December Inspirational Story

Danielle Weisberg is a busy woman. Her title is proof enough: Director of Child Welfare Services and the Children’s Advocacy Center at Westchester Institute for Human Development (WIHD). After 16 years in social work in New York City, she was hired by WIHD three years ago, when she decided it was time to move her career closer to home.

Danielle, a member at Club Fit Briarcliff, plays a critical role in Westchester County’s foster care system, overseeing close to a dozen services for kids and families in and at risk of foster care, including those in the post-adoption phase, and facilitating the investigation of alleged physical and sexual abuse. This part of her job involves working closely with law enforcement, CPS, mental health specialists and other providers, in addition to her oversight of a large staff of social workers, psychologists, physicians and therapists.

The work Danielle does is so important to so many people, but so is quality time with her family. Club Fit helps her achieve that balance. She joined Club Fit about 6 years ago, and is enjoying what the club has to offer, including family time and a chance to connect with others in the community, something she has a hard time accomplishing with her busy work schedule. “It’s great to come in and run in to neighbors, parents from my daughter’s school, and other acquaintances I wouldn’t get to touch base with on a regular basis,” she says.

Husband Dan is a longtime Club Fit member − a “big runner,” she says − who also swims and competes in triathlons. He’s also a Volunteer member of the Briarcliff Manor Fire Department and a participant in the club’s popular Chief’s Challenge program. Daughter Anya, 9, has taken swim and tennis lessons at Club Fit, and has also attended Tennis Camp. “My husband and I will sometimes take advantage of the time Anya is in a tennis lesson and grab a court for ourselves to play,” she says.

Danielle also enjoys Spinning and the Fitness Center, where she finds she never has trouble finding a machine. “It’s nice because the club is so spread out that even when the parking lot seems full, the club really doesn’t feel that way.” And in the winter, when going outside isn’t that appealing, the family likes to come in to work out for a few hours, then hang out in the Café and get a bite to eat. Anya’s particular favorite is the yogurt parfaits!

But it’s something else about Club Fit that impresses Danielle the most. “It is such a part of the local community. They go out of their way to help.” One example is the club’s presence at Step Up for Kids, a Children’s Advocacy Center event held at Westchester Medical Center this past September, which helps to raise awareness of the prevalence and the realities of child abuse in New York State. Club Fit instructor Judy Slominski ran a Zumba class for participants that was a big hit, particularly because of Judy’s enthusiasm, according to Danielle.

This month, Club Fit is also running a Toy Drive to benefit the children Danielle serves at WIHD, from those at risk of placement to those in the post-adoption phase. “I hope people realize how much Club Fit really does for our community and those in need,” says Danielle. “What they are doing for our kids through the Toy Drive is a small gesture to some, but will make a huge difference to our kids.” Look for boxes at the entrance to Club Fit to deposit your donations; toys will be accepted through December 10th. Thanks in advance from the kids served by our child welfare programs!

Take it outside!

Striking a superhero pose at the summit of Turkey Mountain

I love working out at Club Fit.  Really, really love it!  (Clearly.)  With so much to do, really hard to get bored, and I never run out of options for changing up my routine.  That being said, I am facing the harsh reality that winter is coming, and I’ll be stuck inside for a long period of time.  Thankfully, nature seems to have gifted us with an extended fall that isn’t even over yet!

Last Sunday was particularly gorgeous, and my husband and I wanted to get in some good exercise, but it was just too nice to be inside.  We weren’t sure what to do, since we’re not usually outdoor exercisers (and we’re not exactly runners).  We’ve seen lots of Club Fit organized hikes for Turkey Mountain in Yorktown, but hadn’t participated yet, so we went to check it out for ourselves.

There are two trails that lead to the summit – a shorter, steeper climb, and a longer, more even-paced climb.  We felt adventurous and chose the steep climb – and boy, was it!!  Our hearts got pumping quickly, and we definitely got a serious cardio workout.  In addition, we got lots of fresh air and sunshine, and an adventure to tell our friends about – and by taking a workout or two outside while we still can, maybe this winter won’t feel so long.

Are you taking advantage of this milder-than-usual November?  Where are you headed?