My Spartan Experience

When I walked into Club Fit in February and saw the Spartan training poster, I was intrigued. I had heard about Spartan races from my daughter and loved the idea. I went home and pulled up the Spartan race website to see what it was all about. The videos were inspiring, but also intimidating: The participants looked to be in their 20s and 30s. I thought, Am I crazy? I’m 59 years old. Would I get injured? Injuries come so easily at my age. Would I be able to keep up with my team? I didn’t want to hold them back. Not to mention my bad knees, bad thumbs, bad neck and temperamental feet.

I knew that if there was any hope of accomplishing this, I needed training, so I signed up for Club Fit’s Spartan training class with trainer Jane Balter. (Click here to view Jane’s profile). What an amazing person!! She was encouraging and inspiring. She made the workouts challenging but paid close attention to our condition and adjusted the workout appropriately to meet our individual needs. I remember those first two weeks so well, timidly positioning myself at the end of the line or the back of the class, unsure of what I could do. Pushups? Barely two. Plank? Almost 10 seconds before my arms would start shaking, then collapse. This “old lady” had her work cut out for her. During that first class, after what seemed to be an eternity, Jane said, “OK, that completes our ‘warm-up.’” I thought, “Whaaaaatt? There’s more???” I came home moving like Frankenstein those first few weeks, having worked ligaments and muscles that had been neglected for years.

But Jane kept me going. She was calm, friendly, and a wonderful teacher. She explained her training program and what it would accomplish. She educated us in the value of each exercise, the correct positioning to avoid injuries and in nutrition to accompany our training regime. Every class, she handed out workout sheets with an exercise plan for the week, as well as handouts with nutritional guidelines. I learned a lot. And I loved what I learned. Over time, my number of pushups increased and I could hold the “plank position” for longer periods. I stuck with the program, knowing that I would have to follow her instructions no matter what to get in shape. Jane sent us frequent emails, asked for our input on our team name, ordered our shirts and hosted a wonderful team dinner before the event. She was always available if you needed her. We worked out together and she could see how we all improved. What a special feeling to be part of a team whose leader and members were so supportive and encouraging.

Oh yes, there were times during the three-month training that I wanted to quit. I screwed up my feet by wearing improper sneakers…to the point I could barely walk and DEFINITELY not run. Other times, I felt that I wasn’t getting stronger after several weeks in training. But Jane always listened and provided guidance. And she was right. My feet healed. I became less tired and I could do more. Those aches and pains almost disappeared.

One day, our training class was to meet at Turkey Mountain to run at 7:30am. That morning, I woke up to rain and 40 degrees. I was sure training would be switched to Club Fit. When I called Jane to confirm, she said, “I’m sorry, but we are still meeting at Turkey Mountain.” I had visions of slipping on the rocks or getting sick from the cold weather, but after completing that run, I was the first to say how awesome it was! Such a sense of accomplishment!

When race day came, it was thrilling. Our Club Fit team all finished the course. We were so excited for each other. I met my goals, which were to complete the course and not do any burpees (race rules state if you cannot complete the obstacle, you must do 30 burpees…which to me are the most UNfun exercise ever!). Throughout the entire course, I could hear Jane’s voice in my head telling me how to position myself to accomplish the task. I made it without having to do any burpees (yippee!) and I didn’t feel tired at the end, which I attribute to the nutritional counseling Jane had provided us. As an added bonus, I somehow placed 1st in my age group!

Training and participating in the Spartan event was truly an amazing experience!!!! I attribute 100% of this accomplishment to Jane and her training class at Club Fit. THANK YOU!

What’s next? Many of us have signed up for the Super Spartan on September 7. An eight-week training session begins July 17, click here for program information. Can’t wait!!!

Lit Anderson

Sports for Life

by Jack Werther
Director of Parisi Speed School at Club Fit


The participation in sports and athletics at a young age is one of the best things that a child can do. The multitude of benefits which can be taken away from youth athletics stretch far beyond the playing field or court; they can be applied to life. According to estimates done by the NCAA in September 2011, the average chance of a high school athlete playing NCAA sports at any level is 5.98%, the average chance of an NCAA athlete playing professional sports at any level is 2.95%, and the average chance of a high school athlete playing professional sports at any level is 0.14%. Given these numbers, it is safe to say that most children will not go on to participate in recognized athletics beyond high school. The lessons learned, however, will echo for the rest of their life. According to the article The Benefits of Youth Sports published on Livestrong.com by Eileen Breeze, the benefits include self discipline, self confidence, the formation of strong relationships, and a healthy body. As the Director of the Parisi Speed School at Club Fit in Jefferson Valley, and as a lifelong athlete, I can say first hand that these benefits are real and that the real benefits of sports are for life.

Click here to read more: The Benefits of Youth Sports

Estimated Probability
of Competing in Athletics Beyond the High School Interscholastic Level from the NCAA.

Eat your Fruits and Vegetables!

By: Kimberly Stein, RD, CDN


Fresh Fruits & Vegetables Month

“Eat your fruits and vegetables” is the age-old saying we have repeatedly heard. We all know fruits and vegetables are good for us, but, what do they really do? There is tons of evidence that shows those who have an increased intake of fruits and veggies are less likely to develop chronic diseases. The current 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest having 2 – 2 ½ cups of fresh fruits and vegetables per day. Having a colorful array added into your day will bump up your vitamin, mineral, and fiber intake! Not only are fruits and veggies chock full of nutrients, but they are super low in calories—talk about guilt-free snacking!! June marks the beginning of National Fruit & Vegetable Month so it is a perfect time to start taking advantage of summer’s bounty!

Many people are concerned regarding the difference between organic versus non-organic fruits and vegetables. To date, there is no conclusive evidence that suggests organic is healthier or more nutritious. The true definition of organic per the USDA is that which use renewable resources and grown without the use of antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, fertilizers or other synthetic methods. To guarantee something is 100% organic, the USDA needs to have its seal of approval label on the product. Keep in mind; organic foods are more expensive so it is truly up to your personal preferences!

So, how exactly can you bulk up your intake with fruits and vegetables this month? Try some of these ideas to jump-start your creativity!

1. It’s BBQ season! Fire up the grill for your favorite vegetables as well as fruits! Try grilling peaches, pineapples or bananas for a super sweet treat.
2. Add extra vegetables to your favorite casserole, stir-fry, or dinner entrée. The more the merrier and these low-cal sides will keep you feeling full.
3. Be creative with your salads. Toss in some sliced strawberries or fresh berries for a satisfying taste treat.
4. Having an omelet for breakfast? Add in some extra veggies or try some new combos. Are you a daily cereal/oatmeal lover? Fresh berries will be a great addition to this meal!
5. Choose sweet fruits for your snacks and desserts. Fruit is full of its own sugars making it nature’s natural candy. Having a sweet treat that is full of vitamins and fiber is doubling the nutritional bang for your buck.

Summer is the perfect season to take advantage of your local farmer’s markets. Choosing locally grown produce reduces the carbon footprint your food has to travel making it an economically and environmentally better choice!

There are an endless variety of ways to incorporate the rainbow of fruits and vegetables that are available!
What are some ways YOU will enjoy fruits and veggies this month?

Club Fit Spartans!

Dear Club Fit Spartans,

Now that the mud has been washed off and scrapes and bruises are beginning to heal, hopefully all of you are well rested and feeling positive about the Spartan Race experience! Our team of 18 finished in the top third, placing 296 out of 760. A big congratulations goes out to Lit for finishing first in her age group!!! WOO-HOOO!!! Also, as most of you know, unfortunately Liz’s injury turned out to be pretty serious, with a fracture and some damaged tendons in the ankle. Colin also twisted his ankle, but every single one of you crossed the finish line, triumphant and smiling!!!

I was so proud to see so many of you successfully completing obstacles that might have proved too difficult 12 weeks ago. What a great team we have, helping and cheering and encouraging each other, not to mention, pushing, boosting and pulling each other along when necessary!

I thoroughly enjoyed our Wednesday and Saturday morning classes, as well as the extra runs we fit in at the end. I would love for you all to continue to train together, and with me, to get ready for the Super Spartan in New Jersey on September 7. This will be an 8-9 mile course, probably quite similar to what we experienced on Sunday, just longer!!! There are also a few other races coming up we can do together, I will keep you posted.

I will be offering an 8-week “Super Spartan Training Program” which will begin the week of July 14. Included will be the weekly team workout, at
various nearby locations, as well as Club Fit. “Homework” will be assigned, mileage logs kept, and i will continue to offer optimal performance
nutritional guidelines. If you want to get started sooner, I can let you know some trail running guidelines for the next few weeks.

We should all sign up with Heather Baribault’s team, “the Winers”, so that we all get the same team starting time. “Club Fit Spartans” will still
exist, i just want to make sure we are all grouped together without last minute stress.

I will be sending out a questionnaire in the next few days to help me plan for the next phase.

Again, So proud of each and every one of you, for proving you are Spartan Tough!

With love and admiration,
Jane