Tag Archives: town lake

A Decade of Dedication


As we continue to celebrate our birthday, we are highlighting the women who know iGnite better than anyone as they have spent 10 years of fun, friendship & fitness with this welcoming community. The “Fab 5” were part of Founder Neissa Springmann’s first class in October 2006 and are still here reaping the benefits of the whole-self approach to fitness and life. iGnite is beyond blessed to have them as cheerleaders and mentors for our members!


The Fab 5 (l to r): Kathleen Parker, Cathy Johnson, Becky Heiser, Cindy Haeglin & Louise Pincoffs

Four of these amazing women are passing along some of the inspiration and great times that have come from being apart of the iGnite family…

Cindy Haeglin

IMG_7077.JPGMy earliest memory of iGnite… is of being with Neissa on the trail across from Austin High. We drug our big blue balls everywhere and skipped up and down the trail in the dark. Such fun we had!

The biggest lesson I’ve learned through iGnite over the years…iGnite has taught me to love where I am in my life. Things are constantly changing. Sometimes I feel good about my body and sometimes I don’t. I no longer hyper focus but instead, just do the best I can and am thankful for all my blessings.

My favorite iGnite classes… are swimming and yoga. Swimming is a great workout when your joints start to get creaky. I think I will be able to do water exercise of some type for the rest of my life. Yoga is so good for stretching my body and calming my mind.

Cathy Johnson

ignite-cathy-oswalt-003-1I describe iGnite as…a nice group of women, of various ages, professions and experiences, who like to take care of themselves and enjoy exercising.

My earliest memory of iGnite…is being at the original location, which was beautiful, on Town Lake. All seasons were nice, the leaves in the fall, the steam coming off of the water in the winter and the first hint of green in the spring. It was a wonderful spot to relax after our workout. We also had to bring our own equipment, in an iGnite bag, which included a jump rope, weights and a big red utter ball.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned through iGnite over the years…to keep on moving

My favorite iGnite class… is Betty’s dance class because it’s fun to dance! I love Betty and we all try to keep up with our “Rangerette.”

Kathleen Parker

I describe iGnite as…a positive outdoor fitness and wellness experience for women!! It is relational, uplifting, exciting, comforting, exhilarating, and so so FUN!!

dh000002-1My earliest memory of iGnite… is Neissa describing it when I was at her Westwood Kickboxing class. She was so excited to start a spiritual and positive outdoor experience for women, and all I could say was, “I AM IN!!” Then our first week started Monday, October 3rd, 2006. Our small group met at 6 am in the dark on an old slab down by the 1st st. bridge that was once a bridge barrier. We all had a big utter ball, and the wind would blow and we would run to catch our balls since we were literally located 5 feet from the lake! We used to bounce our big balls down the trail in the dark and people would just stop in amazement and clear the path for us. Then I remember we had a really cold first winter and one of our new participants was told to bring gloves, and she showed up in garden gloves and her fingers pretty much froze. We did not see her back again until Springtime!! For that first year, Neissa would literally hand us this brightly colored sheet of beautiful facts and things for us to think about and fill out for the week!! I read every word of every page and saved every weekly sheet until we moved in 2010!! So many great memories from ’06!!

My favorite iGnite class… is of course, LAKE ESCAPE!! This is where women are transformed into adrenalin rushing kids and have more fun than aloud to have on land!!
My second favorite class is POWER UP! I am so passionate about lifting weights to stay strong and bone healthy!! There is nothing more exhilarating than finishing a challenging weight/sprint workout!!!

The biggest lesson I’ve learned from iGnite… is that RELATIONSHIPS are THE most important thing in life!! They bring you joy, comfort, happiness, warmth, love and a feeling of belonging. As one of our young adults told me, “Kathleen, have you ever seen a hearse with a tailgate hitch”?? I love that–nothing is as important as my relationship with God, my family and my friends.  Of course, the number 2 thing I have learned from iGnite is to HAVE FUN EVERY DAY–and get that fun rush of adrenalin in!

Louise Pincoffs

ignite-yoga-018I describe iGnite as… an all inclusive health motivator. Mind, body, and spirit!

My earliest memory of iGnite…is meeting at town lake across from Seaholm and playing all along trail with friends.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned through iGnite over the years…stay positive, give it time, and surround yourself with friends who have those priorities!

My favorite iGnite class…Amy’s yoga and Molly’s cardio are in a tie! They are a weekly gift to myself.

My favorite memory of iGnite… Fun social gatherings because we have a chance to get to know each other better!

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Celebrate the Magic of Nature


Point to Ponder:
How often do you spend time alone outdoors and in nature?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Despite being raised in a rural community in Texas and surrounded by fields of grass, corn, cotton, wheat and maize, it wasn’t until I attended the University of Texas that I realized my love and deep need for nature. As almost anyone who lives or has lived in Austin experiences, at some point or another, Town Lake (a.k.a. Lade Bird Lake) becomes the treasured best friend who hears our prayers, absorbs our tears, and celebrates our accomplishments. While on my runs, she was always part of the cleansing, healing and restorative process that my body, mind and spirit needed. Not only did my time with her boost my confidence, but spending time in and around always enhanced the clarity of my thoughts and vision. In fact, I never left her without a problem solved and/or solution in hand. And, while I knew how much I loved and needed her, it was until I moved to New York City and didn’t have her at my fingertips that I longed for her.

As the quote in the pictures says, Mother Nature has the power to please, calm, comfort and nurture, and in my opinion, she has infinite healing powers too. I believe we have an intrinsic need for her in our daily lives, which is why when I founded iGnite ten years ago, one of our core principles was outdoor group fitness. Over time, and as a result of wanting to grow with our members and provide optimal class experiences, our outdoor-only model shifted to offering indoor classes as well. This is not to say that we didn’t try offering every possible class outdoors, because we did. This included year round outdoor yoga, Pilates and even dance. For example, through trial and error, we quickly found out that yoga at 6:00 a.m. and in 35 degree temperatures was counterproductive. I should’ve known that the body would have a difficult time loosening up while shivering, and despite wearing layers of clothes, gloves and shoes, not being able to feel your fingers or toes makes balancing and downward dog extremely difficult. Thinking back, it seems completely absurd that I ever thought that yoga under such conditions would work, but we were committed to all that Mother Nature had to offer us. And, while offering year round yoga and some of the other classes in nature isn’t ideal (at least in Austin), Mother Nature never disappointed. She was and is consistently consistent with showing off her magic!

As we continue to celebrate iGnite’s tenth birthday, this week I invite you to celebrate the magic of nature and enjoy her life-giving gifts by spending a minimum of five minutes outdoors everyday, alone, and without any device or technology. Just like taking a screaming baby outside immediately soothes he or she, we are no different. Our time in nature is equivalent to pushing the reset button for our mind and spirit, and whether your time is experiencing a sunrise, sunset, the fall foliage, walking barefoot in grass, sitting near a body of water, hiking in the mountains, listening to the birds or going for a walk or jog, it is all grounding and the perfect solution to a busy mind and unsettled spirit. All in all, it’s a very cheap and simple solution that we all need to include in our daily routines.

Finally, in the event you need more evidence why time in nature is essential, check out scientific proven benefits from an article in Business Insider. I don’t know about you, but I could use some serious short-term memory help!!!

  • Improved short-term memory
  • Restored mental energy
  • Stress relief
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Better vision
  • Improved concentration
  • Sharper thinking and creativity
  • Possible anti-cancer effects
  • Immune system boost
  • Improved mental health
  • Reduced risk of early death

Action Item:
Each day this week, spend at least five minutes in nature alone and without technology.

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Easier With A Smile

Spring has sprung and the azaleas, bluebonnets, and buttercups are among the many beautiful reminders of what we have to look forward to everyday and why it’s so easy to smile.

The world always looks brighter from behind a smile. (Anonymous)

Action Item:
Start off each day with a smile and watch the butterfly effect ensue. Clear out the negative clutter and make space for happiness to bloom.

By April Black

By April Black

I have been trying a sort of social experiment lately. I am not a huge runner, but appreciate jogging the trail on a beautiful day, especially with friends. When I set a time to meet a friend, it motivates me and holds me accountable to actually go. And then, instead of getting bored and glancing at my watch every couple of minutes, the time flies by as we chat while we work our way around the loop. I have actually been enjoying the trail and Austin’s huge run community instead of being completely intimidated by it.

It doesn’t matter that we’re not the fastest or running the farthest – it’s a way of sneaking in exercise and appreciating the outdoors while catching up. As much as I enjoy grabbing a glass of wine after a long day and chatting with friends, this is another great option and way to get in my much needed time with friends, with the added bonus of some exercise and the healing powers of Mother Nature. Friends, exercise endorphins, and fresh air. It’s like free therapy! Everything is easier alongside friends.

A few other times recently, I have grabbed my iPod and even motivated myself to go for a run solo. I don’t view myself as a runner, and as I mentioned, am intimidated by all of the incredibly fit people in Austin and intensity surrounding the fitness community (thank goodness for iGnite and the balance it has provided for me!). Even though I may feel some resistance as I take my initial steps, I have tried to take a deep breath, clear out my negative thoughts, and smile as I run. You would not believe the difference!


At iGnite we cherish the positive attitudes and motivated women who lend us a smile whenever we need.

Almost everyone on the trail smiles back when I smile at them. Some people have even waved, as if we are great friends passing each other (I have never met these people, mind you). Even when someone looks serious or super focused, when they glance at me and I’m smiling at them, they crack a smile. Suddenly, I am a “runner” on the trail actually enjoying herself and her run. I look the part, out there in my running clothes with my iPod, and it’s as if I’ve tricked myself into enjoying it. And I actually do! The Weekly Intention Guide will help you think through how you can apply this to your life this upcoming week.

Additionally, the people-watching on the trail is fascinating. I am definitely not the fastest or thinnest out there, and even though I do have moments where I find myself staring at the women sprinting by in their sports bras with the rock hard abs, I shift my focus back to whatever upbeat song is playing and slap a smile on my face. It’s hard to stay negative when you’re smiling. Even activities you don’t love to do are far easier with a smile. Everything is easier with a smile.

Then on Thursday, when I showed up to teach the Low-Impact Cross Training Class while Delaine was out of town, people were using the space to film something at the Northshore Overlook and we had to improvise. I was incredibly thankful for everyone’s flexibility and spontaneous spirits as I tossed aside my class plan and we hit the trail for a 3-mile power walk infused with some body weight exercises along the way! We stopped at the “voo doo pew” to admire the lake and do some tricep dips. The purple flowers blooming all around made us stop in our tracks. We found several nooks and crannies to stop and breathe the morning in (and sneak in some pushups!). There is nothing better than friends and smiles on a beautiful day. My morning had been off to a rocky start, and these wonderful women turned that right around for me. Could you use a group of motivated, balanced, and compassionate women in Austin to workout with? Check out our home webpage to sign up for a free week trial!

While this is just one example in my life recently, these same rules can apply to all areas of life. You can go through your daily tasks and the motions of your life dragging your feet, or instead, you can sweep aside the negative thoughts and voices in your head and add some pep to your step, enjoying what you are doing as best you can. Sometimes even when you don’t feel like it, when you start smiling and even fake it at first, often times it really will lift your spirits and turn into a genuine smile after all. And the best part is, while trying to help yourself, you are inevitably helping and touching the lives of those around you, which makes you feel even better!

There are butterflies all around. You just have to make the space and open your eyes to see them. Grab a friend, find a smile, and practice a spring cleaning within yourself. It will improve your health, and can even make your friends friends friends happy! Watch and learn…

JOIN THE DISCUSSION- Who are your most uplifting friends? 

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