1. Can-do spirit: “We started with a core group that has a can-do spirit. We were all people who wanted to make it happen and would find a way.”
2. The cul-de-sac: “You do need a place. We’re blessed to have the cul-de-sac.”
3. Bring the fun: “Music can make anything fun to me. I wanted to make memories for people with the music. I brought my son’s boombox and a song playlist.”
Exercise routine: “I exercise three days a week with this group,” Mendoza-Jackson said. She also plays pickleball twice a week and takes regular neighborhood walks.
Biggest challenge: “I wanted to try something a little different with exercise bands and it wasn’t the right fit for everybody,” she said. “That is my personal challenge to keep in mind we can’t try everything.”
Ilsa’s top tips:
- “Don’t give up. If the first couple of times you try to do it and it doesn’t work, change it up and try something different.
- “At the end of the day, it’s all about having some personal fun.”
- “I think there’s a mental fitness we’re gaining in conversation and connection.”
How has life changed: “I have gotten to know my neighbors way more intimately than I would have ever dreamed — that is the biggest blessing for me,” Mendoza-Jackson said. “We’ve expanded into other areas of fun, like having a little bonfire one day, shooting off fireworks on the 4th, and having picnics together. It’s absolutely possible in a big city to still have that neighborhood feel.”
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