Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: “For Us, It’s Every Day!” The Troch Family

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The Troch family was searching for a tennis home for their son Adam, and their search led them to our Aspen Hill Club. While they were looking for tennis, they found so much more!

Twelve year old Adam’s tennis game has grown while training at the Aspen Hill Club. This past year Adam moved up from our Future Stars program and into the World Class Elite program. This class helps Adam train for his USTA tournaments. Adam competes among the top players in USTA/Mid Atlantic, playing USTA Level 4 events. Recently, Adam won the B14 and under USTA tournament hosted at the Aspen Hill Club!

While the family was immediately drawn to the Club for Adam’s tennis, they did not expect it to become such an integral part of EVERYONE’S lives. “At least one of us comes every day to either work out, play/practice tennis or play in the pool,” explains Serge.

Nine year old Layla can be found ruling the courts in our Academy class! Layla enjoys meeting new friends in classes and is always smiling while working hard on the court in classes, summer camp, and private lessons with Elliott. In last summer’s Young World Class camp (this summer its called Champion’s Tennis Camp), Layla not only took home the rallying record with 162 rallies in a row, she also won the camp tournament! Last year when Layla was eight years old, she participated in her first USTA 10 and under Orange Ball Tournament, and she is continuing to enjoy competing on the court this year!

Serge can often be found on the tennis courts himself! Serge enjoys taking part in match play programs at the Club, such as the men’s singles ladder. The ladder allows Serge to get as much match play as he can handle and take advantage of our beautiful (and free) outdoor clay courts! Serge also has participated in fun events such as our “Battle of the Ages” where he took on top junior players from the Club. In addition to tennis, you can find Serge battling on the table tennis courts, in fact, Serge was our Club Champion at our first table tennis tournament this past February.

While the kids are kept busy on the tennis court, you can usually find Jihane working hard herself. Jihane takes advantage of the pool and many of our group exercise classes in the gym. Jihane enjoys the phenomenal workouts she gets with Heather in Wednesday and Friday’s Step and Dance classes.

The Troch family certainly is kept busy at The Aspen Hill Club. Serge’s advice to other members is “There are so many facilities at the Club, make sure you take full advantage of all of them!” Every day you’ll find Serge, Jihane, Adam, or Layla on the courts, in the gym, or in the pool, and Serge sums it up perfectly “Nothing feels better than after a workout or a great tennis clinic. Nothing’s better!”

Serge and Jihane, we are so lucky to have your family bring so much positive energy to our community and we incredibly happy to see you guys every day!

 

Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: “We All Do It Together!”

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Sheila and Sunil joined the Aspen Hill Club about a year ago, but this was more of a “Welcome Home” then a first visit! Sheila began playing tennis at age 5-6 with her father and was a member of the Club in her teens while participating in tennis classes.  Sheila had taken a break from tennis, but when her
daughter, Lilliana, began showing interest in getting better—she knew just the spot to take her!

As a teenager, Sheila played on the high school varsity team at Blair High School and then played two years of varsity tennis at Division I UMBC. Sheila knows how much work it takes to work up to a high level of tennis and was careful not to push Lilliana too hard when it came to selecting tennis as her main sport, “I was secretly hoping Lilliana would choose tennis. It’s been great, she’s made so many friends at Aspen Hill.”

You can often find Sheila on the courts at the Club. Sheila takes part in Friday Night Doubles Frenzy, where she enjoys having fun and meeting new people in a social environment. “I’ve met so many great people, so many people that I would never have met without tennis!” Sheila explains. In addition, Sheila participates in Hit and Run classes with Ilan. Another highlight for Sheila was our “Battle of the Ages” event, where the junior players took on the adults. “That was so much fun. Some of these kids are so good!” she said.

As a professional in the healthcare field, Sheila knows the importance of being active. “There is so much to gain by being active, and there are so many options here,” explained Sheila. Sheila works as a Nurse Practitioner and is Board Certified in Family Practice. “Why would we just sit here while Lilliana plays tennis, there is too much to do.” Besides playing tennis, Sunil and Sheila love being active in the gym. “The interval training classes with Craig and Greg are awesome. Sid works us very hard in his RAW class, too.”  Sheila explains that “I’ve always believed why treat illness when you can prevent it. Stay active to be healthy!”

Since joining the Club last year, Lilliana has become an integral part of our junior program. She started last year in the Academy program and has advanced through hard work and determination. Lilliana started her competitive tennis journey with USTA Junior Team Tennis with friends from the Club. After being introduced to tennis competition, Lilliana’s desire to improve only grew. “Lilliana grew so much during the summer program. The tennis and skill level went up so much. Her attitude got so much better. Playing outside all day was great for her, and she loved it!” explained Sheila. Over the summer Liliana played almost everyday as part of our World Class program (now the High Performance program). In addition, she was a leader on our Junior Interclub team. “She has comradery here at The Club, and she loves it. Also, now she talks about high school tennis and she can’t wait for it,” gushed Sheila.

Unlike the ladies of the house, Sunil was not a tennis player. Sunil immediately made quick use of the Club to prepare for his 2018 hike to Base Camp at Mt. Everest. “Aspen Hill is where I did my indoor training. I hit that treadmill and did a 30% incline almost every day!” he explained. With his hike now complete, Sunil has decided to hit the tennis courts. He has been attending Jeff Klein’s beginner tennis drills along with several other parents of kids in Lilliana’s tennis class. “I enjoy trying new things. We are [the family] all here at the Club together and we are all finding ways to improve physically,” says Sunil.

The Mathew family is incredibly active at the Club, with at least one person visiting the club 5-6 days out of the week. They are using the offerings to push themselves at activities that they are strong at, but also finding ways to try new things to do. “It’s a great way to meet people! There is so much diversity at the Club, I’ve met so many people that I’d never run into otherwise. And that’s very important to me,” said Sheila.

Sheila, Sunil, and Lilliana—Thank you so much for adding to the lives of those around you. Your family helps so many by being warm and inviting to those that you meet! You have made a big impact to your fellow members at the Aspen Hill Club.

 

Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Eric’s Sweet Spot

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Ever since Eric’s parents, Thu and David, left Vietnam 40 years ago they have lived in the United States working very hard to provide for their two sons. Language has been a barrier for them, but instilling hard work into the mindset of sons Eric and Austin has come from their sacrifices.

Eric entered his teen years knowing that his family had it tougher than others, but he also had a role model—his brother Austin. “Austin left for California for college, and he’s been on his own since,” explains Eric. During this time, when Eric was just entering his teen years and Austin was in college, Eric’s father was diagnosed with throat cancer. At the age of 13, while Eric was stressed about his father’s health and what he would do for college himself, he used tennis to distress. “I went to play tennis with my friends one day and I hit the sweet spot of the racket, and I loved it!

Eric became consumed with learning as much as he could about tennis, this included YouTube videos, endless Google searches, and anything else that those of us that are “Tennis Nerds” can relate to! “Tennis became my way of dealing with everything,” Eric explains, “It became my passion and also my distraction tool.

 

Eric’s mother saw her son’s attention to tennis and wanted to help him play more tennis. “My mom worked at the hospital with Susan Towe (AHC member). Susan told my mom information about junior tennis classes, such as prices, and we knew we couldn’t afford that” explained Eric.

When Susan figured out that cost was an issue, she made a decision that would alter Eric’s ability to get onto the tennis court, she gave the family information on Fred’s ACES. Eric has now been attending World Class Elite at Aspen Hill Club and is an integral part of the program; Tennis Director Terrance Scott explains,  “Eric is an incredibly hard worker who leads by example. Our program is better because of Eric.

Fred’s ACES is a 501c(3) scholarship fund set up in memory of longtime Aspen Hill Club member Fred Sommer. Fred’s ACES provides scholarship opportunities to kids, of all ages and levels, across Montgomery County that face obstacles when it comes to getting onto the tennis court. The funds have assisted over 50 kids ranging in age from 8-17 years old, fully funding their tennis classes at The Aspen Hill Club. “Fred’s ACES was a dream come true for me, it fundamentally changed my life” explains Eric.

Since picking up a racket at the age of 13, Eric has developed into a force on the tennis court. He is entering his third year on the high school team at Gaithersburg High School, where he has been Varsity Captain for three years. Last year Eric played #2 on the varsity team, “ What I love about tennis is the strategy that it takes and the need to analyze your opponent. Figuring things out on the fly is key in tennis.

 

Eric is in his senior year at Gaithersburg this year and is looking forward to attending the University of Pennsylvania on a full scholarship/financial aid package next year. When Eric had his interview with UPenn, he was able to select where his admissions interview would take place, this decision was easy for him. “My interview was at Aspen Hill. At Aspen Hill and though Fred’s ACES, I learned that there are good people out there that want to help. I am forever inspired.

 

 

Eric, thank you for adding so much to our tennis program at Aspen Hill Club. You have grown into a leader and your coaches at Aspen Hill are so proud of you and cannot wait to see the great contributions you’ll make in this world.

 

 

Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Dan and Felicia Black

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We have a very special “Member Spotlight” for the month of February. This story begins 30 years ago at the Aspen Hill Club! I was re-introduced to Felicia and Dan during their New Member Tennis Evaluation, at which point they let me know that they had indeed been members of The Club before, and were itching to get back into tennis. That brief summary of their story does very little to tell their tale!

Going back to 1987, Felicia loved tennis! She wanted to play more, so she picked up the phone and called The Club. She enjoyed herself in a group class—taught by my mom (Vicki Datlow), and learned there was a tennis social going on right after the class she had attended. She did in fact stay for the social, and started chatting with a man while in line for the food buffet. Dan and Felicia agreed to play tennis the next week!

Felicia and Dan attended tennis class the next week, but Felicia needed to know more about this guy. In 1987,  she didn’t Google his name—but she did make a test of her own for him, “ I needed to see what he was made of” explains Felicia. She had him ride the bike with her to see if he could keep up. Dan vividly remembers this pop-quiz “I knew I was either going to be in the best shape of my life, or dead!” Luckily, Dan did in fact pass this test!

In the next couple years, Felicia and Dan kept up with their tennis and fitness at The Club. Dan participated in tennis leagues at The Club. Felicia joined a 3.0 USTA team, playing a key role on her 3.0  team that advanced to USTA Sectionals in Virginia Beach.

Dan and Felicia got married in October 1988, with many of their tennis friends from the Aspen Hill Club in attendance. Over the years, their tennis took a back seat. They had two children, Sarah and Joshua, and the tennis games of the kids soon surpassed that of mom and dad. Sarah and Joshua did attend junior tennis camp at Aspen Hill, which made Felicia jealous of the kids tennis playing. “I told Dan, one day we’ll be back to Aspen Hill.” That day came!

As a 30th wedding anniversary present to each other, the two bought memberships to the Aspen Hill Club. I got them onto the court for their free tennis evaluation, and quickly placed them into Jeff Klein’s adult beginner drills as a refresher for their tennis games. They have been attending these classes once a week, and are now attending Jeff’s Tuesday morning Mindful Tennis class, “We are learning so much about strategy, Jeff really does an excellent job,” explains Felicia. Dan is also participating in Reserve Season Court Time groups and is enjoying meeting new people on the tennis court and chatting with the after tennis, “It’s very social” says Dan.

In addition to tennis, the two have started playing Pickleball. “We walked by and saw the signs, and we wanted to try it! Maria was running the class, and it was so fun. I have never laughed so much!” The two are now regulars on Thursday playing Pickleball in our Pickleball match play—free to members.

Dan and Felicia are always up for trying something new, and this had lead them to meeting new people—even each other! “Life is an adventure. Come out of your comfort zone and you might be surprised. The Club is such a welcoming place,” Felicia explains.

Dan and Felicia, “THANK YOU” two for helping create an environment at The Club where we all have fun. It is excellent to have you back!

Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Copeland-Sanchez Family

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Seven years ago Victoria was searching for a home where she could focus on aquatics program. Our 25-meter indoor pool brought her to the Aspen Hill Club. Swimming is a big part of Victoria’s life—and she is also fully engaged on the tennis court! She and husband Marcos, and children Aiden, Dalton and Erin have used the pool, tennis court, and an array of other roles and responsibilities to grow & learn as a family at The Club, “We had a great place for our family to grow, learn, & play” says Victoria.

Victoria continues to be a big part of the aquatics scene at The Club. In addition to being a swim instructor, you can often find Victoria taking in a water aerobics class, working out in the gym, & a constant on our tennis courts!  Marcos makes great use of the gym—and uses our weight room to get into shape for his tennis. (more…)

Fitness

Member Spotlight: Living the After Party! Werner-Schiffer Family

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Werner-Schiffer FamilyRachel brought then five-year-old Ethan to The Club to celebrate his buddies birthday party. Upon visiting the Aspen Hill Club, she was in awe! Membership Director Eric Suchinsky, offered to give Rachel a tour. Up until her visit, the family had memberships to two health clubs—one to make sure that Rachel got her fitness classes and another to ensure that Jeremy had access to an indoor pool. What they were missing was the family atmosphere that had fun for their two little ones. With the fun that Ethan had at The Club for the party, Rachel knew that one Club had everything she was looking for! (more…)

Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Ikeda Family

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The Ikeda family is one that you’ll find on the tennis courts! Yasu and Yoshi moved to our area from Minneapolis, Minnesota and knew it was a priority to find home for everyone to be happy on the tennis courts. How did Yasu find our Aspen Hill Club? They used Google! They saw the GREAT reviews online and stopped by for a tour. Yasu feels that he’s found a special place at The Club, “Everyone is so nice. The pros are great and keep us very happy.”

Mia, 15 years old, is currently involved in our Junior Advanced class, where she plays with other teenagers that are working towards high school tennis and tournament play. She worked on her tennis all Summer, as part of our World Class program. Mia’s coaches stress that she can always be counted on to work hard while on the court—using all of her court time to her advantage. Her focused attitude consistently raises the level of play in the class, and she is a great addition to our program. (more…)

Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Margolis Family – “Our Family’s Secret Weapon!”

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Katie knew she wanted her older daughter, Lilly, to begin playing tennis. So she did what each of us do when trying to find something new—so opened up the Google search bar! Katie was lead to try the Aspen Hill Club, Lilly quickly got started in our Young Stars program and immediately was having fun. While Lilly was involved in the class, Katie listened to other parents rave about the programs at The Club—so she decided to learn more. Now the entire family—including husband Glenn and 2 year old Emmy are busy at The Club, too.

Katie and her husband Glenn come to The Club multiple days a week and refer to it as their “Parent’s Secret Weapon,” saying “Many days Lilly is enrolled in a class, Emmy is playing in Child minding, and I’m working out or playing tennis. I am able to get three things done at one time due to the help of the Club!”

The kids love their time at Aspen Hill, whether it’s swimming in the pool, hanging out in Childminding or even Kids Yoga. The active and healthy lifestyle that Glenn and Katie have introduced to their kids is now part of their daily lives; 2 year old Emmy can’t get enough of the healthy lifestyle, she brings her yoga mat to The Club every day they come—even on days when there isn’t yoga class! Both girls are kept busy with tennis, swimming, and constant play. The girls are often having so much fun in child minding, they ask to stay longer instead of going home.

While Katie has returned to tennis since playing as a junior, Glenn is new to the sport. “When I first joined Aspen Hill, I thought I was just going to use the fitness center… I was wrong” Glenn explains. When Katie came home from her first group lesson, Glenn was so happy that she had fun he wanted to have that for himself! After receiving his free tennis evaluation, Glenn now has weekly private lessons with Elliott and attends Hit and Run classes with Ilan. Glenn enjoys the fun workout that tennis provides and he sees the improvement in his game; “I’m hooked” explains Glenn.

While the rest of the family enjoys Aspen Hill, Katie enjoys The Club for it’s tennis opportunities most of all, “tennis is my happy place,” she says. She certainly finds lots of ways to stay happy at The Club. She appreciates the family feel of The Club. “Someone always stops to say Hi; it’s so welcoming.” She joins us several days a week, attending weekly private lessons with Elliott and Hit and Run classes with Ilan. Katie and Glenn also enjoy reserving court time to play with each other.

Katie is thankful that her mother introduced her to tennis when she was a child, even though her mom didn’t play tennis herself. Her mother saw tennis as a great activity that 10-year-old Katie could play for the rest of her life and Katie is very thankful for her mom’s foresight. Now the entire family is active with tennis and so much more.

You can find Glenn and Katie at The Club several days a week. The family has found exciting ways to all have fun at the same place AND the same time! They make use of all of the club’s amenities in the fitness center, the pool, tennis courts, and child minding.  The example that Glenn and Katie are setting for their children is remarkable; Emma and Lilly are being exposed to a healthy lifestyle on a daily basis—and this will last them for the rest of their lives.

Katie and Glenn, your family is an important part of our community at the Aspen Hill Club. Thank you so much for letting us be part of your lives!

 

Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Lisa Tuvalo

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Our choice to support Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for the Bending BarbeLLS powerlifting meet back in May was mainly brought about because of one of our members who not only works very closely with LLS but is a lymphoma survivor.

Lisa Tuvalo became a member of the Aspen Hill Club while she was attending the University of Maryland at College Park, back when there was neither internet nor swimming pool at the Club, but there was a practice ski hill. She was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1999 and began chemotherapy. Eventually, she received a bone marrow transplant, using her own bone marrow, on August 2, 2000, and she has been in remission ever since!

Lisa takes lessons and works on her tennis skill with other members here at the Club. She credits the research funded by The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society with saving her life and trains for endurance races with the help of their virtual coaching program, Team in Training. Last June, she competed in the Half Marathon in San Diego and her next race will be the Marine Corps Marathon at the end of October.

You can support Lisa by donating to her team in training fund and learn more about LLS by visiting: https://pages.teamintraining.org/nca/corps18/LTuvalo

 

Member Spotlight

Meet Our Team: Maria Stagnitto, Water Instructor

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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.