August Newsletter 2015

August 5, 2015

imgDear Members,

August is here and our first member challenge, August Moves, is under way. To date we have about 30 members signed up which means the odds of winning some cash (club credit) are good. If you have not already signed up go to the App Store and download the app and get started. Let's have some fun and keep moving for a better world.

It is awesome to see that the usage in the fitness center continues to increase. We hope you are all getting the results you are looking for, and please let us know what other things we can do to help you achieve your goals. Please be conscious of your fellow members and follow our fitness center rules. They are posted on the wall behind the entrance door. The most common issues we are seeing are: members not wiping off the equipment when they are done, bringing food or drink into the fitness center, not wearing proper footwear or clothing, and not placing the accessories back in the proper area. Please help us maintain a safe, clean and nice environment for members to exercise, and maintain our awesome equipment.


I hope you are all enjoying our gorgeous new group exercise room. Your response has been terrific. A few of the final touches we will be completing over the next 2 to 3 weeks include: drapes, new lighting, ceiling fan and installation of a new Yoga Wall for more advanced types of Yoga. I will be adding new classes by September and am looking for your feedback on what types of classes you are most interested in. Please e-mail me any suggestions you have. Thanks to all of you that have already come to me with your ideas.

This month we will be offering movie nights under the stars on August 10th and 14th. On the 10th we will be featuring Mall Cop 2 staring Paul Blart and on the 14th we will feature Woman in Gold staring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds. The family oriented Mall Cop 2 ($20 per person) includes hotdogs, popcorn, drinks and ice cream. The adult oriented Woman in Gold includes snacks and 2 glasses of either wine or beer. Come on out and enjoy a beautiful evening under the stars. Please register at the front desk. Do not forget to bring beach chairs.

Woman in Gold is the story of Maria Altmann and her quest to obtain family artwork from the Austrian government that was confiscated during WWll. This is an uplifting and inspiring story that you will not want to miss. Her son, Jim Altmann, has been a member at the club for many years and we are delighted he will be attending the show. Jim is also making himself available for questions at the end of the movie.

We will wrap up August with our Adult Tennis Camp on the 29th and 30th. Led by Calle Hansen, Chris Dudeck and Karl Akkerman, the camp will feature stroke analysis, court positioning, footwork, live ball situations, agility and strength, match play and match strategy. This one-weekend camp is designed to sharpen your skills and raise you game to the next level. It is also a perfect opportunity to tune up for the Club Championships which will be held in September.

Enjoy the rest of the summer with your family and friends!
Let's Move for a Better World,
John Sutcliffe
General Manager

Member of the Month: John Durrill

imgA Stroke of Musical Genius

By Anna Griffin

Award-winning songwriter and long-term WAC member, John Durrill, is an inspiring and creative force to be reckoned with. There aren't many people who can claim to have written songs sung by over sixty major recording artists in the US and around the world, including Frank Sinatra, Cher, Chicago, Reba, Bette Midler, Ray Charles, The Everly Brothers, Joe Williams, Sarah Vaughn, Merle Haggard, Peggy Lee, and Fats Domino, which is a mere sampling of singers who have recorded his works. To date, John's compositions have sold over 50 million singles, albums, DVD's, and CDs.

Starting out in 1967 John wrote and recorded the number one single, "Western Union," and the following year joined the world famous group, The Ventures, recording "Hawaii 5-0" with them. He has written and recorded with The Ventures for over four decades, and in 2008, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with Madonna, and John Mellencamp. This prestigious achievement was sealed when the group rang the Stock Exchange bell the following day. Stocks went up over 400 points – a huge moment in the U.S.'s financial history which garnered March 11th the title of Ventures Rally Day, a term still used today.


"It was a big moment. You don't get a lot of them often, but when you do it means something. When people recognize you for that you feel you are still on the train, and everything you did before then was getting there. It feels as if you have made something of your career," John says.

John wrote songs for five of Clint Eastwood's films creating the number one hit "Misery and Gin," for Merle Haggard in Bronco Billy. His Top Five song, "Charlotte's Web," for The Statler Brothers in Smokey and the Bandit, received multiple awards. Altogether John has composed for more than 20 films, and in the early eighties conceived the "Will Rogers Follies" that went on to receive several Tony's.

imgWhen asked to reflect on his long and illustrious career, John remarks, "The best part of all is hearing your song born in the studio. Working with someone like Sinatra took me to a place I had never been before, and I knew right then I was doing exactly what I was supposed to do. Whenever I worked with one of the greats like Cher, for example, it's was a little bit of everything, and more than you would ever believe. They'll write on my tombstone, "It's all been about the song." "I hope it's a long song!"

Currently, John is writing a book on his musical relationships entitled "My Life is a Song," composing for film and television, and focusing on his latest project, the release of his new CD, Painting With Van Gough, with his band, Voices of Van Gogh. John describes the band as a legacy group of songwriters and singers, with band mates including Scarlett Rivera who has played with Bob Dylan.

imgA member of Westlake Athletic Club since 1990, John loves the club, particularly working out in the new Fitness Center, while also being an avid swimmer. "I like the new equipment – the motion of it and low impact of the new machinery, but the thing I most love about being a member at WAC is the people. Long time friendships and people who care about people."

imgJohn will often be found by the pool, and will be playing with Voices of Van Gogh at Casa Escobar in Malibu, for a Sunday matinee performance on August 23rd, at 2 pm. A talent and an event not to be missed, as John reminds us how truly special our members here at WAC are!

Fitness Tip:

Low Row
By Patti Markowitz:

The low row tones and strengthens the latissimus dorsi used predominately for pulling motions. The muscle group is in the upper back area just below your shoulder. This machine will tone and strengthen your muscles in a safe, effective, and controlled way.

1. Sit down, with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Select the desired weight of both weight stacks with the yellow pin. Hold the handles with your palms facing inward. Exhale as you pull the handles towards your stomach (contract abs at the same time) and inhale as you stretch your arms back out in front of you.




Do two sets of 12 to 15 reps, resting for less then a minute between sets.

2. Hold the handles with your palms facing inward. Alternate arms by pulling one arm at a time towards your stomach. As you alternate arms, twist your torso slightly to engage the oblique muscles.




Do two sets of 12 to 15 reps, resting for less then a minute between sets, and have fun!

Nutrition Tip:

imgSuperfood Smoothies

By Anna Griffin

Banana Walnut Honey Bliss

Get energized for a great workout with this banana and walnut smoothie. According to research published in the online scientific journal, PLoS One, consuming a banana during a workout is as beneficial as a sports drink. Bananas are a natural source of sugar and potassium, and don't rely on added sugars, chemicals and colorings unlike processed, store-bought sports beverages. They also provide antioxidants, sustain your blood sugar while working out, contain iron, and due to their high levels of vitamin B-6, reduce swelling, protect against type II diabetes, aid weight loss, strengthen the nervous system, and help with the production of white blood cells. The FDA recognizes bananas as being able to lower blood pressure and protect against heart attack and stroke.

Adding walnuts increases protein and healthy-fats intake, infusing powerful antioxidants, amino acids that support heart health, anti-cancer, anti--diabetes and brain health, taking this simple smoothie to Superfood status. Add a scoop of your favorite protein powder for an extra boost if desired, throw into the blender, whip up, drink and bliss out, before getting your workout groove on!

img2 cups (500 mL) almond or coconut milk
1 large banana
1 tbsp (15 mL) honey
1/4 tsp (1 mL) vanilla extract
Handful walnut pieces (or 7 halves)
A few cubes of ice to chill

Yoga Tip:

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana - (Bridge Pose)
By Cindy Zaveruha

Bridge Pose is a great strengthening and stretching pose when done the traditional way. It changes to a cooling, restorative, relaxing pose when adding one simple prop - a block.

In both versions you are laying on your back, feet are flat on mat hip distance apart. Knees are bent at 90 degrees. Hips are lifted creating the 'bridge.' Your shoulders are externally rotated, upper arms tucked under, fingers interlaced with arms straight and pressing into the floor beneath your lifted hips. This key instruction helps protect the back of the neck from bearing the burden of weight as your hips are lifted. Drawing your shoulders away from your ears as your arms press into the floor, your chest is expanded to breathe in the full capacity of your lungs.

To change the traditional pose to restorative and relaxing, simple place a block under your hips just above your tail bone. All other instructions are exactly the same but rather than lifting your hips vigorously, you are resting on the block. Eyes closed, breathing deeply, melting into the pose...


Photo: Traditional Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)

Swimming Tip

Common Freestyle Mistakes

Tennis Tip:

This side of 50 on the Tennis Court
By Karl Akkerman

imgWhy do we who are over 50 at the Westlake Athletic Club play tennis? It is a simple question with many answers.

Tennis is a low-impact sport and does not depend on the strength of the player and can be played at any skill level. Many of us here at WAC are baby boomers, play tennis either for fun, competitively or simply to keep moving and get some exercise. Whichever way you play tennis, it has great benefits for the body, as well as, the mind. Here are just a few of these benefits:

Tennis Enhances:
Aerobic Fitness, anaerobic fitness, acceleration, speed, leg strength, body coordination and balance, gross and fine motor skills, brain power, bone strength and density, weight loss, agility, and cross training.

Tennis Helps You:
Develop work ethic, develop self-discipline, manage mistakes, learn to compete, accept responsibility, manage adversity, control stress, learn recovery, plan and implement strategy, learn to problem solve, learn sportsmanship, learn to win graciously and lose honorably, learn teamwork, while playing tennis reduces the risk of heart disease, develops social skills, and lets you have fun.

Tennis is a sport for a life-time, and I feel blessed to have so many great friends here at WAC to enjoy these benefits with.

So we are not over the hill: We are just rising up to a pinnacle in life that gives us a fabulous opportunity to enjoy it with this wonderful game we love and call tennis.

I personally invite you to join me and all my friends at one of my clinics, to feel alive, play great tennis, and have fun. I promise you will leave feeling like you have made new friends for a lifetime, and more connected to your game!

Training Tip:

Core Work Follow Up: Variation of Endurance Core Strength
By Brooke Wedding
Use your own body weight with knees down or toes supporting the weight of your body on a mat or hard surface. Place forearms on the ground or on your palms in push up position to hold plank (push up) position. Bring one knee to your chest at a time and place either toes or knees back on mat/hard surface. Repeat 2-3 sets and build 12-24 repetitions. Your abdominals are constantly working as you balance on each leg, and both your upper and lower body weight should remain equal (this is the challenging part as you coordinate your balance!). Keep working on increasing your repetitions and just remember if you fall over just try again and don't give up!

Activate (Squeeze) your abdominal cavity and tap one shoulder with opposite hand, then repeat on the other side tapping hand to opposite shoulder. While engaging your abdominal cavity, you are also working on balance and core stabilization.

Alternate push-ups in between shoulder taps or knee raises to increase upper body strength work. Remember to breathe as you do all your strength and core work. It is a habit to hold our breath as we volley or serve on court, as well as off court while we hold difficult positions strength training. Exhale that breath, and center your mind to center your core!

Member Business of the Month:

In Perfect Step: The California Dance Theatre of Agoura Hills
By Anna Griffin

Founded by Kimberlee Maselli, Joyce Hurley, and Lori Sorensen, California Dance Theatre of Agoura Hills is a premier dance academy, now celebrating its 30th anniversary.


An important staple of our local community since 1985, California Dance Theatre offers five studios spanning 10,000 square feet, and 30 teachers who instruct students of all ages and levels. From children to adults, beginners through professionals, California Dance Theatre encourages the recreational student as well as training the career-minded dancer.


The school seeks to inspire the dreams of movement, dance and performing style in boys and girls, providing a full curriculum in classical ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, modern, tap, musical theatre, and hip-hop with a special emphasis designed to introduce these dance forms to young children.


The daily pre-professional ballet program grooms the advanced dancer for a future career or an exclusive university dance program. California Dance Theatre offers a highly credentialed faculty with international ballet companies, Broadway credits, television and film resumes, with some select students performing with Pacific Festival Ballet, the resident ballet company at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. One of their alumni, Emiko Flanagan, (daughter of WAC member, Terry Flanagan) is now a dancer with Lyon Opera Ballet in France.


When Lori Sorensen retired last year, long-time WAC member, Michael Maselli joined forces with his wife, Kimberlee, to become the school's Executive Director. Also a professional painter, Michael is a familiar face around the club, having been a member for more than 14 years. He loves tennis, being one of our most committed and regular players, and can usually be found on the courts come rain or shine.


"I love Westlake Athletic Club because it is a beautiful location, nestled in the hills, and surrounded by nature. As a tennis player, it's great to share a sport I love with so many friends and enthusiastic players. Not only do we have great courts over looking the lake, the membership is so diverse. You can find a game anytime you'd like, regardless of your level."


Don't miss Pacific Festival Ballet's Young Dancers Series this Saturday, August 8th at 7 pm, at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, featuring an excerpt from the Wizard of Oz. Take a peek into the dancer's studio, and experience the stepping stones of an aspiring ballerina.<

Life At WAC:

Long Hot Summer.
By Anna Griffin

I recently had the pleasure of spending a Saturday morning at the club, and it was awesome to see you all honing your fitness and having a great time, as you started your weekends.

The club was full and the energy infectious starting with Katie's 8.30 am Tai Chi class, which seems to be getting a lot of buzz around the club. Tai Chi is a martial art practiced both for its self-defense techniques and health benefits. Katie's emphasis is health and wellness, focusing on generating and circulating energy, or simply very gently moving the major limbs and joints to increase flexibility. Abdominal toning is often included. Breathing exercises and meditations open and close the set. The result is a more content, energized you!

As an example, Katie is standing with her hands on the most important energy center of the body. In this pose, she can move the energy ("prana", "chi") to prevent illness or heal her body.



Simple, healing, and effective! Class is held every Saturday. Please arrive 15 minutes early to sign in at Front Desk, and head to the yoga studio for an 8.30 start.

Speaking of our new yoga studio, have you seen it?


It's gorgeous, but it's not just for yoga. Look out for new group exercise classes to be announced, and if you have any requests that you would like to have taught at WAC, don't forget to let us know.

Those of you not in Tai Chi are keeping yourselves busy in other ways. With these hot sunny days, many of you are heading to the pool to keep fit and stay cool.

Like Brian Marino who can regularly be found perfecting his stroke . . .


Jacqueline Forbes, who is now officially back in the pool, training post-injury . . .


John Werlich who always manages to combine a good workout with a good time . . .


Or Jurgen Sporn, who after a game of tennis, will go for a dip . . .

img But not everyone's by the pool. Saturday's sees some of our most dedicated tennis players out in full force. Even in this extreme heat, you are committed and on the courts, playing your best and having a blast.

Like these lovely ladies, who are some of our most dedicated. Let's hear it for the girls; Sherry Hooper, Kim Tavisoli, MJ MacCloud, and Susie Castle . . .


The men of course are out in force too. Watch out for the following. They are amongst our most die-hard, and a great game, a lot of competition, and good sportsmanship are always guaranteed when they're on the courts . . .

David McNamara, Bill Schwartz, Bill Fried, and Shane Marshak . . .


And often to be found in friendly competition, Matt Seegers, David Gordon, Gary Gundell, and Pierre Jean Girard . . .


As well as those who are infamously referred to as the Spartan group, Walter Browski, Wayne Barber, Claude Bisserier, and Jann Swartz . . .


And then there's private tuition or Live Ball with Tennis Director, Chris Dudeck . . .


Speaking of our amazing Tennis Pro's, don't forget to sign up for our Adult Tennis Camp the last weekend of August, Saturday 29th, and Sunday, 30th,. Tickets are $275 for both days including BBQ lunches and prizes, and classes led by Chris Dudeck, Calle Hansen, and Karl Akkerman, that focus on stroke analysis, technique, court positioning, footwork, and agility. For more information, click here.

While some are out and about in the sunshine, others of us are gym rats, heading inside to the cool air-conditioning of the Fitness Center, and an opportunity to have an epic workout on the amazing Technogym equipment. Like these guys . . .

Sculpting and strengthening abs like Raul Silvestre . . .


Getting cardio in like George Corbin . . .


Or building triceps like David MacMillan . . .


But beyond a great game of tennis or a good workout, there is so much more to life at Westlake Athletic Club this month. We're thrilled to announce the debut of Movies Under the Stars this month, with events planned for both Junior and Adult members.

Commencing August 10th with a feature especially for the Juniors, look forward to a screening of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2! Sign up is at the Front Desk and is $20 per person, including hot dogs, pop corn, ice cream, and drinks. Come at 7.45 pm, and parents, you can stay home that night!



On August 14th we are thrilled to debut our Adult movie evening, screening the Woman In Gold. This beautiful film is based on the book titled the Lady In Gold, which tells the real life story of a Gustav Klimt masterpiece, it's ownership, and finding its way to it's rightful owner, Maria Altmann, as played by Helen Mirren.



What makes this a magical movie debut for us is that it ties directly back to Westlake. The movie's heroine, Maria Altmann's son, Jim, is one of our long-time, esteemed members. He will be attending and available for a Q & A after the film.


Sign up is at the Front Desk and is $25 per person, including two alcoholic beverages (beer and wine), and a selection of hor d'oeuvres, snacks and deserts. Arrive no later than 7.45 pm, for curtain up at dusk.

With so much going on here at WAC, we wish you a happy August, Members!

Fitness Stuff

Meet your Trainers

imgPatti Markowitz
Patti has been helping people stay healthy and fit for over 20 years. Patti feels that fitness is the cornerstone to overall health and wellness and that getting fit is the first step to gaining a new and healthy lifestyle. As a certified personal trainer Patti specializes in custom training routines and likes to challenge and encourage her clients to surpass their physical and mental boundaries. As your trainer she will take your health and wellness personally, working alongside you to help achieve all of your fitness goals. With your determination and her dedication you can make anything happen.

imgBrooke Wedding:
Elite Spartan Racing Athlete
2015 World Championship Contender
NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist
NASM Performance Enhancement Trainer and Personal Trainer
Tennis Professional PTR 10&U,11-17, Adult Development, High Performance

imgKatie Whittaker
Katie specializes in aquatic exercise, yoga, and meditation, as well as in strength, toning and cardiovascular training. She also offers nutrition counseling and weight management. Creator of "Aqua Yoga," she uses water and land exercise to compassionately assist clients both pre and post surgery. Katie is certified in fitness instruction by the National Arthritis Association, the Yoga Alliance, the Aquatic Exercise Association, the American Council on Exercise, and the National Association of Sports Medicine. Katie has guided hundreds of clients to better health for more than 10 years.

imgPeter Loncto
Peter Loncto is a longtime resident of Westlake Village and the newest member of our training staff. As a National Association of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer and TRX Suspension Training instructor, he blends his passion and enthusiasm for fitness with his knowledge and experience to motivate and challenge his clients to feel their best.

"When I first met with John Sutcliffe a year ago and he shared his vision of a first rate fitness center, I was excited to have an opportunity to work with my neighbors in our fantastic community. After learning of his commitment to Technogym, I was all in! The Technogym philosophy of Wellness, their unique, elegant Kinesis One stations with an emphasis on adaptive, functional movement, and their unequaled interactive capability place them far out in front of any other traditional gym equipment. Some of you may have seen me in the Fitness Center over the last month, working out and becoming familiar with the literally thousands of movements possible with the Technogym system. Every day I am more impressed with Technogym's versatility and applicability to all levels of fitness. Whether your goal is a better backstroke, more tee-to-green distance, weight loss and toning, or just feeling your best, Technogym offers dozens of programs and the ability to customize a wellness program just for you.

I look forward to meeting all of you in the coming months and welcome the chance to assist you in identifying your Wellness goals, and working with you to achieve them. Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have. It would be an honor to be part of your Wellness journey.

Group Exercise Schedule

Class  Day(s)             Time  Teacher  Description
 9am        Katie  Beginner/Intermediate
 Yoga                  Mon/Wed  6pm  Beth/Cindy  Beginner/Intermediate
 Fusion               Tue/Thurs  6pm  Katie               Pilates/Yoga
 Sat  8:30am  Katie  Beginner/Intermediate
 Yoga  Sun  9am  Katie/Cindy  Beginner/Intermediate

Masters Swim

imgKevin Lane, Swim Instructor & Coach

Kevin Lane is the Assistant Swim Coach of California Lutheran University Men's and Women's Swim Team. He is also an adjunct instructor at CLU, teaching swimming, and a Masters Swim Coach at Westlake Athletic Club (Certified USMS Level 2).

In addition to coaching, Kevin teaches swimming to all ages and levels here at the WAC. You may have seen him working with students in the pool.

He teaches private one on one lessons as well as groups of two students. His lessons run from 30 mins to an hour, and are for beginners, intermediate, all the way to the competitive student. Kevin has a reputation as a warm and caring instructor who is very intuitive when comes to each individual's needs. With years of experience, he understands how to get the best out of each student at every lesson.

Kevin started swimming and competing at the age of seven. Growing up in Connecticut, he continued to swim through his teen years on the club level, setting many Connecticut State records. He represented Connecticut Swimming as an all-star team member, and traveled and competed against other all-star teams. Moving on to Southern Connecticut State University, a top ten NCAA Division II School, he competed on the national level and set school records in the in the 200 fly and in relays. In his senior year he was elected captain of his team.

After college, Kevin continued to train, compete and coach, eventually winning the Masters One Mile Open Rough Water National Championship for his age group. For over 20 years Kevin has been teaching swimming, coaching on the college, masters and novice level. He has just completed his fifth year of college coaching at CLU.

Kevin brings to the Westlake Athletic Club an enthusiastic love of swimming, with over 20 years of experience as a swim instructor, swim coach and competitor. Kevin looks forward to helping others advance in the water, as they learn how wonderful and positive the swimming experience is. As spring and summer approaches, Kevin encourages all members and families to get out and start a regular exercise program that includes swimming.

Masters Swim Schedule
Mon & Wed 12 to 1pm
Tues & Thurs 5:30 to 6:30am
Tues & Thurs 6:15-7:30pm
Sat 7 to 8:15am

Tennis Stuff

Video clip from Chris Dudeck, Co-Director at WAC

Video clip from Calle Hansen, Co-Director at WAC

Tennis Clinics

Clinic Rates:
(1 hour) $15 mem. $25 non.mem
(1.5 hr.) $20mem. $30 non.mem


Int. Clinic | Monday 9:30-10:30am | Brooke
Int. Live Ball | Monday 6:30-7:30pm | Lorene
Serious Tennis | Tuesday 6:00 - 7:30pm | Chris
Cardio Tennis | Wednesday 9:00 - 10:30am | Chris
Men's Live Ball | Wednesday 6:30 – 8:00pm | Calle
League Warm-Up | Wednesday 6:30-7:30pm | Karl
Warmup / Workout | Thursday 6.30 - 7.30 | Karl
Live Ball | Saturday 10:30 -11:30am | Calle
Skills, Thrills & Drills | Sunday 9-10:30am | Karl

Match Finder

Steve Hamburger, Lynn Abroms, and Bill Ries are looking for USTA or self rated 3.5 players for doubles and mixed doubles. The group plays two or three times a week, week days 8:30am to 11am. Steve and Bill maintain an e-mail listing and help coordinate the matches. If interested please e-mail Steve at

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