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!

Member Spotlight

“You’re Only As Old As You Feel” – Senior Member Highlights

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Over the next several months, we will be using our newsletter to highlight members who have redefined aging. Check back for updated entries.

Here are the questions we posed:

  1. How do you define aging?
  2. How have you defied society’s idea of aging?
  3. What advice would you give to your 20 or 30 something self?
  4. What do you do to stay mentally and physically fit?

 


Liz Hastings

 

  1. How do you define aging?

As a process that takes place over time and is universal to all living beings.

 

  1. How have you defied society’s idea of aging? 
    I’m not sure I have, unless the definition of a 73-year-old woman is befuddled and decrepit.

 

  1. What advice would you give to your 20 or 30 something self? 
    Start now to develop the habits that will serve you well for the future.  I’m sure I didn’t do that in my 20’s but

thankfully, I started in my 30’s.

 

  1. What do you do to stay mentally and physically fit?
    Do the things that I love to do that keep me moving – tennis, walking, traveling, cooking, and, actually, using the gym. Plus, I try to keep myself informed and use my time to help my family, friends, and people I don’t even know.

 


Cheryl Bunyan

  1. How do you define aging? 

I see aging as just the normal passage of time that brings about dynamic change in people; some changes are for the better especially those intellectual ones that come about from life experience.

  1. How have you defied society’s idea of aging?

Perhaps staying true to myself and not letting others dictate what is appropriate for me has served me best.

  1. What advice would you give to your 20 or 30 something self?

I would have been more encouraging when it came to making health and fitness an important priority.

  1. What do you do to stay mentally and physically fit?

I try to find a balance of both physical and mental pursuits especially activities that lend themselves to new learning and personal growth.

 


 

Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Family Time is Fun Time! September 2019

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By: Elliott Datlow

 

Alex and Yoli were searching for a place where they had activities for the whole family, and it seems as though they struck GOLD! While trying to figure out what their family could do to stay active, Alex received a marketing pamphlet in the snail-mail. The new facility offering so much enticed him to come for a visit, and the rest is history!

It isn’t tough to spot the Barresi family. Pick a day and you will usually find them smiling while being active at The Club! “What we love about AHC is the family atmosphere, our entire family has fun while we work out,” explains Yoli. Yoli adds “Nico (age 6) learned to Swim with the AHC swim instructors. Lucas (age 4) has come a long way since watching his older brother while sitting on the side of the pool!” This summer both kids have been fixtures in the summer camp, Nico has been a star in Champion’s Camp while Lucas is the social butterfly of Kids Kamp.

During the Fall and Winter season, both kids keep their activity level up. Six-year-old Nico has been working hard on his tennis game during the Junior Development clinic, where he has been learning proper technique with Coaches Julien and Elliott. Nico now has advanced up to orange ball tennis, where he has recently rallied over 100 balls in a row! In fact, his game stepped up so much that Dad bought him a new racket last week — Nico was so excited that the new racket was invited to a slumber party and spent the night in bed with Nico. This coming Fall season Nico is upping his tennis time by participating in our All-Stars tennis clinics twice a week.
Having fun in USTA tennis competitions are not far away!

Lucas can always be spotted—just look for the biggest smile! Last year he spent his tennis court time in the Young Stars tennis class, where he can rally with the red tennis balls. Lucas has fun on the tennis court, but also does not want to miss out on playing with the Childminding staff or Kids Yoga. Lucas is a very busy 4-year-old with a bright future on the tennis court!

Alex is doing his best to stay ahead of Nico and Lucas on the tennis court. The team in the Tennis Department does its best to keep Alex busy. His recent activities include Battle of the Ages, Men’s Tennis Ladder, Tuesday Night High-Performance Drills, Tuesday Night Singles Match play, and fine-tuning his strokes on the Club’s ball machine. Alex’s great attitude on the tennis court has made him a very popular tennis partner on the court.

Yoli found her place at Aspen Hill Club through her love of music and dance, “I came to work out with Alex but I was too distracted by Zumba” she said. Since that day two years ago, she finds time for herself during Zumba classes. While the boys are busy playing tennis and swimming, she definitely has been able to find her “Me Time.” In fact, she looks forward to Sunday mornings when the boys (with Dad) are playing tennis on the ball machine and she does Zumba.

On average the Barresi family is at The Club at least five days a week. They have found an incredible variety of activities at The Club, which helps keep everything fresh and fun. While the kids are having fun with their wide range of activities, it’s great to know that experts agree that this approach is best for the young Barresi athletes: “Most sport scientists and professional organizations advocate early diversification in sport” (BEST PRACTICE FOR YOUTH SPORT BY ROBIN VEALEY & MELISSA CHASE). These kids certainly are getting it all at the Aspen Hill Club!

Yoli and Alex — we are so happy that your family has found a home with us at The Club! The positive energy that your family brings is contagious to the members and the staff that surround you. It has been phenomenal getting to know you two and the kids, and we are excited about the model your family sets in motivating other
families to be active and healthy.

 

Club News & Events

Summer Junior Interclub Wrap-Up!

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What a season! The Aspen Hill Club juniors finished off what they started and took the 2019 Montgomery County Junior Tennis League title with exciting fashion. Heading into the last week of the season, AHC’s team was looking good as they sat with an impressive record of 5-0—but had 2 incredibly tough matches remaining: the 2018 league champions, Palisades Club, followed by the always tough Cedarbrook to close out the season.

 

Our juniors were able to achieve revenge over the defending champs, (and only team last year to defeat Aspen Hill Club) Palisades! With the win, AHC was guaranteed their MCJTL championship. But with one match remaining, the undefeated record was on the line against Cedarbrook. The match lived up to the hype—ending at an even 9 matches to 9 matches! With this tie, all games were counted to determine the winner. By a score of 26 to 22 games, your Aspen Hill Club juniors ended the summer interclub season with an undefeated and perfect record!

 

The following week the individual playoffs took place, and AHC’s players represented The Club in excellent fashion. Here are highlights of those results:

Zane: Boys 12 singles Champion

Will: Boys High School Champion

Emma: Girls 12 Singles & Doubles Champion

Wangu: Girls 12 Singles Finalist & Doubles Champion

Nduta: Girls High School Finalist

Lizzie: Girls 14 singles Finalist

Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: The Tan Family

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You can always find the Tan family smiling at the Aspen Hill Club! This active family knows the importance of staying healthy and the Club has given everyone a way to be active in their own way.

 

Allen and Sunant grew up locally, both attending Kennedy High School and were members of the school varsity tennis team. Allen started tennis as a teenager after watching a some of his peers hitting the school tennis courts. He got a few friends together and they taught themselves how to play. Soon enough they were ready for the Kennedy High School Boys Tennis Team.

 

Now with two sons of their own, 9 year old Nathan and 11 year old Matthew, the couple knew they wanted to get the kids active in tennis. “A friend told me about the great program at Aspen Hill, so we came by. Tennis is great because they learn about exercise, competition, problem solving, and having a hobby for life! It’s much better than if they sat home and played video games!” explains Allen.

Nine year old Nathan is a member of Aspen Hill’s Junior Academy program, where he continues to work very hard on improving his tennis game, “Nathan is always one of the hardest workers in the class, and he makes everyone better,” explains Aspen Hill tennis professional Julien DeLaine. In fact, Nathan has been competing in USTA tournaments, winning his last two “10 and under” events. His last tournament was the USTA Orange Ball event at the Aspen Hill Club, congratulations, Nathan!

 

Matthew began his tennis in the Aspen Hill Club last winter in the Academy program. Through hard work in Academy and World Class Summer Camp, he is now a member of our highly competitive Future Stars program. Matthew was a key member of Aspen Hill’s Junior Interclub Team, tallying several key wins over strong opponents. In all of his matches, Matthew worked hard and never gave up! His great attitude on the court helped him earn several come-from-behind victories. Matthew is now competing in USTA sanctioned tournaments and his level continues to rise!

 

Sunant and Allen enjoy seeing the boys having fun on the tennis court from the comfortable couches of the Club, but they don’t just come to watch the action—they get involved too! “We enjoy the gym, it lets us get a great work out in while the boys are in tennis class,”
explains Allen.

 

Allen and Sunant, the smiles that your family shares with us at the Aspen Hill Club are contagious! We are so happy that you are part of our community and we are so looking forward to watching Matthew and Nathan grow on and off of the tennis court!

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…)