In the battle against a (recently declared unconstitutional law) that tried to restrict drag performances in Tennessee, Friends of George’s and the Memphis drag community stepped up.
Rolling Stone interviewed Friends of George’s, a group with some deep Memphis roots. They’ve named themselves after George’s Disco, a 1970s-80s gay club on Madison Avenue that used to be the heart of the local scene (it even had a stint as George’s Truck Stop and Drag Bar).
Now, if you’re into a good party, you’ve probably caught Goldie Dee Collins in action, hosting some of the city’s parties and performing at venues all over town. During the day, though, Goldie goes by Micah Winter-Cole, a realtor, hairstylist, and a board member of Friends of George’s. Oh, and they also got a shoutout in that Rolling Stone article, among other articles as well.
Micah said, “We’re in this because it’s the right thing to do, but we’re not looking to run for office or get stuck in never-ending legal battles or the national media spotlight, at least not for this cause. We’d love it if our shows got some national recognition, ’cause our main gig is all about creating and putting on hilarious stage acts, and we want to get back to that.” And they are!
When they’re not grinding at their day jobs, like selling fabulous homes or styling fantastic hair, and when Goldie isn’t lighting up the stage or hosting killer events, they’re all about staying fit and healthy. Here are some of the places, gyms, and other tips Micah and Goldie swear by to keep in shape!
Biking the new Tom Lee Park to Arkansas and beyond
In the summer months, I love to bike the riverfront in the evenings when I can. During covid, when gyms were closed, I fell in love with our beautiful park system biking it until sunset. Subsequently, I also fell in love with my husband trekking it together after work was done for the day. The A. W. Willis Bridge that connects the edge of downtown to Harbor Town can be pretty daunting on a bike, but if you veer right just as you come to the bridge there is a path that rides underneath it. A lovely, well-lit paved way straight to Tom Lee Park hides there and hugs the river the entire way. My husband and I took engagement photos there. From Tom Lee to the Harahan Bridge to Arkansas and beyond you’ll find, at times, sunflower fields in bloom and pretty river beaches to explore. The biking trails on that side of the river can go on for miles if you can stand it.
Gymnastics with @lindseyp.gymnastics
My friend Lindsey Przylepa has been a CrossFit professional coach/trainer and an all-ages gymnastics instructor for a long time. I’ve definitely loved her in the CrossFit category, but she SHINES with her gymnastic classes for adult athletes.
With the goal of starting from the ground up to educate the athlete on proper movement patterns, injury prevention, and avoiding bad habits that are difficult to reverse, Lindsey sets up anyone and everyone who takes her classes to build on the basic foundations of movement. You learn proper push-ups and pull-ups and then build upon those basics with kipping pull-ups, muscle-ups, handstands, and handstand push-ups.
Swimming at the New Outdoor Pool at Crosstown Concourse
I love to swim laps year-round. And there are a ton of great pools to do so in Memphis. But missing out on the outdoor pool at the Crosstown Concourse would be criminal. Even if you’re not one for endless laps, the open swim area is great for families or new swimmers. Ample seating is available all around and coded lockers are free to use. The YMCA owns and operates it and it always feels safe and well staffed. And, most importantly, it’s clean.
Kayaking Hyde Lake at Shelby Farms
Shelby Farms has an 80-acre lake in the middle of it that I enjoy running around in the mornings, but the coolest thing to do (obviously) is to get into it! Kayaking, canoeing, or paddle boarding is open most any time the park is open. Experience a wild yet manicured part of the park you can ONLY see from the water. And if you’re like me and your inflatable paddle board deflates on you mid-journey (thank god for those laps I swam) you can RENT straight from the park! With life vests, this activity is great for all ages and even DOGGOS! Get into it!
Adult Ballet at Ballet Memphis
As I age, I find myself in pursuit of things I may have been too afraid of in my youth. Exercise can be daunting for anyone to dive into, and that feeling only grows as we age. We say it’s “too late for us” or we are “too old” to attempt something new. Yet, we never truly know if it is our mind or our bodies setting that barrier.
Adult Ballet is under the Wellness category of classes at Ballet Memphis. With afternoon and morning classes available, Ballet Memphis recruits former/current professional dancers to teach hands-on adult ballet, with beginning and intermediate levels available.
The teachers at BM are nurturing and compassionate. And rates are affordable, with single classes starting at just $15.
Thank you to Micah (and Goldie) for sharing how they connect with the city! Ready to share yours? Be sure to tag us at @wearememphistn as you show off your city and soul!