Madera is moving

  • This was printed in February of 2014 in The Madera Tribune, a newspaper in Madera, California. This was the 41st installment of my weekly column, Mind Over Miles.

I’ve seen it myself, Madera is moving!

On a recent Thursday evening I was driving to meet up with the founders of Madera’s

own Posh Makeover Movement and I couldn’t help but notice all of the walkers, runners

and cyclists getting their workouts in.

First I spotted several kids, possibly fifth and sixth grade students, running up and over a

manmade hill next to the VFW Hall on Granada Avenue. “Runners!” I said aloud to

myself. “Is that a cross country team?” (Yes, I get so excited about these things that I talk

to myself.)

On my three-mile drive down Granada Avenue I spotted a man in shorts and a sweater

running in the road. “Another runner!” I said aloud to myself.

Then I looked to the left and saw a woman running on the sidewalk. “Oh my gosh, what

is going on here? I’ve never seen this many runners in Madera at one time!”

Thank goodness I didn’t crash as my eyes scanned from left to right, looking at all of the

runners (I counted seven other than the children I saw first) and walkers (six!) and two

cyclists. It was a beautiful, perfect evening to be outdoors and I was ecstatic to see it not

go to waste.

When I got to my meeting, I was even more pleasantly surprised to learn about a

business, Posh Salon & Spa, that has organized a growing weight loss group that

empowers women to be beautiful inside and out, the Posh Makeover Movement. Posh

owners, sisters Leah and Angelina Carranco, set out last year to get healthy, but realized

they needed a strong support system to stay motivated.

They set up what they called a “small scale Biggest Loser” and offered gym memberships

and free makeovers to whoever lost the biggest percentage of weight and inches

throughout a six-week “spring challenge.” More than 30 women joined them and the

sisters realized they could make a big difference in the lives of Madera women.

After some reorganization — Zumba instructor Lupe Delgado took the reigns and came

up with a workout schedule — the Posh Makeover Movement grew and the sisters

launched a 10-week “summer shape-up” program. Another challenge is planned for this

spring, beginning in March. Check out the group “Posh Makeover Movement 2014” on

Facebook for information.

The Posh women groove through Zumba classes, stretch at yoga classes and hit the local

Vern McCullough River Trail regularly to shed pounds and gain energy. Women who at

one time “let their bodies get out of control” are now half-marathoners, Delgado said.

“Running quickly became my passion,” said Angelina Carranco, who initially walked

and jogged about two miles every other day on the trail until she decided to step it up a

notch. “I increased to three miles of nonstop running. I was feeling the difference in my

endurance and speed and I became excited! I decided to attempt to run a half marathon.”

With the help of fellow Posh ladies and the 10-week summer challenge, Carranco became

stronger and faster. She completed her first half marathon in the fall and beat her goal

time.

“That sense of accomplishment is what keeps my spirit alive,” she said. “I still run and

have set new goals — a full marathon is in the horizon this fall.”

Keep it up, ladies! And the rest of Madera, too!

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