Meet Our Team: Maria Stagnitto, Water Instructor

Maria Stagnitto first joined AHC in the early 80’s and after 30-year hiatus re-joined in 2013. It was Maria’s love of swimming and retirement that called for the return.

In her working days, Maria would swim each day after work (in Bethesda), in her retirement the idea of the drive proved to be undesirable. She says “I realized that I would not want to drive to Bethesda every day to swim, so timing was perfect for us to rejoin the Club”.

Since then, Maria has added Body Pump, Pilates Mat, Pilates Reformer,  Yoga and spin to her list of activities: sometimes doing multiple activities within a given day. Over the past year she has resumed her tennis and has become a pickleball regular, alongside her husband.

You may be wondering where the Aquatic class instruction fits into her interest and schedule. Maria took the advice and encouragement of several of the water instructors and trained to become an instructor. She has set her schedule to teach her classes before her mid-morning swim. “It’s a natural fit” Maria says.

It’s clear Maria is making up for lost time and her return to AHC is proving to be a great way to enjoy her retirement. This past July 4th, Maria swam in a charity meet at her community pool. She proudly boasts she is the only female in the 65 and older category. Maria has won multiple events and holds a few pool records.

We are happy to have Maria on our instructor team and invite you to try her Monday and/or Thursday 10:30am and Wednesday 10:45am water classes.

Key to Success: How to Purchase the Right Tennis Racquet

buy Tennis RacquetGrowing up, my first tennis racquet was only $15 from Modell’s Sporting Goods. I had gone through a lot of battles with that plastic racquet until the frame completely bent on me during a match. I had truly outgrown that racquet as I was hitting the ball so big that it literally bent and crumbled in my hand. So it was time for a new one, a real one this time.

My dad had a racquet that he had used for a while and he passed it down to me. It was the Wilson Jack Kramer Pro-staff with the orange wooden handle. I had built up quite the callus on my hand due to that racquet but I loved it. I was having great success with that racquet until my dad had the bright idea of switching me to a Yonex racquet. At the time Monica Seles was doing extremely well with that racquet beating Steffi Graf in Grand Slams. (more…)

Working Smarter AND Harder

By: Dana Shorb, Fitness Director

I am not one to leave well-enough alone, especially in my workouts and neither should you. If your workouts sometimes become repetitive and you need a change of pace or if you just want to add some intensity to your current routine here are some of the strategies I use to get the most out of each and every set. These techniques can be used on most resistance exercises, give them a try some time and if you have any questions or need a demonstration do not hesitate to ask me. (more…)

Member Spotlight: Abhishek Kolli – “Keep Getting Better, Every Day!”

Abhishek Kolli and his father Satya are both committed to getting better on the tennis court, and the results are showing!

Last December, Abhishek played tennis with Isaac Kritz at a USTA tournament, and the Kritz family highly recommended that Abhishek try the tennis program at our Club. From there, Abhishek is showing great improvement, and his father isn’t far behind.

Abhishek met with our Tennis Director Terrance Scott for an evaluation, and quickly got involved with our program. “I could tell how caring the coaches were, and they provide great instruction,” explained Satya.  Abhishek adds “Mike [Gee] really helps me understand things, and Terrance is so nice.” Terrance placed Abhishek  in our Future Stars program, which is designed for players that are committed to becoming USTA national level players. “Abhishek works really hard, and listens extremely well. When I saw that — I knew we needed him in our program. He makes everyone around him better” explains Terrance. (more…)

Is A Lack of Flexibility Keeping You From Improving Your Game?

The TWITCH Stretch Method of practitioner-assisted stretching was formulated specifically to meet the needs of a rising population of athletes and fitness enthusiast of all ages which simply require more flexibility to improve performance, reduce injury and alleviate pain!

Whether you are an avid walker or competitive athletes stretching is an important part in the development of greater body awareness, fluid movement patterns, and the generation of power through the symmetrical use of muscle groups that are not affected by pain and unevenly balanced muscles which reduce joint mobility on the court. TWITCH practitioner-assisted stretching provides its clients with a better sense of their bodies condition, resulting in a greater understanding of the state of their muscles which helps prevent and limit reoccurring injuries. This awareness aids in developing a greater sense of control and confidence, ultimately improving peak performance on the court and in everyday life. (more…)

Member Spotlight: Justin Leak — With Tennis, It All Came Together!

Justin Leak had just moved into the area from Philadelphia and knew he needed a gym and a pool. Those had been the two activities that Justin had put into his weekly plan to stay healthy.

Being healthy was (and still is!) very important to him, so he knew finding a convenient place with a great gym and an indoor pool was a paramount to him being happy. With a little bit of research, he found a great gym with an indoor pool that was close to Olney — The Aspen Hill Club! What ended up happening was this gym and pool guy became a TENNIS NUT!!!

Draws of the club

Justin first joined Aspen Hill Club for the pool because it had his necessitates, the spectacular indoor pool and a great gym. Although he had experience taking college tennis classes for his undergraduate degree at Penn State, tennis didn’t grab his attention.

He did appreciate the little things that Aspen Hill provided such as a friendly welcome when he came into the club, and towel service. For several years while walking in and out of the club, tennis did not speak to him. What spoke to Justin was the fact that the staff at The Club “always remembered my name, and they got to know me. That makes a difference.


Key to Success: Serve Like A Pitcher – July 2018

If you follow baseball, you know that some of the greatest pitchers in the major leagues have a variety of pitches that they can execute at any time. They have a fastball, curveball, knuckleball, slider and off speed pitch. The pitcher will use different pitches based on what the batter likes and doesn’t like. For example, if the batter is phenomenal at hitting fast balls, the pitcher would intentionally throw everything but the fastball. The pitcher would also throw pitches that he knows the batter struggles with. (more…)

Member Spotlight: Manette Tao

After several years of being prodded by her mother (who was a neighbor of John Parsley and had participated in tennis clinics with Jeff Klein) Manette finally made her way into the Club in March of 2017.

Manette had been working for MCPS as an Elementary school para-educator and then a Health and PE teacher when she and her husband began taking water aerobic classes at the JCC. When she visited AHC in the spring of 2017, she used her one week pass to hit with John Parsley and take several of our water classes. She says it was the “warm” pool and water classes that were the impetus to join.

Since joining the Club Manette and her husband Freeman are actively involved our water classes, tennis and Pickleball programs which have increased their level of fitness and social circle.

After about three months of attending water aerobic classes, former water instructors Letty and Jean, encouraged Manette to get trained to become a  water aerobic instructor.  In August 2017 Manette received my shallow water certification and began shadowing instructors Michele and Maria to prepare her to lead her on class. Manette is currently teaching the Wednesday morning 8:00am water class and encourages all to come in and try the class.

Manette shared she is enjoying her time as an active AHC member and water Aerobic Instructor offering thanks to her mom for encouraging the initial visit and our other team members past and present (Letty Rosen, Jean Rhodes, Michele Burrows and Maria Stagnitto) for the support as she embarked her on road to instructor.  She says “I truly believe that water aerobics is a great way to exercise because it’s easy on the joints, it’s a lot of fun, and you can work at your own rate.” Water aerobics aside, “there are so many activities to choose from at the Club; so many that there is not enough not time to do it all!


Tennis Etiquette

By: Terrance Scott, Tennis Director

The game of tennis is by tradition one of focus and concentration, which is embraced by all who play the game. During play it is typically silent as observed by those on the professional level. It is important that we strive to embrace the proper etiquette passed on from  generations of the sport. Listed below are some friendly reminders on how we should conduct ourselves as students of the game. Please read every topic to ensure we treat our club and this sport with the upmost respect it deserves. (more…)

May 2018 Powerlifting Meet Wrap Up

Thank you to everyone who lifted, sponsored, advertised, or supported this event in any way!! John and I could not have done it with out you. Thanks to our cumulative efforts we raised over $500 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society which uses that money to fund lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and to provide free information and support services. We made a difference on Saturday.

We have LOTS of pictures from the event. We have uploaded them to Google Photo and shared them on our Club Facebook page. If you took photos please upload them here too so everyone has access.

If you participated or volunteered and did not get a t-shirt stop by the Fitness Center Desk and pick one up. We also have some extra shirts available for sale at the Front Desk.

Lastly, please take a minute to leave your feedback about the event!

We would love to know how we can improve. Email Dana at for a link or visit our Club Facebook page!


By: Dana Shorb and John Kecman