“THE END IS IMPORTANT IN ALL THINGS” Yamamoto Tsuentomo (Hagakure)

By: John Woodend, Reception Director


In Aikido, moves are called arts. Each art is divided into three separate parts. The first, is called the “attack”. That is when one’s partner, your personal assailant, comes at you with a punch, a hold or grab, or a slash with a weapon. The second part of the art, is the “defense”. This could be moving in, moving off the line of the attack, moving back, or the always fun ducking. The third part of the art is confusingly enough called the “art”. This is where the person being attacked ends the conflict, via a throw, strike, joint lock, escape, or pin.


While practicing, psychology and human nature takes place, and inevitably, everyone develops favorite partners. People that you would prefer to practice with. Out of the myriad of reasons these favorites develop, there is always a common denominator. The end! And if your partner performed “the end” well!

The end is the silent unspoken fourth part of the art that has no instructions. It is based on safety and etiquette. The end is when the assailant rolls out of a throw, taps out of a pin, yields from a joint lock, and ends their attack when they receive a hidden strike. The end is the most important and practical part of all of the arts. It literally is the reason one can continue practicing and no one needs to be taken to the hospital.


We are now starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. With restrictions being lifted, plans and phases forming and being discussed, and summer around the corner, the end of this whole epidemic seems reachable in our minds eye. However, it is important to remember why “the end” is so important. The end is where we are most vulnerable.

So as news progresses and events happen, become honest and aware of what you are and are not comfortable doing. If your gut tells you not to do something. Don’t do that something. Just like practicing an Aikido art, preforming well during “this end” means unapologetically paying attention to safety and etiquette. So, you can get back up, continue to carry on and possibly have some more fun with life.

Stay safe everyone.

How To Use Kourts – Our FREE Tennis Court Reservation App

If you are a tennis player at the Club we encourage you to download our FREE tennis court reservation app, KOURTS. Here is a link on how the use the app.
Most members have already been entered in the Kourts system on our end. If you are having an issue accessing the Club’s courts on the app, we need to check to ensure that we have the same email and phone number entered on our end that you are using for your app. We are easily able to update this information on our end if needed.
If you are having issues registering please contact Alex at aaguendel@aspenhillclub.com or Elliott at edatlow@aspenhillclub.com. We will do our best to respond to you in a timely manner during the work week.
We look forward to seeing you back at the Club soon!


By: John Woodend, Reception Desk Director


When I was around eight or nine years old, my mother grounded me. I was very rarely punished and was often considered a “Good Kid”, by the various wardens incorporated in my life. Now, I don’t remember what I did to get grounded, but I do clearly remember the feeling that I did not deserve to be grounded. It was summer, it was the 80s, and that punishment meant that I could not go out, see and play with my friends, or ride my bike. I was not happy. Justice was not being served. And I didn’t quite know or understand how to handle the situation I was now in. So, I accepted my sentence and quietly went into the tv room. I turned on the TV to determine which one of THE FIVE CHANNELS WE HAD TO CHOOSE FROM . . .TO WATCH!!!


I hardly had a chance to sit down on the couch, when my mother came into the doorway. Still annoyed with me, she asked me what I was doing and in the same breath told me that I was grounded and that I couldn’t watch TV. Still unsure of how I felt about things, I said okay and I turned off the TV. My mother then exited and I sat for a couple of minutes on the couch in silence. I then decided I would go into the playroom that housed many toys, games and books that I had outgrown. I figured I would organize and clean up the things I didn’t want anymore. Very shortly after my task had begun, my mother appeared yet again in the doorway, more annoyed than before, and told me I wasn’t allowed to play with anything. That was the point where I experienced my first Shawshank moment. My mom watched me put my toys away. I asked if it was okay if I just stayed in the room. She said yes and left. I then started to do push-ups and sit ups. She came back to the doorway because she heard noises. Now, exasperated she said, “No exercising!” I asked, “I can’t exercise?” She said, “No, you just be in here and do nothing” (this was before “time out” was a thing). She then walked off. So, I laid down on the hardwood floor and closed my eyes and began my first impromptu meditation. Maybe ten minutes later my mother returned to the doorway. She probably came back because of the silence, but in my mind, she came back because she felt my unbridled, righteous indignation that I was pumping into the ether. She asked me, “Are you sleeping?” Keeping my eye’s closed, I responded, “No”. She then asked, “What are you doing?” I responded with zero remorse, “Thinking about what to do next.”


We are now in the second month of quarantine. And it is not a coincidence that I remembered this story from childhood. This feels like I’m being grounded! I can’t go out and see my friends! And I didn’t do anything to deserve it! And neither did anyone else. However, what I can do is, decide to do something.


If you are feeling stuck. Do not focus on what you cannot do. Focus on what you still can do. For many of us, this quarantine has gifted us with time.  Don’t squander this gift. When we come out of this, what story will you have to tell? (You owe it to yourself to do more than watching Tiger King). What do you want to do or start doing with this gift of time? If you don’t know what you want to do, first, start by unplugging from all of your devices.  All of them. Next, lie down in a quiet place, relax and ask yourself, what do you want? Stay in the calm and quiet. Then ask, what can I do today? Then, when you are ready, decide to do something that will contribute to your story.


If you are wondering what happened next in my grounding story, my mother, right there, lifted the grounding and let me go out and play. And to the best of my recollection I was never grounded again.  Thus, becoming ungroundable.


A Little Bit More About Your GM

By: Danielle Bouchard, GM


The dog photo that you see is one of my yellow lab, Gertrude, “Gertie” or “Gertz” for short. This photo was taken at Indian Lake, PA her favorite place! In late 2018, Gertie was diagnosed with a protein deficiency. I had taken her for a routine check-up and had blood drawn and the results that came back shocked both the Dr. and me. She had no symptoms whatsoever, but her levels were so low that the Dr. said “you need to have her see a specialist asap”. So, off to an internal specialist we went.

In order to fix her protein deficiency, she needed to be on three medications with one of those being a chemo type of drug along with blood draws every 6-weeks. Specialty drug stores are the only ones that offer such medicines so I was directed to the Kensington Apothecary off of Connecticut Ave and Knowles. The first time I went to the Apothecary, I wasn’t sure where to park so I parked at the Ace Hardware store located on Knowles. I had never been in that hardware store and I was really curious about it so I decided to visit before going in to the Apothecary. On that day, I uncovered a treasure!  I love that hardware store. Their service is fantastic, they have lots of great items and they have fun gadgets right when you enter.  I love gadgets!

The hardware store also sells dog toys, bird seed, feeders, all sorts of stuff. While there during that first visit, I purchased a bag of wildflower seed. The two other photos you see are the result of throwing that wildflower seed near my mailbox. I love flowers and gosh, I was amazed at all that blossomed. I had flowers from May 2019 through October 2019. Some of the flowers grew to be four to five feet tall. People in my neighborhood would walk down the cul-de-sac just to see the flowers. I met more neighborhood folks that summer because of those flowers.

Anyway, after my visit to the hardware store I made my way to the Apothecary. And again, what a treasure and an amazingly caring staff! I purchased all three medications, quite costly I might add, but my Gertie needed the treatment or else this protein deficiency would be fatal. Yes, I had a good chance of losing her if the treatment did not work or if I elected to forgo treatment.

Here we are almost two years later, and Gertie is doing well. She is still medicated but with only one medication. She is due for bloodwork soon to determine what we do next, but because of Covid-19 I am not venturing out to the vet just yet. She seems happy and that makes me happy!

I hope the pictures put smiles on your faces. It’s important to reflect and remember the good times because no doubt we will have them again, maybe not soon, but we will have them again!

Helpful Links

Hi Everyone!

With everyone working from home, including your AHC staff, I wanted to put together a master list of information to ensure you are getting all of the information we are providing you!

These are things we have been sharing with you recently:

  • Club-wide updates, including info on billing, membership dues, pool construction, etc.
  • Weekly Group Exercise class offerings
  • Tennis workouts and tips
  • Fitness workouts and tips
  • Checking in with members and staff
  • Funny and uplifting content

AHC website:

We have been updating the homepage of our website with Club-wide information our GM, Danielle has been sharing. Be sure to scroll down and get caught up on everything. We are also posting to our Blog with this and some other information.


We send emails to our membership via Constant Contact. Our email database is different from our billing database. If you do not already receive our emails from marketing@aspenhillclub.com, please send us an email to get added to the mailing list. You also can sign up to be added to our email list via a link on our website.

Please add marketing@aspenhillclub.com to your email address book to ensure that our emails go directly to your inbox.

Please Note: if you receive an email from us that you are not interested in, please delete that email. If you unsubscribe you will not receive any Club emails.

If you have previously unsubscribed, we will need to send you an email to “confirm your subscription” this email will come from Constant Contact/marketing@aspenhillclub.com. Please follow the prompts in the email (click the link) to confirm your subscription and you will begin receiving emails from us again.

Aspen Hill Club Social Media Guide: 

We have been posting to our social media accounts and would love for you to visit us. Please be sure to “Like” and “Subscribe” and turn “Post Notifications On” so you get notified when we post new content!

Facebook – www.facebook.com/aspenhillclub

Instagram – www.instagram.com/aspenhillclub

YouTube – www.youtube.com/aspenhillclub

For tennis videos with Elliott visit him on YouTube. Elliott has been posting great tennis tips and videos for you to keep practicing your tennis skills while at home!

Please Share With Us!

Now more than ever we want to connect and stay connected with you, our members! Please share with us! Ideas of things to share: recipes, workouts, arts and crafts projects, movies and TV shows you are watching, music you are listening to, podcast suggestions, funny memes, cute pictures of your animals, and anything that puts a smile on your face!

How should you share?

  1. Be sure you “follow” or “like” us on social media. Our handle everywhere (InstagramFacebookTwitterYouTube, etc.) is @AspenHillClub
  2. Please either tag us @AspenHillClub or Direct Message us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to share
  3. You can email me at: aaguendel@aspenhillclub.com
  4. When you are sharing something with us, please know that we may post or re-post it. Please be sure you are comfortable with us sharing it online with the rest of our membership.

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

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.


Welcome New Trainer, Dmitry Tepper!

My fitness journey started only three years ago, I was unhealthy, unhappy and overweight. I was a member back then and some people still remember me being, looking and behaving as a totally different person. I had no energy to wake up in the morning and no drive to do anything. I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and blood sugar. My lower back was killing me after a car accident that happened many years ago. I was buying shoes with no laces because I couldn’t bend down to tie them. The only answers I was getting from doctors was having a spinal fusion and taking statins and blood regulating pills that cause all kinds of problems and also are almost irreversible – once you get on them you have a little to no chance to get off of them. I didn’t like the alternative provided by doctors so I decided to take my destiny in my own hands. I decided to radically change my diet and start working out very seriously. At the beginning it was very hard to overcome the lack of energy and motivation. But the more I was doing this the better I felt and it gave me motivation to continue and with time, while increasing my training frequency. With proper guidance I quickly got to a different place. I actually felt so healthy and strong that I decided to start my powerlifting career. In only one year of doing so I was able to break four Maryland record sand one National record. I was able to solve so many of my own health problems so I started helping other people. At some point I realized that I like it so much so I decided to make it my second profession. I got certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer and joined my friends on the Aspen Hill Club Team.