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    Palmetto Scene: Fitness Industry During The Pandemic, Pet Adoptions and more

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    Hello I'm Beryl Dakers Welcome to Palmetto Scene

    We are heading into month four of the COVID-19 pandemic with almost every aspect of our lives still being greatly affected Many businesses were forced to close their doors completely Others have had to adopt a totally new way of operating just to survive Let's take a look at one couple's who using their creativity and today's technology, found a way to continue to serve their clients health and fitness needs Before the COVID-19 epidemic you could find the Crossfit Valor Gym packed with people, working on their fitness, but also building a community

    Classes look different now, but that hasn't stopped this close knit community from staying connected lose and you know we ♪ ♪ When the gym closed and we decided that we're going to rent out equipment for free for our members And he had already been posting at home workouts Alright guys for today's work out we have a We heard it from I think the mayor first and then I think it was a couple days later that the governor said something We were all really nervous because we didn't know what that all entailed or like how long that was gonna last The first thing that we heard was it was going to take about a couple weeks So figuring out like I mean how we're gonna pay are like rent? It was just we were very nervous

    And like we just didn't know what to expect or what was gonna happen or how long we're going to be shut down for Just a lot of uncertainty Being a school teacher, we've been doing ZOOM classes with our students And there was just something about being face to face with the kids live and in person Just having that connection it felt good for me to just be able to talk to them and have them talk to me

    When we started making the at home workouts and the gym had to be closed we kinda decided, we were like we gotta do this ZOOM thing like if we can do a face to face class like, let's do one in the morning, one in the evening to accommodate like the most people possible And it just, it's been awesome since the first class that we did I don't know what it is about just that connection while we're all being quarantined This is Carver A baby

    Look at the camera We'll start with alternating two and then 20 double unders, four, 20 double unders, six, 20 double unders and so on

    Okay? So, you guy, go ahead, go use the restroom Get what you need Do the initial stretching Questions, ask me now and then we'll get Staying in good physical health was the goal of the classes but the daily routine and togetherness has also helped the members during the pandemic And four, six eight, ten The Crossfit Valor helps with not only my physical health but my mental health as well because it allows me to be able to interact and engage with others online And gives me a space to leave the things like around me Crossfit Valor is willing to do anything to keep our community continuing and going And allowing us to stay physically fit but also mentally fit and just keeping those connections with the people that we've developed relationships with

    Me and Emma and Max consider everyone a family And so it's like being with our family regularly And still getting to see what everybody's up to, how they're still holding up See me? Yeah I see that nice stash

    Keeping the community going through the quarantine was very important to Jen and Nate As they navigated another hurdle caused by COVID-19, they would need to lean on their community even more Having to postpone our wedding It all came so fast So we were supposed to be married March 21st

    We were one week out and you know we've been hearing about like the virus And it was actually the first cases were in Kershaw County, which is where I work The spread of the virus was kind of like ramping up It wasn't nobody was like really closing down quite yet

    But there was a lot of worry for our aunts and uncles I remember the phone call It was Friday afternoon, a week out from the wedding, and that Friday afternoon they, they said schools are closed And I was like "Oh no!" Like everybody said you should be so happy! like, you don't have to like go to work the week leading up to your wedding I was like I don't know it this is a good thing Every day like they were the longest days, I just You know family canceling, people calling and saying that they were concerned about coming

    We were going, we were worried about them We were worried about people going there We wanted to make it very special And it just wasn't going to be what we expected Friday, Saturday, Sunday, it just it just felt like it was inevitable like we couldn't we couldn't have this wedding

    I cried a lot (laughs) that weekend I was like we're so close, like and we're all about it Sunday and then Monday we were like we need to need to postpone this because we don't want to put people at risk By the end of the week you know we got to our actual wedding day, I accepted it And I was like it's okay Like you know we'll have that wedding one day

    Ended up moving it our August and hopefully by then things are kind of calmed down and we'll be able to have that special day that Having the community and having just that, just the consistency of like some sort of normal during this time I think really really did help We are like really close knit group of people and being able to see those people or just kind of like interact, it does mean a lot If we didn't do our ZOOM classes and we weren't posting things up, I feel like we would be more worried about like how's everybody doing So if you guys wanna just go ahead and find some space, Being in quarantine is gonna make us all appreciate things a lot more

    I definitely I mean we have beautiful days all the time but I think more than ever like oh my goodness It's so beautiful or do you just you just appreciate more and I think we'll all come out of this appreciating the ability go to the gym Or being able to you know go to a restaurant and have dinner or just going to a friend's house I think we're all going to come out of this appreciating things a lot more and not taking things for granted ♪ A workout to me looks a little different these days

    We are still in this together We will come out of this appreciating our ability to work out together Encourage one another High five each other Laugh together and simply being with our Valor family

    So remember to stay positive And that there's better days to come Our Valor family will be together soon Until then, stay positive and smile We'll be together soon thank you so much With more time on their hands, many people chose to adopt a pet during the COVID-19 shut down

    Sounds like a good idea right Well it is if you can find the pet to adopt One bright spot in this pandemic gloom is the fact that more animals are finding loving homes, in which to weather the storm ♪ So in 24 years, I've never seen the shelter this empty We actually had more animals out in foster than we have in the facility right now

    So that's been a huge help My name is Tess Overstreet and I decided to use my quarantine time to foster kittens So exciting I got two little baby boy kittens from Columbia Animal Services that we'll be keeping the next three weeks So I'm so excited to help care for you

    (cat meows) So cute I own a small business here in Columbia and it's a holistic based skin care and massage therapy studio On March 16th when we temporarily shut down because of the virus, it was kind of a scary and emotional time It's also right around when we found out that Tess wouldn't be physically going back to school this year So, it was just kind of crazy

    And that the pandemic drastically changed the speed of our life Tess has always wanted to foster kittens She's been wanting to do that since she was born practically I thought maybe we can spend this time pouring our love into these kittens that need us (kittens meow) We've seen it happening all across the country I don't think this is what we all quite expected, So we don't really know what to expect once this all clears up and thing get back to whatever the new normal is It's hard not be able to go to school or see my friends You know it's just really great to have them here People being home more, they may notice a litter of kittens or something, somewhere hidden out in the yard somewhere

    We want to encourage people to actually don't bring them to us right away Call us first Most likely the mama cat is still around and the kids are better off with her at least until their weaned than coming here So yesterday we went to Columbia Animal Services for their two week check in It turns out that they were actually found on a prison truck

    So we have the two cutest little escape convicts ever I always intended to find them a great home, although I am getting attached to them So I mean there's a possibility of adopting them Although you know we'll see You see your brother

    Kittens are so much fun, but they're definitely a handful The kittens need a lot of attention and I am tired because I'm having to wake up in the middle of the night to feed them and with all my classes and school work But it's definitely worth it

    Don't do cords These guys are just weaning off of formula and so they're still trying to suckle their food So it's my job to help them transition over to soft food, which is a little messy So I'll take soft food in my hand and a kitten in the other and then I'll just try to put it right over his mouth There you go

    To see the joy that she's had with this experience and to get to know these kittens and to love on them And to see what an amazing job Tess is doing with them, is really special to me This is when the kittens finished eating They have the messiest little faces So, you have to clean them off

    So they just ate and so next they're going into their playful stage And then they get really tired And that might be my favorite because I get to cuddle with them I think it's going to create some interesting conversations too At least I hope it will or maybe we look at how we deal with animal care control in general, moving forward and how we do that

    This has been really nice not to have a ton of animals in here and being able to have the space to keep everybody very comfortable and happy at this point COVID-19 has been terrible in so many ways and the repercussions will be felt for years to come But one thing I'm grateful for during this time is the time that I've had with Tess and these kittens Should be ready in about ten minutes Alright honey

    We are so keeping these kitties It's springtime and normally we would hear the words let's play ball But as with most sports, both baseball and softball will be delayed for the moment But when the season does begin, we'll see a new face in the dugout Former Gamecock softball great Tina Plew Whitlock who is also a former member of the U

    S national team is set to take her coaching talents to the big leagues Kristi Mason Cox has the story The better part of Tina Plew Whitlock's life has revolved around this bright yellow ball But that's about to change

    Whitlock, a Gamecock two time All American utility player with a crushing bat, helped her 1997 squad win the SEC tournament and a trip to the College World Series Now she's taking that big bat of hers and leaving yet another crack in the glass ceiling I've signed a contract to coach with the St Louis Cardinals That's right this former Gamecock great is picking up her bat and ball and heading into history, right into Major League Baseball, hanging with the big boys I would be what they call forth coach

    Yeah So that to me that's like a Mack Daddy coach You're going to be like a mom not to be a stereotype You're gonna be doing everything for them basically Right? I think the fourth coach is a hybrid position that will allow me to do some field work

    Hit, throw pp, possibly stand under the bullpen but then also put on street clothes and go scout the game Whitlock was deemed a great fit for Major League Baseball as it seeks to bring more women into its ranks through a program called take the field A mother of two teenage boys, Whitlock grew up playing baseball in a family of boys and easily made the transition to softball, playing at the very highest levels including the US national team and the pros before following her heart into coaching

    For her, sports has never been about gender but about greatness I think baseball just wants great minds in the game, good people, great minds and people who are experts in what, in the field and to be a part of that are considered you know one of the somebody that can be impactful in the game is a huge compliment If Whitlock is now the top of her game professionally, it comes after years of lessons in the wake of devastating personal loss He went to work and I got a call from his boss that he was taken to the hospital This is Tina Whitlock's only family photo with all her boys taken just before her husband Brian Kelley Whitlock suddenly died of an enlarged heart no one knew about

    In the space of just nine days, she buried her soul mate and delivered his namesake A woman of deep faith, Whitlock said she leaned hard into God I think there for a moment I didn't say anything I think I was there in a time of intercessory prayer I think a lot of people has sustained me through their prayer because I was in the moment

    And when you're in the moment, you're just, you're really just allowing God to be your strength during that time Left widowed in her 20's by a husband who had been her biggest fan on and off the field and now retired from pro softball, when she felt stirred to coach, she packed up her little boys and once again leaned on her faith You know it's funny because they were so young We had the chances to move to New York, I was like we're gonna be just like the birds God's going to take care of us

    We moved to New York, got a coaching job at Le Moyne College We lived in a little renovated barn Literally we lived in a barn So my kids can say they lived in a barn And you know I remember just telling like my adult friends, we're living like the birds

    And I never thought to think that my kids actually heard that and it was about five years ago, my son Brian said, 'Mom, remember we're living like the birds Don't worry! Don't worry! And so she didn't Whitlock's locks career path would lead her to coaching gigs at home and abroad Her little family would pack up and move as the opportunities came There would be a major health scare and the normal highs and lows that come with parenting

    And now the big leagues have come calling Though Cardinals Spring training in Palm Beach was cut short by COVID-19, for Whitlock it was just another pause during a crisis After all it's not the first one she's faced But with eyes set firmly forward and a heart fixed on faith, the past still holds tender reminders That's the one thing why I think I've been so emotional it's just that like I would really love to share that with him

    He would think it's so awesome Though he was a big Braves fan (laughs) Brian may have rooted for the Braves but Tina thinks it's no small coincidence, that she's coaching the Cardinals They say a cardinal represents a loved one who has passed, that when you see one it means they are visiting you As the thinking goes, cardinals usually show up when you need them or miss them most to let you know they will always be with you, that they've never really left you

    And if you're Tina Whitlock, they give wings to your major league dreams Finally, let's take a look at the ever changing world of technology in the midst of everything else, how does one keep up? Well one of South Carolina's fastest growing cities is staying on top of the technology world and assisting its residents in the process Being a smart community in my book is a community that has a high emotional IQ The most important pieces really is to reflect Right? To research, to design, to build and eventually to evolve into a community

    That's a smart city It's less about the scooters and dockless bikes and much more about self awareness, much more about understanding what's really going on around you Just depending upon where you are you assess your needs characteristics, your assets and you develop an economic strategy around that and you're assertive about going out and pursuing you know business set that have that kind of interest There's also just the changing face of of the work force Right? We have younger people that are coming in

    We have younger families are moving into our cities They have different demands and different desires So just being responsive to that has been I think really helpful for us The use of technology has been instrumental for us in meeting the needs of our citizens I mean that we're a fast growing community, one of the fastest in the country

    Seven people arrive in Mount Pleasant every day And so early on when we were in our growth period, it was sometimes difficult to be able to reach citizens where they were and get their feedback But with the use of technology, we've been able to incorporate into our civic engagement programs, specifically to technology that we use allows citizens to go online at any time from any platform and access information, crime statistics, planning projects, budget numbers to see what's going on in their community And we also use it to outreach, to get a message out when there may be citizens who they're so busy They don't have the opportunity to either come to town hall or to meet us where they are

    They can utilize these tools to help them gain knowledge and share their perspective If I'm a City or a County Manager, I need to think about how the demographics are shifting based on the on that the lifestyle opportunities that you're offering Things of that nature that will attract individuals are highly progressive It's crucial for us to be able to decide and see where some of the growth and development pressures are You know we have many neighborhoods that are longstanding, been here a long time deserve to be protected

    We have several cultural neighborhoods, Post Civil-War African American settlement communities that deserve to be protected and use the technology helps us to see what's going on around those areas Traffic is a big deal in a growing community and so some of the technology that we use actually synchronizes our traffic lights And to save us about 20% to 25% saves the commuter 20% to 25% percent every day on their way to work The South Carolina Department of Transportation utilizes the traffic camera system And so people can see on their smartphone, where the traffic may be heavier or heaviest and make accommodations for it

    So, last year as you mentioned when the bridge went down unexpectedly, people were able to utilize that technology and re-route their commutes to be able to get to places they needed to go You're going to see individuals move to smaller communities that provide a higher quality of life, a more laid back atmosphere, better opportunities for your children, healthier, happier, friendlier lifestyle like Greenville More than ever, there is a a thirst and a demand for knowledge Citizens are interested They they want to know what their government is doing

    Risk taking in general for local government is a big issue The great thing about now especially at some of the current atmosphere embracing technology and some of the things that we can do, we can look to those cities that have done it before and we don't have to be on the you know the bleeding edge, but we can be on the cutting edge We didn't invent these things on our own We had to come up with them because it was required Our citizens required it

    And so we're eager to share what we've been able to uncover and learn We've been able to share what's been effective And I think that others are seeing the benefit too ♪ For more stories about our state and more details on those stories you've just seen, please visit our website at palmettosceneorg

    And don't forget to follow us on social media at SCETV on Facebook and #palmetto scene for Twitter and Instagram We leave you now with tonight's Palmetto Postcard from our online digital series Our Town For Palmetto Scene, I'm Beryl Dakers Good night Stay strong and thanks for watching

    Well, Bishopville is a small town Bishopville is like most small communities it's close knit in that everybody knows everybody People help people That's part of the culture here you know Bishopville is awesome and it's growing Bishopville is a sort of a turning point right now of becoming a destination

    People want to come to Bishopville just to see what we got We're doing a revitalization effort downtown People are finally getting like a sense of pride in their little town We love it This is our town

    This is Bishopville This is our town This is what we have to offer This is our town ♪ (closing music) ♪

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