Member Spotlight

Tennis Family for Life!

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By: Elliott Datlow

 

Julie and Andrew moved to the Montgomery County from Indianapolis, and they were looking for somewhere where the entire family could be active. Not really knowing their way around the area (yet) they did what anyone would do—they hit up the “all knowing” Google. Their Google search lead them to the Aspen Hill Club, and we are so happy that they are now a part of our community!

Julie and Andrew were not big tennis players prior to their initial info session with Membership Director Eric Suchinsky, but now it’s hard to find a day that someone from the Harrison family is NOT at the Club! Julie is into her second session of our Adult Beginner tennis program with Coach Elliott—and she is making big strides, “I promised myself that when I got good, I’d treat myself to a new racket, I think I’m there!” In addition to being a star player in her tennis class, Julie has had private tennis lessons with Aspen Hill’s newest pro, Chris Cozzillio. In addition to the tennis court, Julie has had a fantastic time joining Allison’s Body Pump class.

While Julie was new to tennis, Andrew did have experience prior experience playing tennis. Andrew has met many new friends on the tennis court and has made it part of his routine. After having his initial New Member Evaluation with Coach Ilan, he was set up with new players to meet—and he just can’t get enough!

The couple has definitely enjoyed their tennis time, but a big part of the family’s membership was for the kids! Hayden and Hazel started playing in our Young Stars tennis class, where they are learning basic tennis skills using larger low compression balls and other specialized equipment designed to keep tennis FUN for the younger ones! On a rainy day you might even find the entire family playing tennis together on the indoor tennis courts.

The family is at the Club at least 4 times a week! “Oh, we are a tennis family forever now. We just can’t get enough! And we are so looking forward to Child Minding and using the pool. There is already so much for us to do at the Club, and we are so looking forward to having even more activities!” Julie adds.

Julie & Andrew, your family has been such a welcome addition to the Aspen Hill Club community. Smiles follow your family around to all of your activities, and we are so lucky that you found us!

 

Member Spotlight

Welcome Back Jeff!

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It makes us incredibly happy to welcome Jeff back to his indoor tennis court! Jeff has been a member of Aspen Hill Club for nearly 40 years. Upon moving to the area, he began playing tennis at the Club with his IBM coworker Earl. These two gentlemen continue playing tennis together weekly for 37 years later—every Sunday morning. It warms our hearts to give our members a place to get their exercise and enjoy their tennis!

Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Moving up the Tennis Ladder! Kehoe Family

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By: Elliott Datlow

 

Jenny’s parents, Cindy and Randy Daly brought her to Aspen Hill Club as a child while they played tennis, so when her husband Kevin expressed an interest in playing tennis himself— Jenny knew where the young family should go!

 

Jenny and Kevin both grew up in the area and met during college at the University of South Carolina. Living nearby in Kensington, Aspen Hill Club was convenient for the two of them to try something new— TENNIS! Both have busy schedules, Jenny working as a family nurse practitioner and Kevin building homes, but both have been able to dramatically improve their tennis and find a spot for two-year-old Conor to have fun while they play.

 

Kevin wanted to begin playing tennis as a way to keep active and stay healthy. As a former athlete, Kevin missed the competition— and Kevin could not wait to start competing on the tennis court! Kevin started out by taking private tennis lessons with Elliott— and before long— he was hittin’ the Men’s Singles Ladder! Kevin couldn’t get enough of the competitive match play, but he did discover areas that needed improvement. Kevin kept up with his private lessons and supplemented them by adding the ball machine unlimited package, “I just wanted to play as much as possible” explains Kevin, and that he did! The combination of match play, private instruction, and ball machine play helped Kevin make jumps in his level of tennis, in fact, he was able to get revenge on ladder players that he had previously beaten him!

 

Kevin wasn’t the only one getting active on the tennis court. Jenny started out by participating in Jeff Klein’s adult beginner drills classes, and soon, supplemented these with private lessons with Elliott. As a former soccer player herself, Jenny found she enjoyed the exercise that tennis provided, and was ready to hit the courts with new players. “After playing with Jeff and Elliott once a week for a while, I knew I was ready for Ilan’s Hit & Run Classes,” Jenny said. “Child Minding was great because it allowed me to play more without finding a sitter for Conor” she added.

 

Jenny and Kevin started playing tennis just over a year ago. Besides finding a way to stay active, they’ve discovered something else, “It gives us an activity to enjoy together!” says Jenny. Kevin adds, “I’ve now found out that so many more friends and colleagues enjoy tennis, too.”

 

You can often find Jenny or Kevin at the Club during the week, and usually at different times. The variety of program time options has made it possible for both to make time for their health on their own schedule. Additionally, Jenny adds “We love how friendly and responsive the staff members are to us. It’s a family Club and every member we’ve met is so friendly!”

 

Jenny and Kevin, THANK YOU for being such a valuable part of our community at the Aspen Hill Club. It’s been spectacular to be a part of your family’s journey to being active and healthy— and we have been WOWED by the improvement in both of your tennis games along the way!

 

Member Spotlight

ROAD TRIP: An August Adventure with Laurel Chiat and Mark

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By: Heather Williams

 

In the middle of August Laurel and her beau Mark Erwin took a mini road trip to Assateague Island for a little “R&R” and a test drive for a longer cross country trip in September to Arizona. Both Laurel and Mark are avid travelers and experienced campers but the trip to Arizona would be different, COVID different.

The couple is planning to visit Laurel’s father early fall and flying was out of the question. The “goal is not to have to quarantine when we arrive” Laurel told me. “I want to arrive and head straight in to see Dad”. In order to ensure they could make a cross country trip, they chose to test the theory by a shorter closer destination. The “test drive” if you will, would allow them to iron out any kinks before the BIG trek. Here’s a little of what Laurel shared about her trip:

Heather: How did you choose the test drive location?

Laurel: We wanted somewhere we would have to car camp and that would provide similar challenges with managing food, personal care and sleeping arrangements.  We would like to have as little access to people, limiting the potential of exposure.

Heather: How many nights did you camp?

Laurel: Two nights. We camped out for one night; we could only get a one day/night reservation at the campsite. It was great. We were able to swim in the ocean and sight see. Our second evening was spent at a Historic Inn.

Heather: How did you prepare for the trip?

Laurel: Oh, that was one of the easiest things. Each time we travel, I keep a packing list and I refer back to the list to ensure I do not forget anything. We also made sure we were prepared to many of our meals and used web sources to help us find places to carry out food and pick up any items we may have needed. We didn’t have a large umbrella for the beach but we were able to locate one locally.

Heather: What was the most challenging thing on your trip.

Laurel: My night routine!

Heather: As in your “beauty routine”?

Laurel: YES! I am not 21 and my routine is necessary.

Heather: (Chuckle) I hear you, I wouldn’t even want to think about trying to duplicate mine on a car camping trip. I thought you were going to say sleeping,

Laurel: Not at all, Mark had plenty of equipment and necessities. We have a great two person tent and I purchased a great Therma Rest Inflatable Mattress. I bought the most comfortable one for about $100.

Heather: Outside of the necessary “potions”, what else did you pack?

Laurel: I actually packed pretty light. My bag was about the size of the average gym bag. I had swimsuit, light weight easy to wash pants, rain coat and other beach items. My bag to Arizona won’t be much bigger; I keep a lot of items at my Dad’s. In the event there was an emergency, I don’t want to have to think about packing or what to carry,

Heather: But you have your lists. Did the test trip change your mind about driving to Arizona?

Laurel: Not at all. I know that we can make the trip. The challenge will be in the route we choose. COVID-19 is the reason we are taking the trip, it will also dictate our route. We want to make sure we are not travelling through “hot spots”. Other than that I am confident we can do it.

Heather: Laurel, thank you for doing this with me. Like I said, when you told me about your trip, I think many of our readers will consider doing a car camping/road trip. Before we wrap up, do you have any advice for those considering driving instead of flying or using other public means of transportation?

Laurel: Yes, plan your trip by using online resources and travel guides for the areas you may be visiting or using on route. Pack light and smart, know the environment. Assateague is known for it’s mosquitos. We had plenty of “heavy duty” bug spray, it lessened the effect.

Heather: So the trip was a thumbs up?

Laurel: It was. Yes, it was

Note from Heather: We had planned to run this article last month. As we prepared for the October newsletter, I am happy to report Laurel and Mark have started on their cross country trek. We wish them Godspeed.

 

Fitness

Member Spotlight: Marlie Brill

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Throughout the “stay at home order” I have been routinely checking on my clients to make sure they are staying on track with their fitness goals. I noted in a recent conversation with Marlie that I could see in our social media exchanges that she has really kept up with her fitness goals and looked slimmer than when we last met in March. Here’s what Marlie shared about her process and progress.

 

What was your motivation?

In January of 2019, I broke my foot. The break was worse than the doctor thought, and I ended up in a walking boot for 18 weeks. The walking boot hurt my foot, my hips, and my back. The break was not due to any trauma, I was walking through the grocery store when it happened. My weight was the main factor for the break. I felt “broken” for months, and I hated it.

I couldn’t play with my kids, I couldn’t exercise, I couldn’t even walk up and down stairs. I decided when the boot came off, I would commit to losing weight; I was too young to feel that “broken” all the time.

I started with my diet on June 1, 2019, because my foot wasn’t completely healed. By November, I had lost 40 pounds, and I was feeling much better! December was a busy month for me with holidays, my birthday, and lots of work travel. I took December off and resumed in January after the holidays and celebrations.

In January, I got back to it, and worked to lose the 4 pounds I had gained over the holidays (better than the normal 10-12 that I gain in that month). I was on track and back in the gym. Then the pandemic started shortly afterwards. When we had to go into quarantine, and shelter at home, I made a commitment to myself that I would not use it as an excuse to eat and drink anything I wanted. I purchased only healthy food from the grocery store and I committed to drinking NO alcohol during the quarantine.

As much as I dislike being stuck in the house, not being able to attend social events, work events, or go out to restaurants whenever I want, the “stay” has actually made this much easier for me. Since quarantine started, I have lost an additional 13 pounds, and I plan to keep going.

 

 Did you have a goal?

I don’t have a specific goal in mind. I still have weight to lose, and I just keep saying that when I get to a point where I am happy, I will know it.

 

What’s been the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge for me has been staying motivated during the shelter at home orders. There are days when I just want to blow off my new healthy habits, and just stress eat whatever I can find in the house. I find reminding myself that this is not a diet, but a complete change in my lifestyle, has helped. I know it’s a process, and I am committed to sticking to it and losing the rest of the weight I want to lose.

Marlie Before (Left), Marlie After (Right)
Aquatics

Member Testimonial: Learning to Swim at Aspen Hill Club

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By: Dave Hilmer, AHC Member

I’ve been a life-long swimmer and love the Aquatics Program at Aspen Hill Club since 2005. It is the main reason I joined Aspen Hill Club. Once I had a child, Alexander Hilmer, one of the first things I was looking forward to was having him learn how to swim. When he was five months old we went on a vacation in January, 2019 to Florida and I immediately knew he wanted to swim, since he only spent about 2 minutes in the infant shaded floating inner-tube before he got bored and wanted to get out and swim by his own.  I held him by his underarms and he was kicking and paddling like a storm!

 

Soon after that experience we started lessons with James Morrison (AKA “Mr. James”) and he took off. After about three lessons both he had learned from James a lot of the how to swim basics, and was doing really well in the water.  By Spring 2019 he became a fixture at the pool, as I spent at least an hour every day swimming with him (and thank you to the wonderful Childminding service at the club, I got my swimming in too after he was done!).  He started with the “puddle jumper” recommended by James, and first put his face in the pool to swim by himself.  With the help of James, I then started to “dunk” him a bit so his face was underwater and he started feeling comfortable with it.  It has been shown that children under 12 months have the natural ability to hold their breath when underwater, so I was determined to get him comfortable with having his face underwater by this point. Summer came around and both my Mother-in-law and I were taking him to our community pool and the Aspen Hill pool, so he was swimming twice a day, and graduated from the “puddle jumpers” to a pool noodle, and started needing swim goggles since he had his face in the water more often than not! By the Fall of 2019 he was independent of the pool noodles (he actually threw them off and started swimming by himself) and started grabbing for the toys on the bench sticking his face underwater by himself – and soon after he was able to grab diving toys from the bottom of the pool with a little push from his Dad, and again with the supervision, encouragement, and help from James. Now, at 19 months, he is starting to lift his head by himself and breathe and basically swim to the wall and bench all by himself.

 

It did take a lot of work – going swimming with him every day for at least an hour – when he’s healthy – but the great set-up at the pool with the Aspen Hill Club community, lifeguards and staff, especially James Morrison and Terry Kominiski, I think my son has a great future in swimming! Of course, as a Father, I have enjoyed every minute in the water with my son, seeing him learn how to swim, and being so proud of his ability, with the enormous help of the Aspen Hill Club community!

 

 

Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Tim Hahn – February 2020

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Tim Hahn and family

Just about everyone sees Tim Hahn before the reach check-in at the Aspen Hill Club. Members are greeted with a smile and a warm welcome. Tim owns the Aspen Hill Sports Shop and has spent time talking with just about every member. But who is he? How does he know so much? This month we are going to take some time getting to know Tim!

Tim’s interest in tennis began when he was in middle school—he was glued to the Borg vs McEnroe 1980 Wimbledon Championship match. After that contest, Tim started playing in the neighborhood. Before he knew it he was a member of the Walter Johnson Varsity Team. Tim continued playing recreationally while attending University of Maryland—where he studied Mathematics.

Tim’s studies lead him to a successful career in his field of study. One day one of Tim’s friends talked to him about becoming a partner in Sports World—a sports shop in nearby Glenmont, Md. This opportunity spoke to Tim, after all—he was passionate about tennis, running, and athletics in general. Tim was excited about this opportunity and jumped at the chance for a MAJOR career change!

As co-owner of Sports World, Tim hit the ground running. He learned as much as he could about tennis equipment. In fact, Tim earned certification as a Master Racket Technician. It is this ability to have a deep understanding about equipment & technology that helps bring Tim a smile as a small business owner now at Aspen Hill Sports Shop. “It brings me joy when one of our members tells me that I helped make a difference in their game.  They let me know that I helped them, and I feel really good! I’m helping them be better at what they love doing!” explains Tim.  Tim often uses technology to help customers with injuries, “Certain strings can help with tennis elbow. It really can make their pain go away!” Other times Tim helps players achieve more power or control in their tennis game by switching rackets. Tim’s expertise has been relied on by the ATP tennis pros—Tim has been a racket stringer at the Citi Open 13 times!

Not only is Tim “book smart” about tennis, he also has got serious game! Tim is a 5.0 player himself and plays almost every day with tennis buddy  Milton White and Aspen Hill Club pros John Parsley, Jeff Klein, and Mark Ortiz. Playing tennis helps Tim feel good, “Tennis to me is about meditation, it’s relaxing. I feel good and I am constantly trying to hit the perfect stroke!”

You may have wondered around the shop and thought to yourself “Geez! Tim sure does have a lot of running shoes for a tennis shop!”—well, there is good reason for that. Before Tim’s life was centered around tennis, he focused his athletic skills in another way—as a marathon runner! Tim has run in 14 marathons, including the Marine Corps Marathon and the Boston Marathon. Tim’s personal record was 2 hours 36 minutes, which had him competing in the US Olympic trials in Korea!!! So if Tim offers you advice on running shoes, you should know with confidence that he knows his stuff.

Aspen Hill Club has been an important part of Tim’s life well before he moved in with the Aspen Hill Sports Shop. As his children, Meghan and Alex, grew up—the family had a home at Aspen Hill Club. They have grown up being fixtures on the courts and became fantastic players—both playing on NCAA Division 1 tennis scholarships. Tim is a student of the game and enjoyed learning as much as possible about tennis—becoming PTR Certified Professional himself.

Tim views Aspen Hill Club as a special place and he’s happy to call it home. “There are so many great pros here at the Club, some focus on mental aspects while others emphasize technical skills. The tennis pros do a fantastic job catering to members. I really enjoy helping my customers get set up to play and then help them find the right pro!” says Tim.

 

Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Much More than Just a Workout – Brill Family – December 2019

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Marlie and Andy had always enjoyed being a member of a gym, and when they moved to a new area in 2012 they had nowhere to go. With some research, Marlie uncovered a hidden gem! She knew she needed somewhere that she could go to work out, but what she found was something much more.

Marlie explains part of her search process, “I didn’t know The Club was there and didn’t know anyone that was a member…I worked from home and needed somewhere that would watch the kids when I was working out.” Eric gave Marlie a fantastic tour during her first visit, Marlie was so impressed with what she had unearthed that she joined that very night.

When Marlie first joined the Club, Matt was 2 years old while Ben was 5. The boys started out in Child Minding, and that first summer they entered Mindy’s Kids Kamp. The kids loved going to Aspen Hill because they did so many fun activities. The family were regular participants in Aspen Hill Club’s kids’ activities such as our annual Pumpkin Carvin’ Party, Trick-or-Treat Parade and our annual Gingerbread House Party.

During summertime Kids Kamp one of the daily activities is playing 30-minutes of tennis. The kids continued going to Kids Kamp for four years and continued playing tennis, but enjoyed the other activities more! It wasn’t until this past Summer that Matt and Ben focused on tennis camp. Matt and Ben both participated in full-day Champion’s Tennis Camp and their tennis games flourished! Both participated in their first competitions—being members of Aspen Hill Club’s Championship-winning Junior Interclub Team and even entering their first sanctioned USTA tennis tournaments.

Marlie stays busy while the kids are playing tennis. She regularly has personal training sessions with Heather, which she enjoys even though Marlie says (about Heather) “She kicks my butt! But it’s great.” Marlie also enjoys swimming workouts in the pool and has been attended Jeff Klein’s Saturday morning Beginner Tennis Drills.

Andy grew up playing tennis for fun and envisioned playing tennis at Aspen Hill Club when they became members. He didn’t realize that the boys would be so into playing, but he’s happy that tennis is such a great family bonding time. The family often plays doubles, in fact, they are in the process of upgrading their membership to “Presidential” so they can move their weekly neighborhood tennis games indoors during the winter season. In addition to tennis, Andy enjoys playing racquetball with friends at the Club.

The Brill family stays very active with many activities at the Club, but what really makes the space special to Marlie is the relationships that she has built, “I like that the staff have been there, they know my kids and look out for them. Heather let me know that Ben hit a winning forehand in a tennis match!” The kids know that they have family friends in the staff too, in fact, the cool lifeguard (James) helped him pull out his first tooth!”

The Brill family has so many memories at Aspen Hill Club and is a great motivation for all families and individuals to be active. “Put yourself out there at least once, everyone is so nice!… I joined a tennis class to learn tennis, not to meet friends. But now have new friends!” explains Marlie.

Marlie, Andy, Ben, and Matt—THANK YOU for adding so much to our community at the Aspen Hill Club. Every time you “check-in” at the front desk, the Club is a happier place!

 

Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: The Sanchez Family “Found It” at AHC! October 2019

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Three years ago, Lee entered his then 10 year old, Lola, in a tennis tournament at Aspen Hill Club. After seeing the Club, Lee said to himself, “WHAT? This is here?” and the rest is history. All three kids have found a place at the Club, all while Fannie and Lee stay very active with a variety of tennis and fitness activities.

Fannie has found “me time” by taking advantage of a wide array of the Club’s offerings. “I’m in Zumba, spinning, the pool, and I love my personal training sessions with Kevin!” Fannie explained. Fannie enjoys seeing her kids happy at the Club, in fact, “This is second home to our family. Anthony gets grumpy if he misses a day of working out!”

With Fannie being so active, you might think that Lee would have trouble keeping up with her—not the case! Lee takes advantage of the gym, weights, and basketball court. In fact, Lee and Fannie have joined Jeff Klein’s Saturday morning Adult Beginner Tennis class!

Anthony and Octavio can often be found trying to keep up with their dad in the gym. But, in addition, you will find them helping out their fellow members! Anthony assisted in teaching Champion’s Tennis Camp and Octavio now works at the Front Desk.

Since first finding the Club through a 10 and under USTA tournament three years ago, Lola has thrived on the court. She participated in our Futures program last Fall and High Performance Camp this past Summer. You also may have seen her taking part in USTA Mid Atlantic tournaments over the summer—it has delighted us that she has earned three championships at her home Club!

Fannie, Lee, Octavio, Anthony, and Lola—THANK YOU so much for adding to our community! Your positive attitude and commitment to staying active motivate so many kids and adults of all ages.

 

Club News & Events

Member Review – Sterling Hoffman

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I love to share the good things in my life and one of them for the past 31 years has been our fitness club – The Aspen Hill Club – located in north Silver Spring, MD.

It is our daily go-to place providing so many fitness options. It opens early – 5:30am – so those who want to get in and get out to go to work can do so.

Among its “amenities” are:
• Tennis 21 courts (6 indoor hard and 13 outdoor clay and 2 outdoor hard)
• Racquetball (4 courts)
• Pickleball
• Basketball court (indoor)
• Olympic-sized indoor swimming pool
• Jogging track (1/10 mile)
• Free-weights, treadmills, ellipticals, ski, and other cardio machines, resistance machines for upper body/lower body and core, kettle bells, straps and bands, fitness balls and much more.
• Dedicated specialty training room (the “torture chamber” formerly a racquetball court)
• “Spinning” room (formerly a racquetball court)
• Dance studio-like classroom
• Massage therapist on-site
• Instructive classes galore: spinning, water aerobics, Zumba, Pilates, stretching, HIIT, Feldenkrais, yoga, boxing, tennis (drills and private lessons, leagues, ladders and contract time), swimming lessons, personal training
• Summer camp for kids
• Field trips to US Open (tennis)
• Morning coffee service and newspapers
• On-line reservations for courts
• Towel service
• Locker room services of jacuzzi/hot tub and sauna
• Restaurant
• Child care
• A beautiful, modern facility inside and out

While more expensive than some limited-offering gyms, it is so worth the price! There is a camaraderie among members not found elsewhere. Many lifelong friendships have been made, savvy advice from the wise and successful and even some client acquisitions for our portrait art business!

It’s like a country club without the golf, the expense and the attitudes!

If you live in the DC area, check them out. You can get a free guest pass, have a yearly membership or be a month-to-month member!