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Talking Sports and Fitness with Zeke
14 minutes | 3 years ago
Talking Sport and Fitness with Zeke | Meet Dr. Adam Feldman
Dr. Adam Feldman, a 52-year-old cardiologist with the Tower Health Medical Group in West Reading, shares his remarkable story as a world-class fencer. Feldman started fencing in 1980, was a three-time All-American at Penn State from 1983-87; the NCAA foil champion in 1986 and won silver in the 1986 U.S. Olympic Festival. With the demand of medical school consuming his time, he stopped competing in 1988. When his daughter Jessica took up fencing at Pitt, Dr. Feldman tells Zeke that he gave her some lessons and that rekindle his interest in fencing. His comeback came in 2015 and immediately returned to form, good enough to go the 2015 Maccabiah Games in Berlin. He tore a meniscus a week before the competition and had surgery a month later. Dr. Feldman tells Zeke that he resumed his comeback in 2016 and with light training won the Keystone Games foil event for veterans. He returned to the national level in 2017, winning his age division in the U.S. Nationals and winning gold medals in the 40-and-up and 50-and-up foil and a silver medal in 50-and-older epee in the Pan-Am Games. Dr. Feldman tells Zeke that his performance in nationals earned him a spot in the Veterans World Championships in Slovenia, where he finished 39th in individual foil.
15 minutes | 3 years ago
Talking Sport and Fitness with Zeke | Meet Larry Zerbe
When Larry Zerbe took over as director of the COR (City of Reading) Tennis Program in 2006, his vision was to expose city kids, most of whom would be picking up a racket for the first time, to the game of tennis. Zerbe tells Zeke that there originally had been some consideration given to limiting COR to city kids, but the lure of tennis, high-quality instruction, top-notch competition, and fun attracted more and more suburban kids and eventually every school district in the county was coming to the program. Zerbe, who grew up in the Oakbrook housing project and now is the Alvernia University tennis coach, tells Zeke that COR has helped break down barriers and turned the program into a melting pot – with tennis the common denominator fostering a connection between kids from different worlds. The kids come to COR for the tennis but leave with an appreciation and awareness that serves them for a lifetime. The remarkable thing about COR bridging social gaps is that tennis traditionally discriminates fiscally and culturally. Zerbe tells Zeke that he and his COR staff also offer adult classes. As for tennis, COR has produced a number of outstanding scholastic and collegiate players through its summer and winter programs. Zerbe tells Zeke that the COR program receives support from the Reading Recreation Department, Fromuth Tennis and the United States Tennis Association. The connections Zerbe has made with the USTA enables COR to send kids to the U.S. Open and Philadelphia Freedom matches.
13 minutes | 3 years ago
Talking Sport and Fitness with Zeke Meet Dr. Randy Yocum and Sarah Vecchio from Body Zone Sport and Wellness Center
Dr. Randy Yocum, the Director of Physical Therapy at Body Zone Sports and Wellness, discusses with Zeke the treatment of sports injuries. Yocum tells Zeke that his areas of interest include ACL rehabilitation and prevention, sport-specific rehabilitation and athletic performance enhancement. Sarah Vecchio, the Director of Fitness at Body Zone Sports and Wellness, shares with Zeke an overview of the 120-plus group exercise programs she plans and oversees in Body Zone’s studios and pool. Vecchio tells Zeke that their personal trainers evaluate their individual clients before designing a training regimen for them and she also discusses the classes she instructs.
13 minutes | 3 years ago
Sport and Fitness with Zeke - Meet Mike Spidale co-owner of Rip It
Mike Spidale, the general manager and co-owner of Rip It, a batting cage and baseball training facility located on Macarthur Road near Reading Airport, tells Zeke how he and his staff spent the summer renovating the former Grand Slam USA building, refurbishing the four automated hitting cages and adding a 30-by-70-foot turf field that can be used for every type of instruction. Spidale, the Reading Fightin Phils' all-time leader in hits and games played who was elected to the Baseball town Hall of Fame this year, tells Zeke that youth coaching became his focus after he retired from playing in 2012. He formed the Berks County Bulls, a collection of teams from U12 to U16. Rip It was the next logical step. The facility is open Mondays through Fridays from 4-9, Saturdays from 11-8 and Sundays from 12-6. Spidale tells Zeke that the pitching instruction will be led by Steve Schrenk, the Fightin Phils pitching coach the previous two seasons and CEO of Pitching Coach Pro.
12 minutes | 3 years ago
Talking Sport and Fitness with Zeke | Meet Patty Kroppe
Patty Kroppe shares with Zeke her remarkable story of completing a marathon in each of the 50 states by the time she turned 50. Patty tells Zeke that when she was in the fourth grade and studying geography, she hoped to one day visit all 50 states. That led to a goal she would set well after finding out at age 11 that she had inherited a love of running from her father, also a marathoner. Kroppe completed her first marathon in 2000 while living in Australia; completed her first marathon in the U.S., the Detroit Marathon in 2002; and completed the circuit by completing the Kenai River Marathon in Alaska in 2016. Kroppe says one of her most memorable races was the Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon in North Bend, Wash., in 2011. That race course, which was on an old railroad trail on the side of a mountain, went 2.6 miles through a muddy tunnel. Kroppe tells Zeke that her husband has been her emotional coach through her journey and her two children have been big inspirations. She tied a few of her marathons into family vacations. She credits cross-training with Body Pump classes at Colonial Fitness, sculpting class at Flying Hills Fitness, yoga and stretching for helping her remain relatively injury free.
13 minutes | 3 years ago
Talking Sports and Fitness with Zeke | Meet Erick Hardwick
Erick Hardwick, owner/general manager/personal trainer at Valhalla Health and Fitness Club, tells Zeke that their personal trainers each bring a little something different to their training philosophy, their experience and their motivation behind why they do what they do. Hardwick tells Zeke that their training team was assembled that way purposefully because personal training should never be a one-size-fits-all experience. Each of their trainers take the time to truly get to know you and know your goals and to develop a personalized plan to help you achieve success in the gym, whether you are an athlete, a professional or a senior citizen. Hardwick says Vahalla, working with medical professionals, also offers training for those recovering from falls or other injuries. Hardwick tells Zeke that Valhalla offers a variety of high-quality group exercise classes led by enthusiastic, certified instructors. Whether you are new to exercise or a seasoned athlete, each class offers accommodations and options for all fitness levels to ensure you receive a fun, safe and effective workout to meet your fitness needs and goals. Hardwick tells Zeke that in their main Group X studio at Valhalla, they offer Silver Sneakers classes for retirees, several freestyle formats, and the latest in Les Mills group exercise, including BODYPUMP, BODYCOMBAT, BODYSTEP and CXWORX. In their Barre & Body studio, they offer several styles of yoga, Pilates and barre classes.
14 minutes | 4 years ago
Talking Sport and Fitness with Zeke | Meet Cheryl Heckman
Cheryl Heckman, owner and operator of the Manor Golf Club in Spring Township, shares with Zeke how she has focused on making golf a more welcoming sport at the public course. Heckman tells Zeke that her goal is to get more women and kids in the game and to make sure people enter the game without an intimidation factor. The Manor Golf Club has earned a reputation centered on the clinics, camps and programs it offers. Heckman tells Zeke that the Manor has the largest instructional program in Berks County. A woman owning and operating a golf club is not the norm, but Heckman tells Zeke that more women are involved than ever in the male-dominated industry. Heckman tells Zeke that while female participation in the sport is up, the industry as a whole is still on the decline. While Heckman said there is a big golf demographic in Berks County, she said fewer people are available to play because of the time factor. However, Heckman tells Zeke that she sees some positivity on the horizon as they aim to capture the next generation of golfers, with sights set on the millennials and emphasizing the health benefits of golf. Heckman also shares with Zeke her story as a certified fitness instructor with the body pump and body step programs at Colonial Fitness Center as well as teaching golf stretching and flexibility.
14 minutes | 4 years ago
Melissa Hummel and David James Twiford, Part Two: On their I-Form Fitness Studio
Melissa Hummel and David James Twiford, who own the I-Form Fitness Studio in West Reading, share with Zeke their individual specialties and pursuits. Hummel is a Titleist-certified golf conditioning specialist and marathon runner, competing in numerous marathons, including Boston's. Hummel tells Zeke that she is training for this year’s Philadelphia Marathon. Twiford is an avid bicyclist and participates in the annual New York City five-borough bike ride. He organizes bike trips for local charities. Twiford also is a senior fitness strength and conditioning specialist, working with 50- to 90-year-olds. He calls that group active aging.
15 minutes | 4 years ago
Talking Sport and Fitness with Zeke | Meet Melissa Hummel and David James Twiford, Part One: On their I-Form Fitness Studio
Melissa Hummel and David James Twiford share with Zeke the philosophy of their I-Form Fitness Studio in West Reading that eschews machines in favor of a personal approach. They work on multiple muscles, making the core the strongest part of the body. They tell Zeke that they do a lot of anchoring with bands, helping their clients with TRX suspension straps and other devices for total body resistance. Hummel and Twiford do not use standard machines, which they believe get in the way. In Danish, the name I-Form means health, shape and wellness and that's what their studio is about. I-Form Fitness Studio also offers yoga classes.
8 minutes | 4 years ago
Talking Sport and Fitness with Zeke | Meet Tommy Bergjans
Reading Fightin Phils pitcher Tommy Bergjans shares with Zeke how he has made an unlikely journey from Division III to a pro career. He had no aspirations of playing pro ball coming out of high school. With a fastball that topped out at 84 mph, one of the few college recruiting letters he received came from Haverford College and he accepted. It turns out the Division III school was more than that. It became a launching pad for one of the greatest careers ever in the Centennial Conference and has led to an unlikely journey into professional baseball. Bergjans landed in the Phillies organization late last summer as part of the package offered by the Dodgers in exchange for catcher Carlos Ruiz. At Haverford Bergjans' velocity increased to the mid-90s and as a senior, he averaged 14.84 strikeouts per nine innings -- the best rate in the NCAA across all levels. He posted a 1.07 ERA, was named a D3baseball.com All-American for the second straight year and Centennial Conference Pitcher of the Year for the third straight time. He set program career records for ERA (1.69), strikeouts (374, in 282 2/3 innings) and wins (27). He became just the third player in school history to be drafted when the Dodgers took him in the eighth round; he was signed by Dodgers scout Rich DeLucia, the former big league pitcher and Wyomissing star. Bergjans spent the first two months of this season pitching in extended spring training after developing forearm and elbow tightness late in spring training. He has a lot of movement on his pitches, especially a spike curveball that breaks sharply like a slider.
10 minutes | 4 years ago
Talking Sports and Fitness | Meet Mitch Walding
Mitch Walding, the Reading Fightin Phils 6-4 third baseman with a sweet left-handed swing and power, tells Zeke about his remarkable Eastern League season so far. Walding struggled in his first three professional seasons, turning in low batting averages without much power as a mostly opposite-field hitter who couldn't hit inside fastballs. But Walding worked on pulling the ball and he has blossomed. Walding took a big step forward last year, homering 13 times in a season split between Clearwater and Reading. The 13 homers equaled the total of his first four pro seasons. Walding tells Zeke about his remarkable month of June this season in which he was named EL Player of the Month. He hit 13 homers in 25 June games, hitting .337 and driving in 27 runs. That surge had Walding leading the league in homers, RBIs, total bases, slugging percentage and OPS in early July. His career once stuck in neutral, Walding seems on the fast track to the majors if he can hit consistently with power.
14 minutes | 4 years ago
Sport and Fitness with Zeke | Meet Conor Delaney
Conor Delaney adroitly juggles being a marathon runner (Boston), CEO of Good Life Financial Advisors and the father of three young children. Delaney shares his remarkable story with Zeke, how he grew up in a family with a poor diet and no understanding of exercise. Delaney tells Zeke that it’s now easier to jump when playing basketball at 170 pounds than it was at 270 pounds. Delany says he played sports at Alvernia but only after college did he put it all together with diet and exercise. He began to run local races with his wife Elizabeth, who inspired him and pushed him. In 2016, with the desire to run his fist marathon, he partnered with a coach and mentor, Ray Piazza, to take him from a 5K hobby runner to an athlete. Delaney tells Zeke that his training consists of running, lifting and biking but a healthy diet is at least 50 percent of his fitness equation. InvestmentNews recently named Delaney as one of its 2017 40 Under 40. Based on accomplishments to date, contributions to the financial advisory industry, leadership and promise, Delaney was chosen from more than 800 nominations.
14 minutes | 4 years ago
Talking Sport and Fitness with Zeke | Meet Tyrone Nesby
Tyrone Nesby shares with Zeke his story of never giving up on a dream or backing down from a challenge. The new head boys basketball coach at Muhlenberg didn’t start playing organized basketball until eighth grade. He began his sophomore season as the last guy on the bench at Cairo (Ill.) High School. Believing that nothing is impossible, a decade later he found himself playing in the NBA -- and as a teammate of Michael Jordan. It is the same message he conveys to his players at Muhlenberg, a program that went 5-17 last season and has won just six Berks Conference games over the past four seasons. Nesby brings a vast wealth of basketball experience to the Muhls. He played 255 games in the NBA over four seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers and Washington Wizards, the latter with Jordan. Nesby scored more than 1,000 points in two seasons at UNLV. He has coached AAU teams for the past four years, including his son, Tyrone Nesby IV, who helped lead Reading High to a state championship last season. “My first NBA game was when I played in the NBA,” Nesby tells Zeke. “I had Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as an assistant coach. The guys knew I wanted to be a coach when I got done playing basketball. Every time we went on the road I sat behind Michael Jordan on the plane and on the bus and talked a lot. I took advantage of that.” Nesby tells Zeke that he got to the NBA from being the last guy on his high school bench “with a lot of hard work and dedication. I never stopped learning. It doesn’t matter where you started. It’s all about where you finish.” When Zeke asks Nesby what his coaching style at Muhlenberg will be, he replies: “We are doing a lot of getting the ball out quicker. X’s and O’s are big to me, I’m all about plays. Different defense principles, I’m big on that. Teaching can overcome some talent gaps. I don’t have to have the best talent in the county, as long as I have kids that at least know the game a little bit. If you want respect, you gotta give respect. Give me some effort, show me that you really want to be here, that’s enough for me. You can work hard all you want to, you gotta work smart. I have been here (Berks County) four years now. I notice a lot of kids coming to my camp; there are a lot of fundamentals not being taught. We do a lot of fundamentals.” As for his expectations for next season, Nesby replies that “it’s definitely too early to tell. I just told the kids, I do not want to be done in February when our regular season is over.” Nesby encourages his players to play other sports as well. “I tell the kids go play football, go play baseball, I’m OK with that,” he says. “I try to schedule around other sports (in the offseason) so the kids can go play all they want to.”
10 minutes | 4 years ago
Talking Sports and Fitness | Meet Fernando Lossa
Fernando Lossa shares his story with Zeke, how he started running a year-and-a-half ago after weight loss surgery. Lossa tells Zeke he joined A Running Start running club, has competed in some 5Ks, and has kept off the 110 pounds (335 to 225) that he lost. Lossa tells Zeke that Bruce Ure, who lost 140 pounds through bariatric surgery and became an Ironman competitor, mentored him after his weight loss surgery. “Gastric bypass helped me control my bad eating habits,” Lossa tells Zeke. “Gastric surgery is all about changing your lifestyle … and BOOM I started running. A Running Start people are people who are positive and motivating. Running Start is part of my success … they motivate me to keep going. Bruce Ure has been a great mentor to me. When I was 335 pounds, I was lucky if I could run as long as 20 minutes. Now with losing over 100 pounds, I can run for over one-and-a-half hours.” Lossa shares with Zeke his love of the Rocky movies and his plans to run the Rocky 10K in Philadelphia in November: “I grew up on Rocky and I still watch his movies for motivation. I will be running up the steps (at the Art Museum that Rocky ran up). One of my goals after the Rocky 10K is to do a half Ironman.”
12 minutes | 4 years ago
Talking Sports and Fitness | Meet Rick Ferry
Albright College men's basketball coach Rick Ferry shares with the Zeke the story of the Lions' 2016-2017 season in which they surprisingly reached the MAC Commonwealth Championship Game despite finishing with a losing overall record at 13-14 but going 10-6 in the conference. Albright lost the title game to top-seeded Lycoming 76-62, but the fact that they even reached the title game was a remarkable turnaround. The Lions were struggling miserably on offense but the emergence of Fred Rowles as a scorer to complement leading scorer Dejuan Smith and Omari Ringgold fueled their strong finish. Smith, a junior, and Ringgold, a senior, were named to the All-MAC Commonwealth Men's Basketball Team -- Smith earning second-team honors and Ringgold making honorable mention. As for the turnaround as the season progressed, Ferry tells Zeke: “I don’t think you can point to one thing -- we’ve been on a rebuild for the past few years. We weren’t necessarily pretty but we were playing good, we had some good losses.” Ferry tells Zeke that a difficult non-conference schedule contributed to their sub .500 season. “I consciously built up our schedule this past year,” Ferry tells Zeke. “It doesn’t matter what our overall record is as long as we do well in the conference and have a shot at the NCAA playoffs. My boss looks at team GPA, retention and graduation rate before wins and losses.” The cost of attendance at a private college like Albright can make recruiting a challenge. “You can’t give scholarships in Division III,” Ferry says, then adds with a laugh: “If you’re really poor and really smart you will get a great financial aid package.” Regarding recruiting, Ferry tells Zeke: “You never know what will make a person tick. You want good work ethic. You want someone who is highly motivated.” When Zeke asks what gives him the most satisfaction in coaching, Ferry replies: “Watching these guys develop. They come in as 17- and 18-year-old boys and leave as 22-year-old men.”
14 minutes | 4 years ago
Talking Sports and Fitness | Meet Janice Luck
anice Luck, Albright College women's basketball coach, shares with Zeke the story of the Lions' remarkable season. They were 23-6 overall, including 16-0 in the MAC Commonwealth Conference during the regular season, and made their second consecutive trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament. Plagued by turnovers, they lost to Messiah 53-50 in the MAC Commonwealth Championship Game. Albright rebounded to beat Piedmont 64-54 in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament. But Marymount's powerful inside game was too much for the Lions in a second-round 68-59 loss. Albright had reached the NCAA Sweet 16 the previous season. The Lions reached 20 wins and the MAC Commonwealth title game for the third straight season. “This past season we had a very difficult non-conference schedule,” Luck tells Zeke. “It made some of the easier competition seem even easier.” Nina Mazzarelli, their top 3-point shooter, was the leading scorer at 14.7 per game, followed by Alysha Lofton at 11.8, Shannon Thomas at 11.5 and Devan Horka at 11. Lofton, a junior, was named Women's Basketball Coaches Association All-America honorable mention for also averaging 9.4 rebounds a game (second in the conference). The All-MAC Commonwealth Conference first-team selection had 13 double-doubles and 21 double-digit scoring games. Her 76 steals ranked third in the conference. Next year also looks promising. “We have four returning starters,” Luck tells Zeke. “They will be seniors.” But all that returning talent can crimp recruiting. “This year was a little rough recruiting because we have so many returning players,” Luck tells Zeke. “Everybody wants to play right away. Athleticism seems to get us where we are today. I’m always looking for that and height. There is a lot more athleticism in women’s basketball today. I want kids who are going to be active on campus.” Another change in college women’s basketball is they play four quarters instead of two halves. “That’s because the WNBA plays four quarters,” Luck says. She played at Albright but upon graduation her career plan didn’t include coaching her alma mater. “I wish I could say that it was a fairy tale and all but I was a psych business major,” Luck tells Zeke. “Looking back, everything happened the way it should have. I love seeing the kids mature, grow up and graduate.”
13 minutes | 4 years ago
Talking Sports and Fitness | Meet Joe Ferrari
Reading High wrestling coach Joe Ferrari shares with Zeke the story of a milestone season for the Red Knights and himself. When Ferrari became the wrestling head coach at Reading High, he wanted to build a program around a solid work ethic and a family atmosphere. “Our philosophy is to try to make guys better humans ... character builders and teach respect,” Ferrari tells Zeke. “Good people equals good work ethic equals successful people. Wrestling is hard work. Other teams say, ‘Do your guys always work that hard?’ Wrestling is hard work. We keep your heart rate as high as it can go.” More than a quarter-century after taking the job, Ferrari's philosophy helped the Red Knights enjoy one of their most successful seasons and reach a pair of milestones for the oldest wrestling program in Berks County. The Red Knights reached 20 wins in a season for the first time, finishing the dual meet schedule with a 22-8 record. The 22nd victory also was the 300th in Ferrari's 26 years at Reading. The Red Knights also qualified for the Berks playoffs for the first time in nine years, winning their first county playoff match since 2008 before losing in the semifinals to eventual champion Exeter. Ferrari's family atmosphere pays off. While many schools, including some large schools, are struggling to attract enough wrestlers to fill the 14 weight classes, Ferrari hasn't had that problem. He finished the regular season with 28 wrestlers on the roster. With junior Malik Jackson (23-9), sophomores Eli Ortega (25-11) and Eli Arroyo (22-8) and freshman Zamir Rice (23-12) returning next year, the future looks equally bright for Reading High wrestling. “We had a large group of freshmen two years ago that want to work hard and wrestle year-round,” Ferrari explains to Zeke. “Our program has been successful over the years because we have great people (coaches) in place at the elementary and middle school level. We’re in a stacked division, but my goal next year is to win a Berks County championship.” Wrestling is a hard sport but the PIAA has taken measures to ensure that wrestlers can’t severely cut weight. “Team members must take a fat test and a urine test to be sure they are not dehydrated before weigh-in and to be sure body fat is not below seven percent,” Ferrari tells Zeke. When Zeke asks what Ferrari finds most satisfying about coaching, he replies: “Developing students to have good character and be good people. The most satisfying moments are when I run into students five to ten years after graduation and they thank me for helping mold them into who they are now.” Watch or Listen to more of our story on Talking Sports and Fitness with Zeke and learn about how we are impacting other small business owners through mentoring and training. http://www.thepeoplechronicles.com/talking-sports-and-fitness-with-zeke/
13 minutes | 4 years ago
Meet Mike Miller men's basketball coach in Alvernia University
Mike Miller this past season became the winningest men's basketball coach in Alvernia University history. In 13 seasons, he is 236-118 with six conference titles and six NCAA Division III tournament berths. The men’s basketball program and its sustained excellence have been embraced by the Alvernia community. “Most of our games down the stretch and in the playoffs are sellouts -- the kids (his players) like to see that,” Miller says. Miller stresses fundamentals, relying on man defense and running just a few offensive sets. His teams are mentally tough, focused grinders. “You have to find a mentally disciplined kid who is going to work on it,” Miller tells Zeke. “The best thing for us right now is player development. We work on fundamentals. It’s getting tougher and tougher to find that kid who is going to be a basketball junkie and be coachable.” Miller talks about this past season with Zeke when Alvernia was 15-11, losing four of its last seven games including a loss to Lebanon Valley in a MAC Commonwealth play-in-game. “We ran into a lot of injuries last season,” Miller tells Zeke. Miller played for Lloyd Wolf at Holy Name and then was an assistant under Jim Gano, Rick Binder and Steve Hahn at Reading High. Miller took his first head coaching job at Kutztown High and left after one season to be the Reading head coach. He coached Donyell Marshall, who became an All-American at Connecticut and had an18-year NBA career. He now is the head coach at Central Connecticut. At Alvernia the past two seasons Miller coached Donyell’s son, Marquis Marshall, the MAC Commonwealth Player of the Year this past season. “Donyell and Marquis are very much alike – very coachable, skills, good hands and loving to play,” Miller tells Zeke. “But Donyell is 6-11 and Marquis is 6-5.” Speaking of fathers-sons, Miller coaches his son Mike, a 6-2 guard who will be a senior next year. “I didn’t have to push him to do anything -- he’s been around the game all his life,” the elder Miller shares with Zeke. After Miller left Reading High in 1994 with a 145-31 record, he spent 10 seasons as an Alvernia assistant to Jack McCloskey before succeeding him at Alvernia. “I’m doing what I love to do and get paid to it; it can’t get better than that,” Miller tells Zeke.
17 minutes | 4 years ago
Meet Troy Longenecker, owner of Anytime Fitness in West Lawn, PA
Troy Longenecker, owner of Anytime Fitness in West Lawn, tells Zeke that his facility offers its members exactly what its name suggests: access to the gym anytime, 24 hours a day. “Convenience is paramount,” Longenecker tells Zeke. Longenecker says that Anytime Fitness is attractive to clients because it is accessible and affordable. Longenecker tells Zeke that in off-peak hours the gym is unstaffed but members can text trainers with questions at any time. Members have access to the locked facility through an electronic key fob. “My gym is a little bit different from typical gyms,” Longenecker tells Zeke. “Everyday people working to get to a healthier place. I was looking for a facility in line with my philosophy. It’s about taking care of people, a very personal friendly gym. The biggest difference is customer service. The key to success is to surround yourself with good people and being in a comfortable environment. I have three trainers on staff and you also can access classes online -- on demand in the gym.” Anytime Fitness last year was named the No. 1 global franchise for the second straight year by Entrepreneur magazine. Longenecker tells Zeke that the franchise business model dictates a limited staff to allow trainers to get to know the clients on a personal level. As for a training tip, Longenecker shares with Zeke that “strength training and muscle building are equally important as cardio if you want to lose weight. You build muscle and burn calories all day.” Anytime Fitness has other Berks locations in Blandon, Hamburg and Gilbertsville.
14 minutes | 4 years ago
Talking Sports and Fitness | Meet Ralph Clark
Ralph Clark is the first head football coach at Alvernia University, which is starting up the program and will kick off in the 2018 season in the Middle Atlantic Conference that includes Albright College. Clark shares with Zeke the opportunities that come with creating a program. "People talk about the challenges of a startup program," Clark says. "I don’t look at challenges. I am the ultimate optimist. Challenges are all opportunities." Clark tells Zeke that he is no stranger to the situation, having been a freshman running back when Joe Walton, the former New York Giants and Washington Redskins tight end and head coach of the New York Jets for seven seasons, created the football program at Robert Morris University. "He told us, ‘Be happy for your teammates' success,'" Clark said. "That stuck with me. It is important to understand and accept your role and know how it fits in the overall success of the team. The ultimate goal is to win the game. Don’t tell me what we can’t do, I'm gonna tell you what we can do with hard work." Clark has 19 years of coaching experience but had never been a head coach until now. "The difference between defensive coordinator and head coach is that everything falls on your shoulders," Clark tells Zeke. "You have to think broad-based." While his recent focus has been defense, Clark has coached every position except offensive line. After an extensive search by Alvernia, the school hired Clark because of his character and integrity, his charisma, his success as a recruiter, and being a players' coach that players love to play for. His boundless energy and emphasis on faith, family and academics made him the perfect fit for Alvernia. It is a shared respect. "Alvernia is a special place," Clark tells Zeke. "We do have core values and mission. That is what I was looking for. Alvernia is the most supportive environment both academically and athletically than any school I've been at. We’ve got more support directed to our students. It’s all about the atmosphere. It’s different at Alvernia." While they are not playing until the 2018 season, Clark tells Zeke he is working hard to bring in recruits in 2017 so they can train and get to know the culture. "We’ll do everything we are allowed to do (under NCAA guidelines); we just aren’t playing games in the 2017 season," Clark says. "We’ll get them in the weight room and on the field," Clark says. "But we will focus on ourselves. We won't be playing games or scrimmaging other schools. What it does is give you an opportunity to think about how it is you want it as a program. You get to mold and shape it brick by brick. Anybody that really loves football will embrace the opportunity. I am looking for guys that want to stay and help build the team. If you’re from this area, then stay here. We can build something special right here."
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