. This is in compliance with recommendations from all soccer organizations.

Now it turns out that the Lafayette Moraga Youth Association (LMYA) is using this soccer organization to provide, “Professional trainers [...] working directly on the field with coaches and players” and “Separate “free” skills clinics with [...] trainers”. I emailed LMYA about their soccer heading policy and did not receive a reply.

Should young kids be practicing heading soccer balls? Do other soccer organizations in this area have policies on this?

Friday Question of the Day – What is your Favorite Robin Williams Film?

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Photo by Flickr user ronhenry

With the sad news this week that Robin Williams committed suicide I’ve been thinking about all the great movies he’s acted in. I first enjoyed watching Mork & Mindy on TV as a kid, and later watched some great movies he did such as Moscow on the Hudson, Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, The Fisher King, Mrs. Doubtfire and Good Will Hunting. What is your favorite Robin Williams film?