On this West Chicago street, neighbors come out every day to exercise together, and apart

  • West Chicago neighbors work out Thursday on Acorn Hill Lane while maintaining their distance. They meet at 2 p.m. every day.

      West Chicago neighbors work out Thursday on Acorn Hill Lane while maintaining their distance. They meet at 2 p.m. every day. Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 3/27/2020 9:15 AM

Coming together and staying apart might seem to be at odds, but that's exactly what a West Chicago neighborhood is trying to do every day at 2 p.m.

As a way to maintain their fitness, and possibly their sanity, Bailey Zydek leads her family and neighbors on Acorn Hill Lane in an hour of exercise in the street in front of their homes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Bailey Zydek, front left, leads her West Chicago neighborhood in daily workouts on their street while being careful to maintain their distance from one another.
  Bailey Zydek, front left, leads her West Chicago neighborhood in daily workouts on their street while being careful to maintain their distance from one another. - Rick West | Staff Photographer

"I teach fitness classes at Illinois State, so I got put on the spot to start making up our own classes," Zydek said.

She's a senior at Illinois State University who will graduate in May and is, or was before COVID-19, a special ed student teacher at Streamwood High School while being home with her parents. She's taught fitness classes for a couple of years in Normal.

Thursday was day three of the workouts, and the plan is to continue them daily "rain or shine," Zydek said.

So far she's had eight to 10 participants per class.

Maryann Doukas and her West Chicago neighbors work out on their street while maintaining social distance. "My gym is closed and I'm working from home, so this helps my mental state," she said.
  Maryann Doukas and her West Chicago neighbors work out on their street while maintaining social distance. "My gym is closed and I'm working from home, so this helps my mental state," she said. - Rick West | Staff Photographer
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"We're all 6 feet apart and can take up the whole block," she said.

Her family and neighbors enjoyed a high-intensity interval training workout she designed that started and ended with a Zumba warmup and cool-down and incorporated running, weights and resistance bands.

"In times like this, it's awesome that neighborhoods get together and social distance," said next-door neighbor Dana Guasta, laughing at the oxymoronic nature of her statement. "We're going to get through this."

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