Parisi Director Jack Werther gives back.

Jack-werther-web

Parisi Director Jack Werther

Giving back is something that heightens the spirit and cleanses the soul. It is a good feeling to be able to do something that you are passionate about, and at the same time, help someone in need, or brighten their day – or week, for that matter!

In steps Jack Werther, Club Fit employee / Parisi Speed School Director. On a typical day, you can find Jack managing his speed trainers or heading up a local sports team’s training on the Parisi turf. His passion is working with kids… helping them to become stronger, faster, ultimately better athletes. This is a far cry from his college days, where he attended Western New England College and graduated with a degree in Finance. His love for personal training, pushed him to pursue his certification as a personal trainer in 2011, and in 2013 joined Club Fit and became a certified Parisi Performance Coach.

At about the same time, Jack was introduced by a friend to an organization based out of White Plains — Family Services of Westchester. FSW offers a broad range of innovative programs designed to meet the needs of children, teens, and the elderly through several family centers. What interested Jack the most was a program called “Camp Viva”. Camp Viva’s mission is simple — to serve HIV affected children, families and care partners in Westchester County, who are living with or affected by HIV and/or Aids.

For the past 3 years, Jack has been volunteering as a camp counselor there. Every August for the past 3 years, he has packed up his bags, and spends a full week at Camp Viva, a sleep away camp, located at the Ramapo Anchorage Camp for Children in Rhinebeck, NY.. “Making a difference in these kids’ lives has made me a better person. One of the things that I reflect back on is that kids are kids…they all want to be accepted, they all want to be “cool”, they all want to have friends. At the start of the week, their defenses are up. They come in with a “too cool for school” attitude. By Tuesday, their defenses are down, and they just want to be accepted…they just want to be kids”.

Jack spends the majority of his seven days as a Sports Specialist there, planning activities and running sports programs for these kids. Very similar to his job at Parisi. It’s the love that he has for kids and the love that he has for sports that makes him the perfect person for both jobs.

Inspired by Jack, we will be doing a give back to benefit Family Services of Westchester — a “Mitten, Scarf and Hat Drive” from November 28th through December 13th. New or gently worn items can be dropped off at the Club, and the proceeds will go to families in need throughout Westchester County.

During the month of November, we give thanks and share thanks. A big thanks to Jack Werther — for his unselfishness and the time that he gives back to Family Services of Westchester. If anyone is interested in learning more about Camp Viva, click here.

Top 10 Reasons to make Club Fit your Summer Camp

Summer Camp is something kids look forward to all year long! So, it’s never to early to start researching the best fit for your child. We hope you will consider Club Fit your home away from home (during the day) all Summer long!

1 – Climate Controlled Facility – Rain or shine our campers have the best camp experience EVERYDAY!

2 – Daily hot & healthy lunch is included – One less thing for you to worry about!

3 – Extended Care – As early as 7:30am and as late as 7pm!

4 – Daily FREE Swim – For an additional fee Instructional swim is also available with our fantastic Water Safety Instructors.

5 – Early Registration discounts – The earlier you register the more you save!

6 – FUN – We guarantee your child will have endless fun all summer long!

7 – Flexibility – Come for 1 week, 2 weeks, or the whole summer, you choose. Our registration options are a la carte

8 – Specialists – We have the best Tennis Pro’s, Water Safety Instructors and Soccer Coaches available to your child all summer long

9 – Theme Days – Carnival Day, Mad Science Day, Color Wars & Lego day are just a few of our exciting theme days.

10 – Not just a Camp – Our membership options provide you and your entire family with access to everything Club Fit has to offer!

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Call today for your tour of our facility.

914-245-4040 x 1127

Click here to learn more about Club Fit Summer Camp!

For the Love of Tennis

— Written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Joy Cain

 

For JV’s Director of Tennis Hal Touissant, tennis is all about love.

Either that, or it’s a rerun of Groundhog Day. Why? Because at 8 in the morning, you may find Hal giving a lesson on the tennis court. At 3 in the afternoon, you may find Hal giving a lesson on the tennis court. At 8 at night—you guessed it— there’s Hal, giving a lesson on the tennis court.  And here’s the crazy part: Lately, Hal says, he’s been cutting back.

“My days can easily run 12 hours, whether it’s on the court or off the court. But I’ve slowed down a little bit. Before I used to work 6 or 7 days. Now I try to work 5 or 5 ½.”

Yes, it must be love.  And there’s a lot to love in the tennis department these days, especially with the arrival and installation of a sleek new tennis bubble.  After 22 years of service, the old bubble was laid to rest, making way for a modern $350,000 covering. Featuring a skylight and a glossy-painted interior that will make everything seem brighter, the new bubble’s vastly improved heating and condensation system should make tennis more enjoyable for everyone.  After all, if this bubble is good enough for John McEnroe’s Lake Isle tennis facility—well, it’s good enough for Club Fit! “It’s going to be a whole new experience, ”notes Hal.

JV’s slender, soft-spoken tennis director certainly has had a wide range of experiences.  Born in Petion-Ville,  Haiti, Hal attended Catholic school and was around 12 years old when he began picking up tennis balls behind his older brother, Yves. Eventually, Hal—the youngest of four brothers—became the “beneficiary” of  Yves tennis wisdom. “He gave me two lessons, and after that, I was on my own,” Hal says with a smile.  “So I hit against the wall.” Soon, Hal’s friends also began playing tennis, but the game took on greater importance during the military coups that followed the departure of Jean Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier. “School was sometimes closed because of political issues, but I was busy with sports, ” he says.

Along the way, Toussaint became friends with Ronald Agenor, who represented Haiti on the professional tennis tour and in 1989 was the 22nd-ranked player in the world.  Whenever Agenor returned to Haiti, he and Hal would hit together.  “He didn’t like to play matches, but he’d just hit just for the fun,” Hal says. “He’s a good guy. I learned a lot from him—whether it’s in terms of playing or being a coach.” Around this time, Hal often did double duty: He’d train in the morning and compete in tournaments in the afternoon. Hal’s game improved  to the point where he spent five years on the men’s satellite circuit. In 1992 Hal was ranked No. 4 in Haiti; in May 1996 he was ranked No.8 in the USTA’s  men’s 25 and over. Things were going well—until tragedy struck. Hal was about to play in the finals of a men’s tournament in Florida when he learned that his brother Jacques was killed during political unrest in Haiti.

“That was a big turning point for me in my life,” he says. “We were very close. I stopped playing because I could not focus. Teaching was a way for me to escape, to help people, and to deal with what was going on.  And here I am.”

After teaching in Florida for a few years, Toussaint was hired by Briarcliff in early 2003 to run their Advanced Tennis Performance (ATP) program for juniors. He became JV’s Director of Tennis later that year.  When he came to Jefferson Valley the staff consisted of himself and two other people; today’s staff has four pros (Toussaint, Michael Chitu, Laura Gabella, and Paul Fielek) and an office manager (Alice Daly).  The department has seen other changes as well. “When I first came, you could do a walk on nice and easy. We were not charging for courts. Then it came to the point where we had to charge because people were fighting for courts. So the courts have gotten a lot busier. Our club is small, but there is a lot happening.” On the adult level, approximately 100 people are signed up.

But the biggest happenings are with the younger players. Toussaint credits former tennis office manager Maureen Heaslip with helping to get the junior program off the ground; at its peak, three years ago, it had 150 members.  The funny thing about kids, however, is that they grow up, graduate, and move on—so the program now has between 80-100 members. But new classes, like the 10 and under group session, have been created to pump fresh blood into the tennis pipeline. Since kids like to play with other kids, Hal believes that teaching tennis in a group setting is a win-win situation. When he isn’t giving lessons or clinics on court, Hal’s in the office doing the behind-the-scenes work (returning phone calls, answering e-mails and working on programming and scheduling) that keeps the tennis programs moving.

“We offer tennis at all levels–whether people want to play college or just for fun or whether they want to play competitively,” Hal says. “So that’s really our goal…to be the best program around. We’re small, but the work and the structure are great.”

Speaking of great, lately a few great things have been happening in Hal’s life. In November 2011 he became an American citizen. And recently–although they have yet to set a date—Hal asked his girlfriend, Sophie Moins, to marry him. Naturally, Sophie is a tennis player.  And fortunately, she is also a member of Club Fit….so she’ll know just where to find her beloved. Because at 8 in the morning or 3 in the afternoon or 8 at night, Hal might very well be out there on the tennis court.

Proving once again, in every way possible, that tennis is all about love.

Read more about Hal and the Club Fit Tennis Pros here.

Club Fit Jefferson Valley – Operational Alert

Over the next few days, work will begin to lay new electrical primary lines from the street to the front entrance of the club. This is a project that will help ensure a consistent power supply to our building, and hopefully eliminate any further power interruptions related to the issues we had last month.

The scope of work is expected to take 2-3 weeks to completion. As the work progresses, access to parking lots and the entrance to the club will be re-routed as needed to keep the project moving forward.

Please drive slowly through our parking lots, observe and obey all new traffic patterns (as they may change on a daily basis).

We look forward to completing this project by early November.

Climbing for a Purpose

By Kurt Kannemeyer

Two months ago, I lost the most important person in my life – my Mom. I am still struggling with the reality that she is gone. Every day comes with new challenges and opportunities to make her proud and live out her legacy. She was indeed a great woman.

As a result of my Mom’s battle with breast cancer, I made several trips to be by her side in South Africa. I haven’t truly updated my blog, and I must be honest – I have not been training. Finding out about my Mom’s diagnosis, truly hit me hard. It was as though my life literally stopped. Everything I held dear became of little importance and all I simply wanted to do was to be by her side. Even writing this short blog brings back so many memories and I am still missing her so dearly. Life is short and sometimes we take opportunities for granted – opportunities of showing affection, placing a call and sending our loved ones a text telling them that we love them. Fortunately, I always did that with my Mom – and I SO miss doing it again. I am back in the US now and the mountain I am about to climb in a couple of months from now will not only be for our children BUT also for my Mom.

I dedicate this last paragraph to her as an endearing gesture for the woman that she was:

Dear Mom,
I am so proud to be your son. Not a day goes by that I do not long to hear your voice, feel your touch and simply say, “I love you.” You taught me how to love, treat people with respect, care for the needy and destitute, brush my teeth, tie my shoelaces, sign my name and so much more. I will forever treasure these memories and I will never forget the life lessons and values that you’ve instilled in me. Mom, as I climb, I do so for you. Every step I am about to take will be a step of victory, knowing that you will be with me. You were in so much pain but through it all, you stayed strong and you fought a good fight. I will always love you and I am so thankful to have had you as my Mom. Your legacy will live on in and through me, dad, your daughters and grandchildren. I will NEVER forget you – LOVE you so much! Your Son, Kurt

Kurt and Mom

Physical Therapy at Briarcliff Welcomes Back Lynn Culbertson, DPT!

Lynn Culbertson, DPT

Lynn Culbertson, DPT

Here’s what Lynn has to say, “I am so glad to be back at Physical Therapy at Briarcliff located inside Club Fit. The staff is always so warm and welcoming. It has been a long road back and along the way I have acquired many skills that I am excited to share with the entire Club Fit community.

My career as a Physical Therapist and Yoga Instructor has inspired me to study Women’s Health Physical Therapy and Osteopathic techniques. As a Women’s Health Physical Therapist, I am able to provide women help and treatment with a variety of musculoskeletal disorders of the pelvic region. Conditions that are often difficult to treat and even to discuss include chronic pelvic pain, sexual pain and dysfunction; and incontinence. Some of these pain conditions severely interfere with a patient’s entire life and cause problems with work, relationships and self-esteem. However, with treatment, these conditions can be helped and a patient can return to a normal daily life.

In addition to my love for Yoga; knowledge of energy systems, mindfulness and each individual’s ability to heal from within, this has inspired me to learn and incorporate Osteopathic techniques with my patients. These techniques include: 1) Visceral manipulation, which helps improve the organ’s mobility by using a very gentle pressure to the organ being treated, and allows the body to function more efficiently; 2) Craniosacral therapy for balancing the nervous system and to reduce chronic pain and relieve tension caused by stress or chronic medical conditions; 3) Myofascial Release techniques which work gently on the fascial tissues of the body; and allow for subtle areas of tightness or restrictions in the body to release; and 4) Reiki techniques to balance the body’s energy imbalances and restore positive energy back into the body. This is accomplished by utilizing “zero balancing” to energize or relax the patient depending on what the patient needs at each session.

These techniques have been shown in studies to improve bowel and bladder dysfunction and decrease musculoskeletal pain. I work strictly on the “Whole” person approach to Physical Therapy, finding where the dysfunction is coming from. Whether you come to me for knee pain, back pain or pelvic dysfunction your story and your body leads to your healing.”

For more information and to schedule an appointment please call Physical Therapy at Briarcliff (914) 762 – 2222. www.ptrehab.com. Most Insurance plans accepted.