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!

 

 

New HOIST Smith Machine

April 24, 2017 by karen

New HOIST Smith Machine at Club Fit Briarcliff

HOIST Dual-Action Smith Machine
HOIST Dual-Action Smith Machine at Club Fit Briarcliff in Westchester, NY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just added to our fitness area at Club Fit Briarcliff—the HOIST CF-3754 Dual-Action Smith Machine!

While traditional Smith machines have a constrained range of motion, the advanced design of this unique HOIST dual-action system allows it to be utilized as a safety-assisted Smith machine AND incorporate the fuller range of motion of a free-standing squat rack. The range of exercises that can be performed on this machine is nearly endless! 

• Dual Action technology allows for both horizontal and vertical bar movement

• Travel distance of horizontal bar movement: 30.25” (77 cm)

• Travel distance of vertical bar movement: 63.50” (161 cm)

• Integrated racking system provides 9 positions for Smith exercises

• Adjustable safety tiers

• Incorporates 10 weight plate holders for easy storage

• Starting weight of Olympic bar: 52 lbs. (24 kg)

• Maximum weight storage capacity: 1.450 lbs. (612 kg)

• Maximum exercise weight capacity: 540 lbs. (245 kg)

Come in and try it out! Need a demo or some pointers? Ask one of our Fitness Coaches—they’ll be happy to assist!

 

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!

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

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.

 

Welcome new Jefferson Valley Fitness Director Joe Riley

January 26, 2016 by karen

Club Fit Jefferson Valley Fitness Director Joe Riley
Club Fit Jefferson Valley Fitness Director Joe Riley

Club Fit Jefferson Valley is pleased to welcome Joe Riley to his new position of Fitness Director and Parisi Program Director. Joe grew up in Ossining, and attended Ossining High School. After High School, he attended The College At Brockport and received a double major in Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology, and a minor in Biology. At Brockport, he played 4 years as a linebacker for the Golden Eagles. Following undergraduate studies, Joe received a Master’s Degree in Sports Management from St. John’s University. While completing his Master’s, he  began working at Club Fit Briarcliff as a Fitness Coach, a Personal Trainer and eventually a Manager on Duty. Joe’s fitness experience is extensive, working with a wide range of clientele; college athletes at the Division 1, 2 and 3 levels, exercise testing, youth populations, elder populations, cardiac rehabilitation, and many more. Joe has coached high school football and his hobbies include football, ice hockey, baseball, golf and, of course, fitness. His passion for fitness began when it helped him overcome obstacles to achieve his goals. Since then, his goal has been to help as many people possible through fitness. Joe feels Club Fit is an extraordinary place and is excited to help others accomplish their goals!

Joe’s full bio:

Education/Experience:
• Master’s Degree in Sports Management — St. John’s University
Undergraduate Degree B.S. Exercise Physiology and Kinesiology, minor in Biology — The College at Brockport
• Experience in Division 1, 2 and 3 strength and conditioning programs
• High School Football Coach
Division III Collegiate Football Player
• NCCPT Certified Personal Trainer
• CPR/AED/First Aid Certified

Specialties: Power Training & development, Strength Training & Development, Sport-Specific Training, Agility Training, Functional Lifestyle Training.

Hobbies: Football, Hockey, Weight Training, Baseball, Golf.

Philosophy of Exercise: “Fitness is a competition with oneself. Work hard, love what you do and strive every single day to be better than you were yesterday.”

Astorino Launches Keep Healthy Campaign

January 6, 2016 by Liz

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.22.04 AM
NEWS RELEASE
Sherlita Amler, MD, Commissioner, Department of Health
Ned McCormack, Communications Director
Contact: Caren Halbfinger (914) 813-5013 / after hours: 813-5000

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 5, 2016

ASTORINO LAUNCHES KEEP HEALTHY CAMPAIGN
Health Department partners with local health clubs to offer free blood pressure screenings, flu shots and tips

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.20.45 AM

County Executive Robert P. Astorino joined the Westchester County Health Department and local health clubs today to announce the county’s Keep Healthy campaign – an education initiative focused on providing residents with best practices and services to help lead a healthier lifestyle.

The campaign brings county Health Department professionals to five locations of three area fitness centers – Crunch, Club Fit and 24 Hour Fitness – on Tuesdays this month to offer free flu shots, blood pressure screenings and #KeepHealthy tips and information. Each of the health clubs will also provide free guest passes and giveaways to visitors and club members during the Health Department’s visit.

“The county teaming up with Crunch, Club Fit and 24 Hour Fitness is a great way to help residents keep their New Year’s resolutions to stay active and lead healthier lives,” Astorino said kicking off the campaign at Crunch in White Plains. “The Keep Healthy campaign accomplishes three things: it gets free health services and information to residents, it promotes healthy living and it supports local businesses.”

Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD, explained that the health department targeted health clubs to reach adults between the ages of 18 and 50 who are less likely to make time for a flu shot or check their blood pressure than children or seniors.

“Keeping healthy is all about the choices we make, both large and small. The decision to get a flu shot or take your blood pressure can be the first step to a healthier you,” Amler said.

Representatives from the local health clubs were excited to partner with the county to support the healthy living campaign.

“We at Crunch are thrilled to help keep Westchester healthy,” said Eric Jozwiak, district marketing manager for Fitness Holdings, owner of Crunch in White Plains and Port Chester. “We think this is a great benefit for anyone who cares about their health and encourage residents to come to our club.”

Karen Santiago, manager at 24 Hour Fitness in Yonkers, added: “We at 24 Hour Fitness are glad to join Westchester County to offer more ways for our members to stay healthy this year. We believe real health and fitness begins by understanding your current mindset–the set of beliefs that determines what you do–so you can start taking steps to achieve your goals.”

Bill Beck, president of Club Fit, also added: “We’re delighted to team up with Westchester County to put the focus on fitness and health. Keeping Westchester Healthy is our mission, too. We hope this initiative will encourage new members to stop by and join us.”

To take advantage of the free flu shots, blood pressure screenings and health information, visit one of these clubs:
Jan. 12
• Crunch, Port Chester, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., 24 Waterfront Place
• Crunch, White Plains, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., 1 North Broadway
Jan. 19
• Club Fit, Briarcliff Manor, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., 584 North State Road
• Club Fit, Jefferson Valley, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., 600 Bank Road
Jan. 26
• 24HourFitness, Yonkers, 4 pm to 7 pm, 589 Tuckahoe Road

The Health Department’s brochures and flyers will be available in the department’s clinics in White Plains and Yonkers, on the department’s website and distributed at health fairs, community events and through partnerships with other health providers and county departments. Tips and information will be shared through social media on Facebook.com/wchealthdept and on Twitter @wchealthdept.

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Additional news available at www.westchestergov.com/health
Connect with us on Facebook: Facebook.com/wchealthdept
Follow us on Twitter: @wchealthdept

Club Fit Briarcliff Fitness Director Susie Reiner

October 30, 2015 by karen

— written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Lisa Skelton

Club Fit Briarcliff Fitness Director Susie Reiner loves
helping Members improve their well-being.

Club Fit Briarcliff Fitness Director Susie Reiner
Club Fit Briarcliff Fitness Director Susie Reiner

When you put yourself in the hands of a Personal Trainer, that’s exactly what it is for many people… personal. You trust that your trainer has your best interests at heart, and you need to feel comfortable opening up to them about your goals, your insecurities, your expectations. And feel comfortable letting them see you pre-shower, in all your workout glory!

If the thought of using a Personal Trainer intimidates you, spend some time with Club Fit Briarcliff Fitness Director Susie Reiner… you’ll feel totally comfortable in no time. Susie has served as Director since June 2014, and not only is she one of the most approachable staff members here at Club Fit Briarcliff, she is highly qualified for the position. She began as a dancer, earning her BA in Theater from CUNY Hunter College, but through her own experience with fitness regimens soon realized that personal training was a better fit. “I realized that personal training could accomplish more than just treating someone’s injury or disease. I could get instant feedback, and felt I was actually affecting and preventing disease.”

Susie went on to earn her Master’s in Exercise Science & Health Promotion from California University of Pennsylvania, and began at Club Fit Jefferson Valley as a Group Fitness Instructor in 2009. Her personal training career began in 2010 with her appointment as Personal Training Coordinator. She took a break from Club Fit with a few other positions, including time spent at Texas A & M University, where she served as Fitness Coordinator in the campus gym and as Lecturer in the Health & Kinesiology Department. Lucky for us, she’s back at Club Fit!

“I’m not a salesperson, and I don’t hire salespeople,” says Susie, who is a Certified Exercise Physiologist (ACSM) and a Performance Enhancement Specialist (NASM). “All I know is that fitness is good for you, and I want to make sure everyone is here for the right reasons. I want to improve our members’ well being and quality of life.” That explains Susie’s focus on staff, and their development and growth. She also emphasizes that she does not want any of her staff members to focus on one demographic group. “I want the Club Fit Trainers to be in a position to help everyone, at every age and ability level.” In order to do this, Susie has been putting an emphasis on education and certifications.

Since Susie started, the Personal Training staff has taken an important step in differentiating itself from other health club trainers – Smart Fitness certification. The program was rolled out at Club Fit in January 2015, and in six months, every trainer had successfully completed the program. “It sets us apart from the competition because the training equips the trainer with a baseline knowledge that qualifies them to work with and handle certain medical conditions if a doctor suggests a client begin a fitness regimen,” says Susie. The program also helped put our veteran trainers and the new hires on the same level. For more information on each of our Personal Trainers, click here.

Club Fit is also partnering with CUNY Lehman and Mercy College, with students interning in our Fitness Center. Susie and Club Fit Briarcliff General Manager Mark Cuatt have also been guest lecturing at Mercy College. “It’s a growing relationship, in a growing field,” says Susie.

Susie is also working to create more options for members within the Fitness Center. “Ideally, we can offer a variety of different small group programs at different price points,” she says. “But almost all of our Fit Coaches are now certified Personal Trainers, so you are getting the biggest bang for your buck no matter what you do!”

For more information on Club Fit’s Fitness programming and Personal Training packages, contact Susie at sreiner@clubfit.com, or 914-250-2795. And begin to make the most of your workout time!

A 9 11 Survivor’s Story

August 31, 2015 by karen

Jean & Dan Potter
Jean & Dan Potter

It’s been nearly 14 years since the attack on the Twin Towers, but we can remember that day like it was just yesterday. This is especially true for those who were in the World Trade Centers and the surrounding buildings when they were hit, as well as their family and friends.

Club Fit member Jean Potter was working on the 81st floor of the North Tower that day, just below where the first plane hit, and walked down the stairs to safety. Her husband, Dan, a New York City firefighter, raced to the towers and, while looking for Jean, helped others find their way to safety. Jean and Dan were finally reunited at a Chinatown firehouse later that day.

Both Jean and Dan firmly believe that their faith in God got them through that morning. “I felt that God was with me as I was walking down those stairs,” says Jean, and Dan agrees. “Before I found Jean, I prayed to God for the clarity to know what to do, and He got me through.” In the ensuing days, they reluctantly decided to leave their Battery Park apartment in New York City, just a few blocks from the World Trade Center site. “It was a war zone,” Jean said, and the memories were simply too overwhelming to ignore. They moved to Westchester and eventually began a new life in Northeastern Pennsylvania, where they had family, but it was not easy. “I’m a city girl!” says Jean. “ It took a lot for Dan and I to leave our city life and our friends.”

Both built new lives, Jean counseling inmates at a local facility. “I came to understand that incarceration is a second chance at life,” she says. Dan began working with local fire departments and devoted time to the local Red Cross. “Everything that has happened to us is part of God’s plan. This was our own second chance, and He put us where we needed to be.” In 2011, Jean published By the Grace of God: A 9/11 Survivor’s Story of Love, Hope, and Healing, chronicling their 9/11 experience and their subsequent spiritual journey. Jean says, “The book is our story, but is also meant to honor those who perished, and share our strong message of faith.”

In 2012, Jean and Dan felt the pull back to New York and decided to return to the area, settling in Shrub Oak. Both have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, in addition to Dan’s injuries from that fateful day, causing his retirement from the FDNY, but they have achieved a new feeling of peace. “As I keep saying, God puts us where we need to be, and everyone has embraced us here,” says Jean. “We’re home.”

Soon after settling in, Jean joined Club Fit Jefferson Valley. She had always incorporated fitness into her routine, and goes so far as to say that her good health and fitness helped her get down those 81 floors! Today, staying fit is just a healthy way to spend her newfound free time. “I just love it at the club, there’s such a positive energy there!” She is a particular fan of Zumba, and wants to get more into yoga. Dan is active with the planning and emergency committees of their condominium in Shrub Oak, and Jean has started journaling again. “It’s amazing how people continue to reach out to us,” Jean says, so despite her desire to slow down, she may have more work ahead of her!

The road that Jean and Dan Potter have traveled is truly inspirational. They may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, but they took that negative experience and used it to help others, through their continued willingness to give to those in need as well as offer guidance through Jean’s book. If you are interested in reading more about the Potters’ experience, By the Grace of God: A 9/11 Survivor’s Story of Love, Hope, and Healing is available at www.amazon.com, as well as at most bookstores and libraries.

Jack Normoyle collects donations for local food pantry.

June 29, 2015 by karen

— written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Lisa Skelton

Junior Club Fit member Jack Normoyle forgoes birthday gifts  to collect donations for local food pantry.

Jack Normoyle supports local food pantry
Jack and his mom, Suzanne, at Club Fit.

Ask any kid what their favorite thing about birthdays is, and the answer will invariably be, “Presents!” Number two on the list is probably parties. Nine-year-old Club Fit Jefferson Valley member Jack Normoyle decided to change things up, skipping the presents and using his party as a vehicle to help the needy.

Jack, who will be going into the fourth grade at Lincoln-Titus Elementary School, held his Minecraft-themed birthday party at the club in May, opting for the Surf & Turf package for his friends. But instead of sitting back and collecting presents from the partygoers, he asked them to bring a nonperishable food donation for the Church of the Holy Spirit Food Pantry in Cortlandt Manor, part of the Food Bank of Westchester. And this isn’t the first time he’s done this. He did the same at his 7th birthday party.

“Jack saw a Facebook post from one of my friends mentioning the idea, and decided he wanted to help people out by doing the same,” says Jack’s mom, Suzanne. “The work that the food pantry does makes a difference in our community, and Jack has seen for himself that what he is doing matters.” The Holy Spirit Food Pantry services approximately 160 families, helping to feed about 600 people.

“I was surprised to see how much food people brought!” says Jack. “It made me happy to help out the people who really needed it.” Suzanne and Jack delivered the food a few days later, and the staff was understandably appreciative, as well as impressed by Jack’s generosity. “The ladies at the pantry definitely make a fuss over Jack!” says Suzanne. As they should!

The Normoyle family, residents of Cortlandt Manor, joined Club Fit just this past March, but have quickly become regulars. Suzanne comes to the club about three days a week, and is working with a Personal Trainer to get her fitness routine back on track. She uses the Fitness Center and Women’s Fitness Area, and husband John is working on getting more time in around his work schedule.

Jack is definitely getting his time in, doing the Junior Cycle kids’ cycle class on Mondays, and the Yoga for Kids class on Wednesdays. “It used to be all girls, but more boys are doing it now,” he says. He also enjoys the Energy Center, where he’s made some new friends, and is looking forward to attending Energy Camp this summer. “I don’t really have a favorite thing, I just like that there are a lot of different things to do here,” he says. He also enjoys basketball, soccer and karate.

We could all take a lesson from this fourth-grader, whose willingness to help is benefitting so many of the neighbors we often forget about. Hopefully other young people in our community will get wind of Jack’s act of kindness and follow his lead! For more information on the programs run by the Food Bank of Westchester and how to contribute, visit www.foodbankforwestchester.org. And if you run into Jack, give him a well-deserved pat on the back!

Breast Cancer Wellness

November 26, 2014 by karen

— written by Club Fit Member and Guest Blogger Lisa Skelton

 

Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s Dr. Sandra Brennan supports utilizing physical activity to help combat breast cancer.

Dr. Sandra Brennan, radiologist & breast cancer specialist
Club Fit member Dr. Sandra Brennan, Director of Breast Imaging and Interim Director of Radiology at the West Harrison outpost of New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Dr. Sandra Brennan may be new to Club Fit, but the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, for both her patients and herself, is not new at all. Dr. Brennan is Director of Breast Imaging and Interim Director of Radiology at the new West Harrison outpost of New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, a long-anticipated and welcomed resource for Westchester County’s cancer patients.

Hailing from Ireland, where she attended University College Dublin and completed her residency at Mater Misericordiae Hospital, also in Dublin, Dr. Brennan came to the United States in 2005 to complete a fellowship at Sloan-Kettering’s Breast and Body Imaging Center, and the rest was history. During the fellowship, she sharpened her expertise in imaging of tumors in the chest, abdomen and pelvis, as well as in breast imaging and intervention, and upon completion of the fellowship she was invited to join the faculty in Sloan-Kettering’s Department of Radiology.

Currently, her focus is on breast imaging, which involves interpretation of screening and diagnostic mammograms, ultrasound examinations and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Her clinical work includes state-of-the-art procedures such as image-guided biopsy under stereotactic, ultrasound and MRI guidance, and breast localization procedures with both radioactive seed and wire localizations. Radioactive seed localizations are a relatively new approach that she says will be put into practice in MSK West Harrison in the new year. “The field is constantly evolving, and the number of options available to our patients continues to grow,” she says.

The opening of the West Harrison facility was a great opportunity for Dr. Brennan, who is also mom to six-year-old Samuel and four-year-old Leah, to get out of the city and into the more family-friendly suburbs. The family recently moved to Chappaqua and joined Club Fit Briarcliff, where they enjoy the Aquatics Center on weekends, and Samuel has been playing basketball. Dr. Brennan is no stranger to health clubs, and staying fit has been a lifelong practice. “I run, cycle, hike, swim…I’ve even completed some half-marathons!” she said. Since joining Club Fit, she gets in two to three visits per week, and has been spending her time in the Fitness Center. She’s looking forward to exploring other areas of the club with her children in the coming months.

One program that piqued her interest was the Cancer Wellness Program, which has been a part of Club Fit’s programming for a number of years. Free to cancer patients, both members and non-members, this strength and cardio conditioning program is designed to meet the special needs of people undergoing and recovering from cancer treatment. “There is growing evidence to suggest that maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active may reduce your risk of getting certain types of cancer such as breast, colon, endometrial and prostate,” says Dr. Brennan. “Patients who exercise and pay attention to their overall wellness tolerate treatment better, and in many cases experience a faster recovery.”

With the opening of the West Harrison facility, Sloan-Kettering has expanded its presence in Westchester County, which it has served since 1995 through its facility at Phelps Memorial Hospital in Sleepy Hollow. The facility’s staff includes more than 100 professionals, including cancer surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists and radiologists. “What we’ve done is bring all the services of the main campus in Manhattan to Westchester, allowing patients access to the same high-quality services without the commute into the city,” says Dr. Brennan. Add that to the plethora of support groups and other resources available to cancer patients in our area, and a cancer diagnosis becomes a much easier burden to bear, for both patient and caregiver.

Click here for more information on Sloan-Kettering’s West Harrison facility, as well as Dr. Brennan and her colleagues. You can also click here to find out more about Club Fit’s Cancer Wellness Program, a valuable resource to anyone fighting the battle against cancer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Pagel’s tale of training . . . The Spartan Race

May 1, 2014 by Liz


Well, it’s 6 weeks to go until my first Spartan Race in Tuxedo, NY. The butterflies started kicking in this week with anticipation of the unknown challenges and the excitement of competing with a team of well-conditioned Club Fit members.

I know my team will be ready because I see how hard they work every day in one of our CFX classes or in the Extreme Endurance class. I also know there will be a group that will be supremely prepared after going through the Obstacle Race Training with Jane and Brian. I just hope I’m ready!

The good news is that I still have some time to train and I’ll be kicking it up a notch to make sure I can keep up with the team. Things I’ve found helpful in preparing for the race are the support form staff and members, the daily Spartan WODs and the great Spartan recipes that I’ve been trying. My favorite recipe so far is the scrambled eggs with avocado and salsa. I have that for breakfast almost every morning in the café. Love it!

I’d love to find out what your favorite recipe is to fuel your training and any other insights on preparing for a Spartan race. I’ll continue to share my journey over the next several weeks and maybe have a post race video to share.

Happy Trails!

Bill

A Journey With The Hiking Club

April 8, 2014 by Liz

Come with us on an adventure!

March 16, 2014

After an unusually rough winter, there finally was a good day for hiking. The destination today for the Club Fit Hiking Club, was Sprout Brook Park in Peekskill. The temperature was only in the 30s, but the sun made it feel warmer.

At the beginning of the hike, some people looked like Star Wars characters, in their multiple layers of clothing.

There were hiking sticks left at the beginning of the trail for people to borrow, for those who did not own sticks or had spouses who drove off with their poles in their car.

There was a variety of conditions on the trail. We walked over small streams

and next to rivers

over some mud and snow, but most of the trails were in pretty good condition.

Like all Club Fit hikes, there was time for jokes (not sure if Abby is attacking the tree, or pretending to attack our leader),

and lots of laughs

and beautiful views along the way.

We stopped for lunch, and a chance for more conversations. Some were discussing life in Colorado, Abby seems to be describing something with her hands. Many thanks to her for the delicious no-bake cookies, and trail mix.

Many of us felt warm enough by lunch time, to take off our hats and gloves.

We posed for a photo

and another one, by a sign posted near the end of the hike.

One person took a selfie too, to post on Facebook, all while Molly patiently waited.

It was a fun day, and a nice place to explore. Thank you, Andrew, for getting us outside and for leading such a great hike. Thank you too to Frank for acting as our sweep. The next Club Fit Hike will be the annual frog one, held in early April. Hope the weather is even better for that hike.

-Marty