Dryland & Kids Conditioning October 2017 Athletes

November 14, 2017 by karen

Dryland & Kids Conditioning programs with Club Fit Master Trainer Beth Kear

 

Dryland Athlete of the Month: Marina Wheeler
Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Marina Wheeler
Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Marina Wheeler

Marina showed up this session raring to go! As it is her first year in Dryland I was unfamiliar with her and her abilities. She quickly demonstrated her athleticism and desire to excel. Marina is a strong runner, eager to learn and dedicated to take new drills to their limit. She encourages her teammates and always is a pleasure to work with. Keep on rocking Marina!

 

 

 

Most Improved Dryland Athlete: Madeline Wolin
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete Madeline Wolin
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete Madeline Wolin

This is Madeline’s first year in the Dryland program. She showed up on day one eager to start. Her enthusiasm and energy is apparent and she always is looking to improve at the drills given to her. Madeline works hard and seems to enjoy everything she does. She will ask how to perform better with something that might be new for her and always comes from a place of determination and desire to excel. She has made marked improvements in a short period of time and I’m thrilled to watch as she continues to blossom. Way to go Madeline!

 

 

 

The Hiking Club

October 30, 2017 by jeanne

By Lisa Olney

Balancing the 24-7 responsibilities of everyday life while taking time for oneself can be as elusive as catching a cloud, and, often, the first casualties of this struggle are one’s own health, fitness, and sense of serenity. Experienced hiking leaders and Club Fit Jefferson Valley members Peter Meskin, Andrew Stein, and Michael Capsuto have the antidote, however, and it’s the longstanding Club Fit Hiking Club that has traversed the trails of the Hudson Valley for over two decades. A free activity for Club Fit members and their guests, hikes range from easy to challenging, and the only prerequisites are good physical condition, hiking boots, and a sense of adventure. The ability to combine exercise with the natural wonders of the Hudson Valley has never been easier … or more fun!

Peter Meskin is a former New York City high school English teacher whose innate gift for teaching earned him several awards for innovation in teaching his students desktop publishing in the days when computers were practically unheard of in the classroom. His inspiring teaching style still touches everything he does, whether in a classroom or in the great outdoors. The hiking bug first bit Meskin as a child growing up in Brooklyn, and as a young man, he went on day hikes with the American Youth Hostels hiking club throughout the Hudson Valley. Later, as a member of the Westchester Trails Hiking Club and the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), he became a hiking leader and received extensive training from the AMC at the 1,800-acre Blue Mountain Reservation in Peekskill. Not limited to dry land, however, Meskin was also a sailing instructor for the New York Sailing School on City Island, received his Coast Guard Captain’s license, and had his own charter boat business in the British Virgin Islands. His hobbies also include sculpting in wood and stone along with photography, and he and his wife, Diane, volunteer at a humane society animal shelter and Guiding Eyes for the Blind where they foster puppies to help socialize the potential guide dogs at a young age.

22 years ago, Club Fit Jefferson Valley reached out to Meskin about creating a hiking club, and it was about this time that Meskin met fellow Club Fit member Andrew Stein. Another avid hiker who grew up in the Bronx, Stein has hiked all over the country including Alaska and the Rockies, and as a videographer he has documented some of his favorite experiences. Encouraged by friends to share his local hiking experiences, Stein decided to look into starting a hiking club. As if Mother Nature herself introduced these two, their meeting couldn’t have happened at a better time. “Andrew is a caring and engaged hiking leader and has hiked the local trails since he was a boy,” says Meskin. “He shares his vast knowledge of local history and lore with the hikers, and his friendly dog Molly accompanies him on the trails, greeting all of the hikers and giving them even more reasons to smile. Andrew has been very important to the success of the hiking club.”

Hand-picked from within the hiking club, Club Fit’s third hiking leader is Michael Capsuto, a Yorktown resident who has been hiking since childhood. Capsuto discovered the hiking club 10 years ago, and his vast knowledge of area trails along with his Red Cross certifications in adult first aid/CPR/AED make him a valued addition as a hike leader. “Michael has an intimate knowledge of the trails from many years of hiking with the Club Fit Hiking Club and on his own,” says Meskin. “He is a caring and compassionate person who only wants the best for our members.”

Meskin, Stein, and Capsuto all combine working out at Club Fit with their outdoor exercise routines and agree that daily exercise is the key to staying healthy. They can often be found in the cardio area on the treadmills and elliptical machines or in the strength training area using equipment like the FitLinxx circuit. “I’ve been working out at Club Fit since the 1980s,” says Meskin. “They are constantly reinventing themselves, integrating new exercise strategies and programs to keep everyone involved and motivated.” Combine that with the physical and mental benefits of hiking, and the result is a full mind-body workout that spells balance with a capital B.

The Club Fit Hiking Club is always ready to welcome newcomers and familiar faces, alike. Hikes take place all year long, ranging from easy to challenging. No sign-up is required, and as part of the Club Fit membership, all hikes are free to members and their guests. The next two hikes are November 4th at Teatown with a Teatown naturalist and November 12th at the Fahnestock Park Appalachian Trail.  To view a Hiking Club photo montage from Hike Leader Andrew Stein, click here. Happy hiking!

Dryland & Kids Conditioning July 2017 Athletes

June 7, 2017 by karen

Dryland & Kids Conditioning programs with Club Fit Master Trainer Beth Kear
Dryland Athlete of the Month: Victor Zhou

 

Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Victor Zhou
Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Victor Zhou

Victor has been with the program for a few sessions now and always tries his best. His speed and agility have seen much improvement as well as his coordination and running. Victor should see continue to see improvement due to his dedication during our conditioning sessions. Keep up the good work, Victor! 

 

 

 

Most Improved Dryland Athlete: Daniel Luan
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete Daniel Luan
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete Daniel Luan

Daniel’s competitive nature is apparent when we perform team drills & activities. Daniel is a quiet force of nature and also a heck of a soccer player. Though not always available for our training sessions, he has still improved in many areas. Great job, Daniel!

 

 

 

Parisi Athlete: Golfer & Athlete Malachy Reynolds

June 6, 2017 by karen

Parisi Speed School
Athlete Spotlight June 2017:
Golfer Malachy Reynolds

Parisi Athlete: Malachy Reynolds
Parisi Athlete and avid golfer Malachy Reynolds finessing his putting stance.

“I enjoy playing soccer, basketball and golf. Last September, I decided to attend Parisi Speed School to improve my speed and agility. Jen and Vince provided me with exercises every week to improve my athletic skills. I feel that I have become faster, stronger and lighter on my feet. Thank you so much to Jen and Vince for helping me to achieve my goal.” – Athlete Malachy Reynolds

“Malachy has been working with us for the past nine months and has made great strides in his training. He has greatly improved his quickness and agility in the short time he has spent with us. He consistently comes in with a positive attitude ready to work hard and tackle whatever workout is scheduled. He is proof that being a great athlete isn’t always measured by being the fastest or strongest in class but by your determination, attitude and leadership.”

The Parisi Speed School, a state-of-the-art speed and agility training program, has become an industry leader in youth performance. Club Fit Jefferson Valley is the only facility in Northern Westchester to offer the program.

 

Dryland & Kids Conditioning June 2017 Athletes

May 23, 2017 by karen

Dryland & Kids Conditioning programs with Club Fit Master Trainer Beth Kear

 

Dryland Athlete of the Month: Richard Liu
Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Richard Liu
Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Richard Liu

Richard has been with the Dryland program for several sessions. He has shown that he will give 100% effort in whatever drill we are doing. When the weather is nice you will see him using the bounding rings, jumping rope or running hurdles out by the pool. Keep up the good work, Richard!

Most Improved Dryland Athlete: James Wang
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete James Wang
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete James Wang

James is a pleasure to have in the Dryland program! He has shown a great desire in excelling with all the drills given to him. James has a competitive spirit and strives to do his best. He loves to improve his racquetball skill, and his balance and core strength has improved. Way to go, James!

 

 

Dryland & Kids Conditioning May 2017 Athletes

May 9, 2017 by karen

Dryland & Kids Conditioning programs with Club Fit Master Trainer Beth Kear

 

Dryland Athlete of the Month:  Owen Sibinga
Owen Sibinga
Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Owen Sibinga

 

Not being a fan of running, Owen joined the Dryland program with some trepidation. We spoke about it and made some modifications, and he has made remarkable improvements. He always gives 100% and his coordination, strength and agility have all seen great improvement. Always entertaining us with a story or ancecdote, Owen has become a fundamental part of our Dryland group. Congrats, Owen!

 

Most Improved Dryland Athlete: Carter Corbett
Carter Corbett
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete Carter Corbett

 

Carter was new to the Dryland program last fall. He immediately showed us he was a force to be reckoned with. Carter’s high energy level was at times a challenge to harness, however, he showed what he was made of and has made remarkable strides. His natural athleticism helps in the agility drills as well as strength and balance drills. Great job, Carter!

 

 

Parisi Athlete: Soccer Player Lucas Buono

April 10, 2017 by karen

Parisi Speed School
Athlete Spotlight April 2017:
Soccer Player Lucas Buono

Parisi Speed School Athlete: Lucas Buono
Parisi Athlete Lucas Buono practicing his soccer skills even while on vacation!

Parisi Speed School has helped me in many ways. I have gotten faster as well as stronger. Jen and Vince have helped me so much. They are really nice and they are always encouraging me to do better. I really think that all my training will help me become a much better soccer player. I want to thank Jen and Vince for all they have done to help me and for nominating me for this award.” – Athlete Lucas Buono

“Lucas brings a focus and determination to his Parisi sessions that you normally expect out of an athlete much older than he is. At twelve years old, he is consistently the youngest athlete in the workout but you would never know it based on his demeanor and performance. Lucas completes each exercise with a quiet confidence, a smile on his face and always aims to improve from week to week. His athletic future is bright and we are proud to be a part of it!”– Coaches Jen Ritz & Vince Wright

The Parisi Speed School, a state-of-the-art speed and agility training program, has become an industry leader in youth performance. Club Fit Jefferson Valley is the only facility in Northern Westchester to offer the program.

 

Dryland & Kids Conditioning April Athletes

April 1, 2017 by karen

Dryland & Kids Conditioning programs with Club Fit Master Trainer Beth Kear

 

Dryland Athlete of the Month: Brittany Corbett
lub Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Brittany Corbett
Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Brittany Corbett

This is Brittany’s second year in the Dryland program. She has shown her athletic talents from day one. Her enthusiasm and energy is apparent and she always is looking to improve at the drills given to her. She excels at the speed and agility stations, and always seems to be enjoying everything she does. Brittany is always willing to lend a hand with the earlier class when a partner is needed. Thanks, Brittany, for setting the example!

Most Improved Dryland Athlete: Kaitlyn Bennett
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete Kaitlyn Bennett
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete Kaitlyn Bennett

This is Kaitlyn’s first year working with the trainers. She began in September learning about flexibility, balance, accuracy and speed.  Kaitlyn continues to show her personal best each and every time she is at Dryland class.  She is a pleasure to work with and to see her improvement. Keep up the great work, Kaitlyn!

 

 

Dryland & Kids Conditioning March Athletes

March 1, 2017 by karen

Dryland & Kids Conditioning programs with Club Fit Master Trainer Beth Kear
Dryland Athlete of the Month: Patrick Fang
Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Patrick Fang
Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Patrick Fang

Patrick, who joined the program in the fall, has really shown his talents this season. He has improved in all training aspects excelling on the track as well as at the SAQ drills that the trainers give him. He always gives 100% effort, challenges himself on a daily basis, and encourages the other class participants to do the same. Congratulations, Patrick!!

 

Most Improved Dryland Athlete: Xander Sohng
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete Xander Sohng
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete Xander Sohng

Xander was new to the program and has made marked improvements since beginning this fall. He is very focused and stays on all tasks given to him. His skills on the obstacle course have improved and he always gives his best. Xander is a pleasure to work with. The trainers commend his hard work and efforts. You go, Xander!

 

 

Dryland & Kids Conditioning February Athletes

February 1, 2017 by karen

Dryland & Kids Conditioning programs with Club Fit Master Trainer Beth Kear

 

Dryland Athlete of the Month:  Allison Corbett
Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Allison Corbett
Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Allison Corbett

This is Allison’s second year with the Dryland program. Her running has improved immensely and she is always looking to improve her time. She continually strives to improve and get faster, yet keeps it fun. Allison consistently goes “all out” and puts her heart into everything we do in class. She is often asked to demonstrate skills for her classmates. Love to have you in class, Allison!

Most Improved Dryland Athlete: Elizabeth Kracht
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete Elizabeth Kracht
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete Elizabeth Kracht

Elizabeth was new to the Dryland this past fall. From the first day she has demonstrated her enthusiasm and desire to learn new skills, and to better the skills that she already knows. Her running continues to improve as she challenges herself on a weekly basis. We are thrilled to have Elizabeth in class. Way to go, girl!

 

 

 

Parisi Athlete: Step Dancer Grace McClay

January 3, 2017 by karen

Parisi Speed School
Athlete Spotlight January 2017:
Step Dancer Grace McClay

Parisi Speed School Athlete: Step Dancer Grace McClay
Parisi Speed School has enhanced Grace’s performance on the stage and on the soccer field.

“I started training with Jessica at Parisi Speed School because I wanted to become stronger, faster and more agile, which would help me with my two main sports — Irish dancing and soccer.  I danced at the World Championships for Irish dancing earlier this year, and it is my goal to qualify to compete there again next year, so I need do a lot of extra work in addition to dancing to help me to meet my goal.  In the short amount of time I have been training with Jessica, she has helped me so much. My strength has improved and my speed has increased tremendously. Every time I come to train, even though I’m tired and sweating, I have fun because my trainer is there beside me pushing me. Also, when I feel like I can’t do anymore, I tell myself I can do it, and that it’s only going to help me. I believe there is no limit to the ability to be successful; you can do anything and everything is possible. I’m so excited to continue training and to see additional improvements in the future.” – Step Dancer & Soccer Player Grace McClay

“Grace has made incredible progress since starting Parisi training. She is the perfect example of how skills of strength, speed, and agility, translate through all platforms, such as dance. Grace always comes to training in high spirits and eager to challenge herself. It is a pleasure to see Grace’s skills and confidence evolve through training.”– Coach Jess Petti

The Parisi Speed School, a state-of-the-art speed and agility training program, has become an industry leader in youth performance. Club Fit Jefferson Valley is the only facility in Northern Westchester to offer the program.

 

Dryland & Kids Conditioning January Athletes

January 1, 2017 by karen

Dryland & Kids Conditioning programs with Club Fit Master Trainer Beth Kear

 

Dryland Athlete of the Month:  Susannah Radick
Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Susannah Radick
Club Fit Dryland Athlete of the Month Susannah Radick

Susannah has returned to the Dryland program this season and already has shown great desire in excelling with all of the drills given to her. She has a competitive spirit and strives to do her best. Susannah loves to improve her SAQ skills and her balance/core strength has improved greatly. Always ready to do the “Carlton” dance and lighten a difficult set, she is a pleasure to have in class. Way to go, girl!

 

 

 

Most Improved Dryland Athlete: Hunter Skodzinski
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete Hunter Skodzinski
Most Improved Club Fit Dryland Athlete Hunter Skodzinski

Hunter has made a name for himself and I love to see what I can give him next. His running has greatly improved and he always gives 100% effort in whatever exercises he is performing. Hunter’s coordination, strength and agility have all seen great improvement. Keep up the great work Hunter!

 

 

 

Congrats to our Club Fit Flag Football Team!

September 21, 2016 by karen

Our winning Club Fit Flag Football Team
Our winning Club Fit Flag Football Team

We are very proud of our Club Fit Flag Football team. Staff, members, family and friends joined forces to participate in a local football league, winning the trophy after only three seasons.

Their success story…

We started out as a group of friends just playing a pick-up two-hand touch game of football on Christmas Day, 2015. A few days later, Personal Trainer Russ Schum suggested playing in a Holiday Flag Football Tournament coming up the next month. Excited and ready to get started, we began to recruit more employees from Club Fit, as well as family and friends. Eventually, we changed leagues, and joined the Tappan Zee Flag Football League (TZFFL), entering in the Spring B Division.

Under the name “Squadd” we started the 2015 season with a well-deserved 7-6 victory. Throughout the season, we took our fair share of bumps and bruises – we struggled at times, but finished our season with a 2-6 record. Despite the losses, we were determined to improve and push ahead.

With one season of experience under our belts and a crop of new players on our team, we began the second season filled with hope and an expectation of winning more games.  We won the first three of four games – and it was evident the changes we made were coming to fruition. Unfortunately our early success was short lived – we stumbled during the middle of our season, but managed to carry ourselves to the playoffs.  Although we felt confident in our abilities to win, we were outmatched and ultimately lost.

Our third season brought renewed vigor and determination, under our new name – the Westchester Spartans.  With the help of a few key players, we devised new strategies. We kicked off the season with an outstanding 19-0 victory. We went into our second game with renewed confidence, only to be quickly humbled by a 26-21 loss.  Nevertheless, we won the last 6 games of the regular season and entered the playoffs with seven wins and one loss – ready to tackle the championship game. We fought hard and won!

After two seasons of accomplishments, and a few setbacks, we finally came out as the success story we were hoping to become. Perhaps the most meaningful aspect of this journey for us was that we started out simply as colleagues from around Club Fit, and ended as close friends and champions.  Through the seasons, we got to know more about one another and learned how to play football successfully together as a team.  We may have lost a few people along the way, and added some new players, but we’re all dedicated and determined to play more football and play it well into the future, as a team.

Our Winning Team:

Club Fit Staff
Brandon Brailsford — Team Captain (BR Fitness)
Bobby Drinks (BR Energy Center)
Jordan Archible (BR Reception)
Russ Schum (BR Fitness)
Jesse Drinks (BR Energy Center)
Tyler Hamberg (BR Fitness)
Sam Lacour (BR Energy Center)
Tommy Weingart (BR Fitness)
James Johnson (BR Energy Center)
Joe Riley (JV Fitness)
Jason Fancie (BR Energy Center)
Tarik Stovall (BR Energy Center)

Club Fit Members
Matt Laccetti
Ryan Tompkins

Family and Friends
DeVonte’ Brailsford
Mike Olave
Alejandro Rodriguez
Ryan McNiff
Tyson Agler
Nick Miranda
Al Brailsford
Kevin Miranda
Chris Fucci

To Keep You Inspired … Lizandra Vega

July 25, 2016 by karen

{by Lisa Olney, Club Fit guest blogger}

Lizandra with Tiana and Joe
To Keep You Inspired… Club Fit Member Lizandra Vega with Tiana and Joe

In 2014, Club Fit Briarcliff member Lizandra Vega had a birthday epiphany, and it was time to reassess her lifestyle. On the surface, her life was in perfect balance; a proud wife and hands-on mother of two — personal life, check; a 20-year career as an executive recruiter in Manhattan’s luxury lifestyle market, a certified image consultant, and an author — professional life, check; meaningful work giving back to the community — volunteer life, check. What she realized with striking clarity, though, was that she had slowly ceased stepping out of her comfort zone, challenging her own personal growth — a trait that she instills in her clients. “I motivate people, that’s part of my job,” says Lizandra. “I like to be authentic, so I have always put myself in situations that may not be comfortable at first in order to see how I’ll thrive.” On her blog, The Career Confidante, at www.LizandraVega.com, she lists her 10 Commandments of Success. The second commandment is “Thou shall not nurture anything but a positive physical, mental, and emotional state of being.” It was time to get back to nurturing her own healthy lifestyle.

Lizandra looked to her bucket list and decided it was time to conquer her fear of swimming. Raised in the Bronx with no real exposure to the water, she developed a fear of swimming after trips to the beach and constant warnings of the danger of the water. But Lizandra refused to pass that fear on to her children, who are avid swimmers. “Outdoors was never my thing,” recalls Lizandra, “But I made it my thing.”

A Briarcliff resident for the last 19 years, Lizandra turned to Club Fit to start her journey. She chose to take private lessons with swim instructor Joe Cave, who had taught many adults to swim, and he proved to be a great match for her. Initially, Lizandra could only float — no propelling herself forward and definitely no putting her head in the water. Her biggest fear was not knowing how she would be able to breathe, and it was paralyzing.

The lessons started in September of 2014, and Lizandra remembers feeling comfortable with him immediately. “I instantly trusted Joe the minute I shook his hand,” she recalls. “He would say, ‘I’m not going to let you drown. You are not going to drown with me here.’” This declaration was cathartic for Lizandra, allowing her to let go of her fear and begin conquering it. Lizandra felt it would take a long time just to get her head in the water, but her first lesson was empowering. “I was already doing little strokes — not with my head completely in the water, but I made such progress in just one lesson,” she remembers. “It felt so good, and I knew that I was really going to learn this time.” Step by step, she did just that, and she’s been taking lessons with Joe ever since. Today, she swims laps, working on technique and endurance for every stroke.

Saturday mornings quickly became Lizandra’s “me-time” with swim lessons at 10am. She added a small group training class, Women on Weights, with Master Trainer Tiana Gonzalez. Lizandra connected at once with Tiana, and in January 2015, began personal training sessions with her. Tiana’s supportive and caring style has helped Lizandra achieve many fitness goals and given her the confidence to step outside of her fitness comfort zone and use all the fitness options at Club Fit.

From Joe’s patience and ability to empower, to Tiana’s empathy and motivational style, Lizandra credits them both with helping her regain a healthier and proactive lifestyle. “Because I work in recruiting, staffing, and hiring, I am very discerning about who I hire to teach me,” says Lizandra. “Joe and Tiana show such professionalism, and their communication goes beyond expectations.”

Next on Lizandra’s bucket list are singing and ice-skating. While her Club Fit bucket list includes yoga and tennis, it’s safe to say that any area of the Club that Lizandra has yet to explore has a spot on her list. “I really am a person that loves to continue to learn and challenge myself,” says Lizandra, “When I become a member of a place, I’m all in.”

Parisi Athletes: Lakeland Panas Lacrosse Team

July 1, 2016 by karen

Parisi Speed School
Athlete Spotlight July 2016:
Lakeland Panas Boys Lacrosse Team

Parisi Athlete Spotlight: Lakeland Panas Boys Lacrosse Team
Lakeland Panas Boys Lacrosse Team credits Parisi with helping them win the Section I Championship.

“We worked extremely hard at Parisi Speed School this past winter and it carried over to the season. It is one of the reasons we were able to have such a good
season this year and become Section I champions.” – Kevin Prunty, Lakeland Panas Boys Lacrosse Team Captain

“Having worked with this team in Parisi for the last several years, it was great to see the hard work pay off as they ended the season as Section I Champs. This group of seniors has set a high standard for the classes coming behind them. I believe all of their time spent in Parisi was one of the reasons they were able to stay focused and disciplined enough to have such a successful year.” – Coach Greg Horowitz

The Parisi Speed School, a state-of-the-art speed and agility training program, has become an industry leader in youth performance. Club Fit Jefferson Valley is the only facility in Northern Westchester to offer the program.

 

Committing to Big Change.

September 8, 2015 by Kendra

Kendra2croppedI’m making a big commitment to weight loss and setting a huge goal for myself. Over the next two years, I aim to lose 100 pounds.

With a 50 pound weight loss under my belt, I have the confidence and the tools to develop a sustainable plan to lose the rest of my excess body weight, and hopefully for good. This is a huge decision, and an enormous undertaking, but I know that I’m ready.

Setting a goal of losing 100 pounds is not about obsessing over the scale pound by pound, and achieving this specific goal “or else.” Instead, it’s about putting a big stake in the ground to keep my eyes on the horizon of long-term change. With the gratitude that comes from cancer survivorship, I’m ready to do whatever I need to do to minimize health risks in my future.

I’ve carried extra weight all my life. In fact, I have developed a strong sense of identity around being bigger and stronger than average, and in being comfortable and confident taking up space and having a powerful presence. That is a lot of really great work that I have absolutely no intention of undoing. I’m not setting out with the intention of changing the shape of my body to fit into a smaller clothing size. My goals are pinned on good health, longevity, and improving my athletic abilities to have more fun!

To eventually accomplish this Herculean task, here’s what I’m going to do:

  1. Having already gotten the thumbs-up at my annual physical, I’m now going to check in with my doctor periodically, to make sure I’m on the right track.
  2. Do my homework to build a nutrition and exercise plan that I know I can support with the time I have to put in.
  3. Move at a sustainable pace. I’m not going to do anything now that I intend to stop doing when I lose my excess weight. This means, I’m going to exercise several times a week and continue to enjoy the foods I love on occasion, even if it means I move at a less aggressive pace.

Here’s what I’m NOT going to do:

  1. Allow negative self-talk.
  2. Obsess over calories.
  3. Quit.

At this point, I know myself well enough to know that when my mind is right, my body will follow. So, by that logic, if I remain my own number one fan, I can’t lose.

Wish me luck! If any of you have had success with big changes, I’d love to hear about it.

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Club Fit Walkers Take Manhattan!

May 28, 2015 by karen

— written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Lisa Skelton

 

It’s been an interesting road for this group of women — literally and figuratively!

Suzanne and Tess in Manhattan
Suzanne and Tess in Manhattan

Most goals, whether fitness-related or not, are met one step at a time. But Club Fit Briarcliff member Tess Cerra and her band of walkers have racked up MANY steps in reaching their goal: walking every street in Manhattan!

Sound like an insurmountable feat? It has taken this group of nine women, all members of the Chappaqua Neighbors Club, nearly three years to cover the approximately 1200-mile route, which they plan to complete in the next month. “We became more regimented as we went along,” says Tess. “Once we realized we could actually achieve our goal, we all became a little more obsessed with finishing!” One member is in charge of mapping out their routes, and distributes maps to each walker. Weather permitting, the group walks every Monday, and averages 6 miles per day.

But this isn’t their first project. And it is certainly not their last. The group first tackled the Old Croton Aqueduct route, which is approximately 37 miles long and ends in Manhattan’s Bryant Park. And after they tackle Manhattan, they plan to tackle the other boroughs of New York City, one by one.

Suzanne Keay, a member of the group who is also a member of Club Fit Briarcliff, says, “My endurance has definitely improved, and the mental boost we get from the camaraderie we have developed is priceless!” Tess adds, “Some walk a little harder than others, but we all have to keep up.”

One unexpected benefit the women have experienced is the fact that they have met many people along the way. Passers-by approach them to ask what they are doing, and some go out of their way to enlighten the women on interesting facts about their neighborhoods. “We’ve learned a lot!” says Tess. They have also have had a variety of culinary adventures, making sure a good lunch spot is part of the itinerary. Their favorite area? “The West Side was lovely,” says Tess. She says the most interesting road they traveled was a secret underground street in Chinatown that was once used by gangs.

When they’re not out walking, both Tess and Suzanne use various areas of Club Fit to work out. Both do The Circuit, with Tess favoring Aquatics and Tennis programming, and Suzanne using Group Fitness, the Hoist Roc-It circuit, and the Fitness Center. And as mentioned earlier, both are members of the 75-year-old Chappaqua Neighbors Club, of which the walking group is just one part. Tess heads up the organization’s cultural activities, and Suzanne is the club historian and works on the club’s newsletter.

How has the walking group added to their club experience? “I feel like I own Manhattan!” says Suzanne. The group has also gotten some press, with a profile in the Journal News and an appearance in USA Today, where they were pictured with well-known historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin, whose publicist they came across on one of their walks.

It’s been an interesting road for this group of women — literally and figuratively! — but they haven’t reached the end of their journey! If you see Tess or Suzanne at the Club, congratulate them on their achievement, and be sure to find out where they are headed next!

 

Tips for Water Safety this Memorial Day and All Summer Long!

May 20, 2015 by Liz

Memorial Day is coming up and this is the time of year people begin opening their pools for the Summer. To ensure your family has a happy and safe Memorial Day and a great Summer packed with Swimming, here are some tips to help keep you and your family safe all season long!

Here is some helpful advice from Club Fit Briarcliff Aquatics Director, Ruth Garcia!

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 3.14.24 PM If you are a pool owner, make sure your pool is surrounded by an adequate fence or barrier to protect your family as well as potential wanderers.

Children should start learning to swim around 2.5 years of age. We recommend starting even sooner with infant/parent classes to get them acclimated to the water.

If swimming in an unsupervised area, make sure you have another person with you. Children should never be unattended.

Do not consume alcohol while swimming. It impairs coordination, judgement and your ability to function normally in an aquatic environment.

Use Coast Guard approved gear and non-inflatable pool toys and swim aids. Inflatable floatation devices pose an increased risk of drowning as they are prone to popping. We also do not recommend using mermaid-like/uni-fin fins. This new trend is cute, but not necessarily safe as it positions the body in an unnatural way and has the potential to cause a distressed swimmer.

Be sure to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Here are some suggestions from the American Cancer Society on how to stay safe in the sun!

Sign up for a CPR class so you are prepared in the event there is an emergency. Click here for dates in May.

If you need further information on water safety, visit the American Red Cross for their top recommendations.

Interested in swim lessons at Club Fit? Contact braquatics@clubfit.com or call and speak to someone in our Aquatics department for more information! Club Fit Briarcliff: 914.762.3444 ex. 2108)

Meet Marc Quintiliani, Master Swim Instructor, Assistant Swim Coach and Lifeguard

July 30, 2014 by karen

Lifeguard Marc Quintiliani
Club Fit Master Water Safety Instructor, Assistant Swim Coach and Lifeguard Marc Quintiliani

“One step at a time” is a common sense approach, but not everyone practices it. For a child with special needs, it’s a recipe for success. So says Club Fit Master Water Safety Instructor, Assistant Swim Coach and Lifeguard Marc Quintiliani, who teaches students of every age and skill level, but has a definite connection with this particular group of students.

Marc, a former mechanic who has been with Club Fit for five years and has been a swimming instructor for close to fifteen years, loves to see his students realize they can accomplish what once seemed out of reach. “I like breaking down their walls,” he says of his special needs students. “It’s especially rewarding when I hear parents say they can’t believe what their child is doing, milestones they couldn’t imagine reaching,” he says.

Most parents opt for private lessons, which is helpful because Marc can focus on a child’s particular needs. And “one step at a time” is key. “The first thing I focus on is getting them to be comfortable with me,” he says. He tries to schedule these lessons when the Aquatics Center is quiet, so the student doesn’t have to deal with sensory overload. On the other hand, a certain amount of distraction can sometimes be helpful with children who are nervous about being in the water. “One of my students had a previous bad experience, so I gave him things to do like counting drills to take his mind off of being in the pool.” Another boy would get in the water but actual swimming was a particular challenge…today he is comfortable swimming in all areas of the pool. “I try to get the kids to let their guard down and just relax,” says Marc.

Kaleb is a current student whose grandmother Linda Schulman can’t say enough about the strides he’s made. Kaleb, who turns three on August 2, had a stroke at a very early age, leaving him with motor issues, and one side of his body weak and less functional. Hoping swim lessons would strengthen him, but not completely optimistic, Linda turned to Marc, and has seen improvement in the short amount of time that Marc has worked with her grandson. “Kaleb has a great attitude, and our sessions got even better after I realized that he sometimes uses sign language to communicate,” said Marc, who now supplements his vocal praise with encouraging signs. “We focus a lot on getting him to use his left side more, since that is his weaker side.” Linda is extremely happy with his progress. “Kaleb is almost fearless in the water now,” she says.

Marc’s experience includes more than 10 years of competitive swimming, including Junior Olympic, County and State meets. He currently has a diverse clientele at the club, including everyone from his special needs kids, to triathletes, to seniors. He also serves as Assistant Coach for the Club Fit Swim Team under Head Coach Bill Walsh, and has seen a great improvement with the team. “We had some work to do, but the kids are starting to come together and I’m excited about the upcoming season,” he says, which begins in September.

As for kids like Kaleb, Marc will continue to work his magic and help them achieve what once seemed impossible. “It’s great to see the kids succeed,” he says. “They come in thinking they have so many limitations, and realize that it’s not so hard to overcome them.” For more information on programs available, contact braquatics@clubfit.com.

Adaptive Swim Program Benefits Special Needs Children

July 30, 2014 by karen

Adaptive Swim Coach Helen Peters
Adaptive Swim Coach Helen Peters with happy student Adam

“I DID IT!” Those three words are probably the sweetest three words a parent can hear from a child with special needs. And it’s a phrase that Club Fit’s Helen Peters has the privilege of hearing from her students in the Adaptive Swim program.

Helen, who has been a swim instructor at Club Fit for more than 20 years, is also a Special Education teacher in the Newburgh School District. When Club Fit decided to incorporate the Adaptive Swim lessons into the Aquatics programming about seven years ago, Helen’s experience in both teaching and swim made her the perfect candidate to teach. She holds a master’s degree in Special Education from Fordham University, and has been a swim instructor since the age of 16.

“We teach kids all along the spectrum, and we try to group the kids by age and ability,” says Helen. Some parents prefer to do private or semi-private lessons, but the 4:1 student-to-teacher ratio does allow Helen to give each child the needed attention. The small-group classes are offered three days a week, and are available to members and nonmembers.

Helen works with each child in the group and modifies her approach based on each child’s limitations. She is currently working with two blind children, who cannot see her directions so she needs to actually do the movements with them. Some children have sensory issues, which may require trying different types of goggles to see which are more comfortable, as well as a little more time to get used to the water. Helen has actually found that with most kids, the water is a soothing environment. “The water can calm them down, and usually the hardest part of the entire lesson is at the end, when they don’t want to get out of the pool!” she says.

There have been students as young as three years old, including two three-year-olds with cerebral palsy. The program is available to kids up to age 13. “It’s a unique program that isn’t offered many places,” says Helen. “Our students run the gamut, from those afraid of the water to those who can do laps on their own, but at whatever level it is so rewarding to see their sense of accomplishment.” One student recently passed the Aquatics Center swim test required for him to swim independently in the pool. Another, who is blind and started out with a fear of swimming, recently mastered jumping in the pool by himself. Others are involved in sports programming outside the club, and Helen loves to hear about their accomplishments out of the water. “The kids get so much out of any activity where they can work toward a goal, not matter how big or small, and master it.”

Helen, married and a mother of three, lives in Peekskill and uses the club herself to keep in shape. She does cardio and plays racquetball, in addition to her time in the Aquatics Center. “People sometimes don’t recognize me outside of the pool!” she says.

The next session of Adaptive Swim will begin September 8. If your child or someone you know would benefit from this unique program, please contact Kristina Wolak at kwolak@clubfit.com. It’s a win-win for everyone involved, including Helen! Visit us online to learn more about Adaptive Swim Lessons and to register!