Please join me in wishing our 3.0 (18 & over) good luck in the National Championships in Surprise, AZ. next week. Team members include: Patti McNamara (Captain), Kym Connor, Mary Feldstein, Renae Saliano, Beth Bloomfield, Fran Marks, Louise Ries, Patti Wilson, Marlene Cunningham, Nicolene Van Niekerk, Vienna Taylor, Kim Andersen and Kelly Vandergeest. Good luck Ladies! Have a fantastic weekend!!
We would also like to wish good luck to all of our teams that are competing in The Conejo Cup Championship on October 8th. WAC teams will be competing against Sunset Hills, North Ranch and Spanish Hills to claim the title of the best in the Conejo. Last year we were edged out by Sunset Hills but we are bettered prepared to bring home the trophy this year. Good luck ladies and gentlemen. Play begins at 7:45 on Saturday morning. Come on out and cheer our teams on!
In September we hosted the Rally for the Cure to help increase the awareness of the importance of early screening. Members enjoyed some terrific tennis and a delicious lunch, helping to raise $2500 for charity. We want to thank all of the members that participated and helped raise money through their registration. We also raised money via auction and we want to thank both our staff and members that donated items for the auction. A significant amount of the money brought in was through the auction, which we could not have done it without your help. Thanks for helping us raise money for such an important cause.
Fall is upon us and that means it is NFL Football time! With games on Monday Night, Thursday Night and Sunday there are plenty of opportunities to root on your favorite teams. We do not want to miss out on the action so we are offering drink specials whenever there is an NFL game on TV. Beers will be reduced to $2.50, and short wine bottles will be offered for $2.00 per bottle. Stick around and cheer on your beloved team and have a few cold ones with your buddies! Go EAGLES!
As we move into fall we are interested in expanding our group exercise offerings and are looking for your feedback. What other types of classes (including water aerobics) would you like to see added to the schedule? What days and times would you like them to be held? Please e-mail your suggestions to me at email@example.com and thanks for your feedback.
We are updating our member files and are asking for assistance from members that joined before CAC purchased the club who have not signed our WAC contract. We will be mailing the new contract out in October and ask those that receive it to review, sign, and return to us no later than November 15th. Thanks you in advance for your cooperation.
Have a Healthy Day,
By Anna Griffin
October 1st came and with it a noticeable difference in weather. Along with the drop in temperature and the warm autumn breeze, the changing season reminds us that we are entering cold and flu season. How to best get a jump on the inevitable influenza and virus’ pervading our community? By building our immune systems and utilizing nature’s most powerful remedies, incorporating them into our daily diet.
You don’t have to have a smoothie everyday – there are plenty of ways to incorporate ingredients such as turmeric and apple cider vinegar into other meals - but I find starting my day by fueling my body with exactly what it needs sets a great habit that I can maintain no matter what life throws at me.
As with maintaining a good physical routine, whether tennis, the fitness center, or the pool, as part of our well-being rituals, a good diet is essential to long-term wellness. By starting a daily commitment that naturally becomes habitual, we set ourselves up for success, and ultimately great health.
In selecting the best infection-busting ingredients, this smoothie incorporates vitamin C, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties, on a base of rich greens. I include either spinach or kale into every smoothie I make, and for this one I choose spinach as the foundation.
Spinach has an extremely high nutritional value and is rich in antioxidants. It is a good source of vitamins A, B2, C and K, and also contains magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, calcium and potassium.
On top of this base, I layer in fruits high in Vitamin C:
You may already know that oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, but do you know how important both are for good health? Vitamin C is the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body, disarming free radicals and preventing damage to cells triggering inflammation, associated with reduced severity of inflammatory conditions, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin C is vital for the proper function of a healthy immune system, good for preventing colds and helpful in preventing recurrent ear infections.
Pineapples are a storehouse of huge health benefits due to their wealth of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, including potassium, bromaline, copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, beta carotene, thiamin, B6, and folate, as well as soluble and insoluble fiber. Health benefits include improving respiratory health, aiding in the cure of coughs and colds, improving digestion, weight loss, bone strengthening, boosting oral and eye health, reducing inflammation, preventing cancer, increasing heart health, fighting off infections and parasites, improving the immune system, and increasing circulation.
Healthful, everyday staples in fighting inflammation and boosting the immune system are vital. Natural ingredients that challenge chronic inflammation are of importance in preventing and even treating diseases, from the common cold to cancer.
Turmeric is a root herb related to ginger, known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-cancer properties. Rich in vitamin B6, C, and minerals such as iron, calcium and potassium, a few grams of turmeric a day can provide enough nutrients to help you keep away from anemia, neuritis, memory disorders and offer protection against cancers, infectious diseases, high blood pressure, and strokes.
Ginger is closely related to turmeric and cardomon and has a long history of being used to help digestion, reduce nausea and morning sickness, and help fight the flu and common cold, to name a few. A natural anti-inflammatory, its benefits include easing muscle pain and soreness, helping with osteoarthritis, gingivitis and periodontitis, and lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels. The active ingredient in ginger is gingerol, a bioactive substance that helps lower the risk of infections.
Cayenne peppers are a health-benefiting spice item packed with minerals, vitamins and certain phyto-nutrients. Disease preventing and health promoting, full of vitamins A, C, B6, and minerals such as iron and potassium, cayenne boosts immunity, scavenges harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body, and contains anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties.
Apple Cider Vinegar
A daily teaspoon of organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains proteins, friendly bacteria, and enzymes, making it a powerful tool in killing many different bacteria’s including upper respiratory infections. It also contributes to lowering blood sugars and fighting diabetes, aiding in weight loss and fat flushing, and lowers cholesterol thereby reducing risk of heart disease. Additionally, it helps in soothing sore muscles, boosts energy and strengthens the immune system.
Greek yogurt is packed with probiotics. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that can help boost your immune system and decrease stomach issues, such as diarrhea and pain. Another benefit of Greek yogurt is that it’s high in calcium, key to building strong muscles and helping your vital organs function.
When shopping for ingredients, always choose organic particularly the fruits and vegetables, which can be laden with nasty pesticides, thus undoing all your good work and the benefits to your body.
Cold-Busting Smoothie Ingredients:
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup coconut water, unsweetened (or regular water)
½ cup orange juice
1 cup pineapple
1 orange, peeled
½ tspn of ground turmeric powder
2 tspns of apple cider vinegar
1 tbspn of Greek yoghurt
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
Note: This smoothie contains the ultimate in stay-well ingredients, but you can modify as you choose. The tang from the apple cider vinegar and taste of the spices is soothed by the creaminess of the Greek yoghurt. You can add more to suit your taste if desired.
1. Blend spinach, coconut water and orange juice until smooth.
2. Add remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth.
Enjoy, and go out into the world feeling boosted and well!
A Bear In His Pocket
By Anna Griffin
British author and long-time Westlake Athletic Club member, Mark Frankcom, is no stranger to helping others having been an advocate and supporter of horse therapy for several years. He believes that horses are healing for adults and children suffering physical and cognitive disabilities.
A former President and Board Member of Ride On Therapeutic Horsemanship, Mark suffered a cavernoma or “brain bleed” while on a stopover in London in May 2014, on his way to a business trip in India. “I went to bed normally and didn’t wake up. I was in intensive care for two weeks and don’t remember any of it.”
Not anticipated to make a full recovery and with the possibility of paralysis, the inability to speak, or brain damage, doctors call his recovery miraculous. Mark returned to the US in June ‘14, beginning physical, occupational and speech therapy, in particular, at Ride On. “It’s a lot more movement than my body’s used to, but it’s exactly what I expected,” he said of his therapy.
Now returning back to good health and to his swimming routine at WAC, Mark has returned his attention to writing, once more in an effort to help those with disabilities. His latest creative endeavor is the Bear in the Pocket children’s book series, which came to mind when Mark was in the pool. “The idea floated into my head while swimming. I was very relaxed.”
The story is about a princess that finds a pair of magical pants in the forest, with a bear in the pocket who offers her five wishes. What happens next? You’ll have to read to find out, but created by Mark to “help and entertain kids,” it is wonderfully delightful, charming and appealing to us children of all ages.
This is the first in the collection, with the second story already submitted for publishing. Mark hopes to continue his legacy of helping those in need through horse therapy by donating proceeds from the sale of these books to two horse therapy organizations. 50% goes to Ride On to help them continue their work at their Chatsworth and Newbury Park facilities, and the other 50% is being donated to Northland Therapeutic Riding Center (NTRC) in Holt, Missouri, where Mark and his wife donated a 32-acre horse ranch to them earlier this year.
A member of Westlake Athletic Club since 2004, Mark’s favorite activities are swimming, and a cup of coffee poolside while enjoying our friendly staff and members. Look out for him by the pool, and to purchase Bear in the Pocket, head to Amazon.com, to entertain the little ones in your life, and to help those little ones in need.
Video clip from Chris Dudeck, Co-Director at WAC
Video clip from Calle Hansen, Co-Director at WAC
In Tennis News:
By Christa Nonnemaker
Rally for the Cure
Westlake Athletic Club hosted a “Rally for the Cure” tournament on Saturday, September 10th 2016 to raise money for breast cancer awareness. The 40 participants wore pink and during tournament breaks, were able to bid on Silent Auction items to raise more money for the cause. Silent Auction items included tennis apparel, wine, Bluetooth devices and two large tennis-theme baskets. The players played in a round robin tournament before lunch and after lunch played a game in order to win some prizes. Over $2500 was raised for the cause! Calle Hansen, WAC Tennis Director, organized the event with help from Kelly Vandergeest and Michelle Sabbagh.
Participants at Rally for the Cure
Pam Shuken receiving prize from Calle Hansen.
Jen Burger (left), and Ramona Halloran (right) with Calle Hansen (center) after winning their group round robin.
The Club Championships will be held on the weekend of November 12-13, 2016. There will be Singles and Doubles Draws with Ladies, Men’s, Mixed and Husband/Wife flights in the 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 65 and Over and Open Divisions. Cost for entry is $15 per player. Semi-finals and finals will be held on Sunday, November 13. There will be a BBQ for all players on Saturday, November 12 at 12:30 PM. To register, contact the Front Desk at 818-889-6164. Join in the fun!
Westlake Athletic Club Sectionals Teams!
WAC has had a great year in terms of Sectionals! The way a team reaches Sectionals is that they need to win their local flight by winning the most matches of the season, which is no small feat. Once at Sectionals, teams will play against teams from other “sections” (thus the term “Sectionals”) during one specific weekend. Once at Sectionals, there is a round robin where four teams play one another. So, for example, the team representing the 3.5 Ladies in Ventura County might play against the 3.5 team from Orange County, then San Diego, then Bakersfield. At Sectionals, there are two round robin groups. The winner of each of the round robin then plays each other in the Finals and the winner of the Finals will advance to Nationals where the team will play against the winners of their Sectionals. It’s very rare for teams to make it Sectionals, much less Nationals and yet this past year, WAC has had five teams reach Sectionals and of those five, one will be advancing to Nationals on the weekend of October 8 and 9! So, the WAC teams that reached Sectionals this past year, captain’s name in parentheses) included the 3.0 Ladies 18 and Over WAC Attack (Patti McNamara), the 3.0 Ladies 40 and Over WAC Attack (Patti McNamara), the 4.0 Men’s Westlake team (Bill Fried), the 3.5 Ladies WACky Girls and the 3.0-3.5-4.0 Ladies Tri-Level No Strings Attached (Alex Campbell)! That is quite impressive! But, even more impressive is that the 3.0 Ladies WAC Attack 40 & Over team made it to Nationals! Congratulations to all the players on those teams that reached Sectionals!
WAC Attack 3.0 Ladies 40 & Over will head to Nationals!
WACky Girls 3.5 Ladies 40 & Over had a great time at Sectionals!
WAC USTA Members going to Nationals, & Other Sectional Activity.
By Karl Akkerman
Being a member of WAC has so many benefits. One of them is being part of a USTA Team. Being on a USTA teams means hanging out with your friends, playing friendly rivalries, practicing, and dreaming about winning because you played your best tennis. This past year, Westlake Athletic Club made quite the impact in the 40 and older USTA matches in both the 3.0 and 3.5 level of play. Patti McNamara’s USTA Team did just that. About half of the players on the current team got to know each other when they were part of the WAC Rogues led by Nancy Calille and Kim Tavasoli back in 2013. In 2015, there was an influx of players from the Westlake Village Inn club, so they were able to branch off and form our own 3.0 team and called themselves WAC Attack. From the beginning, their goal was to be a competitive team. They practiced hard and competed amongst themselves to find the best of the best players and vowed to go as far as they could. They won the local league match for the 40 and Over 3.0 Women’s with an 8-0 record. They dominated in league play with 35 individual wins and only 5 losses. The second place team had 22 individual team wins and 18 individual losses team from North Ranch. Moving onto sectionals they completed the following:
○ Match 1: won 5-0
○ Match 2: lost 2-3
○ Match 3: won 3-2
○ After 3 matches, there was a 2-way tie for first place and WAC Attack had beaten the other team so we got to go to the Final.
○ They dominated in the Final and won 4-1.
This earned them the trip to Nationals. At Nationals, they will play teams from Puerto Rico, New Jersey and Southern Arizona in their flight. The Nationals will be held October 7-9 in Surprise, Arizona. The Club will be collectively sending out positive thoughts to all you ladies on that weekend. Make us proud. You have the team to do it!
The ladies of WAC Attack (NTRP 3.0) are:
● Patti McNamara (Captain), Kym Connor (Co-Captain),Kim Andersen, Beth Bloomfield, Marlene Cunningham, Mary Feldstein, Louise Ries, Renae Saliano, Nicolene Van Niekerk. Vienna Taylor, Kelly Vandergeest, and Patti Wilson.
In other USTA Team news here at WAC . . .Wacky Girls 3.5 in the 40 and Over Women’s team also made a great run as well. This was in the same time frame as the previous National team that ran from January – March. This team also won their League title by the slimmest of margins with a 5-1 record. Only one individual team win separated the top two teams. 24 individual wins and 11 loses compared to 2nd place finish North Ranch (again). North Ranch must be really muttering over there about WAC.
The sectionals were held at Costa Mesa Tennis Club on 8/25 – 8/26. Friday evening started off great when they took four of the five matches. Due to the many conflicts of work and personal situations for some of the ladies to be able to play on Friday night, Shirlee Huffman needed to play #2 singles. Something she has never done before in this league. Sometimes you have to take one for the team.
On Saturday, they came up short winning only two courts and losing three. All the matches were so close. Day three we had to default a court again due to players having to return home, so Shirley Huffman stepped up again and played #1 singles (yet again) and we defaulted our #2 singles. Our #1 team of doubles Debbie Redman and Alex Campbell won their match. They were 3-0 in the whole tournament. Our #2 Doubles Lisa Macha and Rebecca Dorst won their match in 3rd set tiebreaker. At this point our last opponent, Porter Ranch, came in with a 2-0 record so we had to win and they had to lose. On the last day they had won their two singles courts and we won the first two doubles courts. It came down to the 3rd doubles team of Lisa Macha and Kellie McHone. “We can do this,” said Captain Bleier. It was a battle till there were only two ladies standing on the last shot over two hours later. In extreme heat with dozens of people watching and cheering, they battled to a 3rd set tiebreaker. They gave it their all in the 10 point tiebreaker coming up short 12-14. It was epic excitement and so fun to watch. It is always more fun to win, but winning is not the end all be all. As they say, “Just wait till next year!” The gals will have a great story to tell for years.
By the way, the USTA awarded Shirlee Huffman as “Sportsperson of the Tournament”. Her good sportsmanship was noted by the USTA officials even though she lost both her singles matches. She was recognized for her positive attitude and kindness with her opponents. Way to go Shirlee! You made your team and us proud.
The ladies of Wacky Girls (NTRP 3.5) Team are: MaryRose Blier (Captain), Lynn Abrams (Co-Captain), Shirlee Huffman, Kathy Shatz, Lisa Macha, Debbie Redman, Connie Mundell, Alex Campbell, Leslie Silverman, Lisa Knickmeyer, Kelly McHone, Holly Butler, Susanne Kinney, Sharon Hendrix and Nancy Akkerman
The year is still going so don’t be surprised if you hear about these teams moving on in the next session as well. The league will be gunning for them, but they have a good reason to walk tall and are targeted as the teams to beat.
By Patti Markowitz
Exercise balls can be a challenging way to add fun and variety to your workout. These exercise balls will strengthen and stretch your body, improving core stability and balance.
Squats With an Exercise Ball:
1. Stand with exercise ball propped between your lower (lumbar) spine and a wall, pressing slightly into the ball with hands at your sides or on your hips.Check that your feet are hip with apart and slightly in front of you.
2. Bending at your knees and hips, slowly move into a sitting position with your knees over your ankles. Keep the ball in contact with your back as you move.
3. Return to standing position, keeping the ball in contact with your back as you move.
Do 3 sets of 12, resting in between sets but for less then a minute.
Video Fitness Tip from Holly Butler
Back To Basics
By Peter Loncto
In light of my recent deconditioned state, I thought it might be the ideal time to start again in a systematic way to resume training . . . From the beginning. First things first . . .Proper posture.
Posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting, or lying down. Good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement or weight-bearing activities.
The benefits of proper posture are many; it keeps bones and joints in correct alignment, helps decrease the wearing of joint surfaces that could result in arthritis, prevents fatigue, strain, backache and, as a bonus, it contributes to a good appearance.
Today's lifestyle is certainly not conducive to maintaining proper posture. Hour after hour on the computer or watching TV, hours spent on the freeway . . . It's easy to see why so many people have upper and lower back problems, and tiredness leading to lack of focus.
Here's the key: good posture starts with your brain. It requires a high degree of mindfulness to maintain a healthy upright position. Fortunately, there are a couple of easy ways to get started on the path to proper posture. First, start from the ground up. Look at your feet . . . Your toes should be pointed straight ahead. This will bring your knees and shoulders in line. There should be a straight line from your toes to your shoulders. Second, stand so that your ears, shoulders, hips and ankles form a straight line. Sound easy, huh? After a lifetime of misalignment, initially you may find it difficult to remember and a bit uncomfortable. Hang in there . . . It's well worth it!
Maintaining good posture is especially important to get the maximum benefits of working out in the gym. There is most definitely a right way and a wrong way to stand, sit, or lie while doing resistance training, and there are a number of exercises that can help correct postural imbalances. I would be happy to perform a simple assessment and help you get started. Feel free to ask, and see you around the gym real soon.
Building Your Bridge
By Leticia Willingham
Bridge Pose opens the chest, releases tension in the upper and lower back, strengthens the legs and stretches the hip flexors.
Keep your feet hip width apart and parallel. Both shoulders, the entire length of the arms and the back of the head stay on the floor. Keep the knees on top of the ankles at the same distance apart as your feet and don’t let them splay open. When the knees splay open you actually tighten your back instead of creating space and lengthening it.
Keep your arms and back of shoulders pressing into the floor so you can lift your chest up towards the ceiling. Many people just lift their hips and not the chest, but Bridge Pose is a backbend that prepares you for deeper backbends.
Off-season weight management for Triathletes
By Logan Franks
It’s that magical time of the year again….”off-season”. Most of the triathletes I know spend this time getting some much needed rest, they spend more time with the family and less time with their bikes, and they get knee deep in the holiday season. But the holiday season can be a slippery slope and can have a devastating effects on our performance during our “race season.” If obtaining a certain weight has been a goal of yours, this is the time to start working on that. During the off season, our training volume and training intensity is significantly lower than any other part of the year. This is were focusing on a negative energy balance (More calories out than in) is most beneficial to your training and waistline. It might be off-season for training but it’s in-season for our diet.
Most athletes wait too long to start working on body composition changes and weight loss. Focusing on negative energy balance while partaking in workouts with high training volume, high intensity, or all of the above, can lead to a reduction in quality of training, illness, and injury. At the end of the day, if your training quality is low because you’re always getting sick or always running hungry, you’re just going to be skinny and out of shape. So, the question is, what can we do this off season to focus on obtaining that specific body composition?
- Weigh in and figure out what your current body composition is. Now we have some numbers to work with and we can start establishing goals.
- Establish both long term and short term goals. An example of a short term goal would be, “I want to lose 1lb within the first two weeks of my diet.” An example of a long term goal would be, “I want to lose 10lbs in 6 months.” Double check your goals and make sure they’re realistic. You should be looking to lose .5-1.5lbs a week. This number might fluctuate left or right depending on current fitness level and body composition.
- Establish a plan and make sure it’s sustainable. People tend to lose weight very quickly while following all these trendy diets.
a. High Protein diet
b. Paleo diet
c. High Fat
d. Vegan diet
e. Atkins diet
And the list goes on…..
Though each one of these diets is radically different, most people who committed to one of the following diets, lost weight. Why? It had nothing to do with the diet and everything to do with the fact that the average person who commits to a diet tends to be more conscious about the types of food they eat and the quantity of food they eat. At the end of the day, no matter what diet you follow, a negative energy balance will always result in weight loss. I’m not saying to count every calorie that goes into your body; that’s not sustainable. Focus on eating foods that are nutrient dense and have a low caloric density. Fruits and vegetables are a prime example of a highly nutrient dense food with low caloric density. **Nutrient Density is the amount of nutrients per calorie and Caloric Density is the amount of calories per weight of the given food**
Ok, so far we have documented our weight, we’ve figured out our body composition, we’ve established realistic, short term and long term goals, and we want to develop a diet that is sustainable but will get us some results. So, where to start? I can’t tell you how many calories to eat because it’s different for everyone. Age, activity level, and gender play a big role in calculating caloric needs. But, we can focus on eating foods that have low caloric density and we can focus on eating the correct foods at the correct times.
An athlete of mine sent me an email regarding carbs and how eating carbs at dinner can spike insulin levels and cause your body to store them as fatty tissue.....Yes, eating carbs at night makes you fat. I love beer and knowing how it is effecting my insulin levels really takes the fun out of drinking. Drink beer in the morning and you're an alcoholic; drink beer at night and you get fat. The world can be an evil place sometimes. There are some ways that we can manipulate the foods that we eat, in order to help us minimize our insulin levels from spiking and to help us lose weight.
- If you are going to eat carbs, eat them when you are most active or 15-30 minutes before you are about to workout. This way, the insulin is burned off and not stored as fatty tissue.
- If you’re going to eat a carbohydrate, eat it with a protein, fat, or high fiber source. Doing so will slow the absorption rate of the carbohydrate which means your pancreases won’t release as much insulin into your blood stream. Note: There are 4 calories in a gram of carbohydrate, 4 calories in a gram of protein, and 9 calories in a gram of fat. If you’re trying to reduce your calories, choosing a protein rich or fiber rich food is probably a better option to achieve your weight loss goals.
- Don’t eat carbs after 4pm unless you’re going to be working out or you just finished working out. To keep insulin levels down at night, try to eat a dinner that is mostly protein and fat with an ungodly about of veggies. An example of this would be 4oz of chicken breast with brussel sprouts and 1tbs of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Don’t drink beer at night….though liquor and wine have fewer carbs, our body processes alcohol the same way as a carb/sugar and you’ll still spike your insulin levels. There’s no winning on this one.
- This is common sense and I shouldn’t have to say it but….eat less sugar.
And that is your lesson on off season dieting and nutrient timing. I hope this helps in some way or another. I hope you all had a great race season and I hope this article will help for an even better 2017!
Santa Cruz: Something For Everyone.
By Anna Griffin
In 1769 the Spanish explorer Don Gaspar de Portola discovered the land now known as the City of Santa Cruz. By the 1820's Mexico had assumed control of the area and within the next twenty years, Americans began to arrive in great numbers. California became a state in 1850 and Santa Cruz County was created as one of the twenty-seven original counties.
Situated on the northern edge of Monterey Bay, about 32 mi south of San Jose and 75 mi south of San Francisco, Santa Cruz is known for its moderate climate, the natural beauty of its coastline, redwood forests, alternative community lifestyles, and socially liberal leanings.
Renowned for watersports such as sailing, diving, swimming, stand up paddle boarding, and regarded as one of the best spots in the world for surfing, Santa Cruz is pure California beach resort living. Tourist attractions include the classic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk on the beach, the redwood forests in the Santa Cruz Mountains above the town, and Monterey Bay, which is protected as a marine sanctuary.
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is California’s oldest amusement park, a designated State Historic Landmark and home to the iconic Giant Dipper roller coaster, which is currently the fifth oldest coaster in the United States.
When looking for somewhere to stay, Santa Cruz offers travelers an array of options. For a beach stay, book at the Dream Inn, a Joie De Vivre property, which sits on the site of Jack O’Neill’s first surf shop. The hotel is adjacent to the wharf and historic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and a short walk from local shops, restaurants, Yacht Harbor, and Downtown Santa Cruz. Take in Monterey Bay sunrises from your balcony; watch the surfers (or join them), and enjoy the spa and sound of the ocean waves, basking in natural beauty.
If you’re interested in a more modern-rustic experience, book at Hotel Paradox, Autograph Collection, a newly converted, eco-modern motel under the Marriot umbrella. Enjoy Illy coffee in your room, free bicycle rental to cruise the boardwalk, or take a short drive to the redwoods and hug some trees.
If you’re looking for something a little more quaint and romantic, book at the Babbling Brook Inn, where in-room fireplaces, a babbling brook, dragonflies and wine and cheese await upon check-in.
When hunger strikes, there is something for everyone in Santa Cruz. From standard American, to Italian, Irish and Middle Eastern, every palette is accommodated.
Offering Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and gluten free menu options, Laili offers delicious food, excellent service, and romantic dining al fresco on their patio.
Lago di Como Ristorante & Pizzeria:
Delicious and authentic Italian dining, Lago di Como is a neighborhood restaurant offering two menus: one for pizza, and one for traditional fare, and several daily specials. Locals rave about the burrata, sliced tomato and basil leave salad, the minestrone soup, the BBQ Brisket Ravioli, the flatbread pizzas, authentic atmosphere and attentive staff.
West End Tap & Kitchen:
Good old fashioned burgers, brew and gastropub American fare, West End Tap & Brew offers a modern pub environment, great service, and is an excellent destination for date-night or family dinners. If you like variety in your beers, the craft beer sampler flights are the way to go.
When visiting Santa Cruz, there are plenty of tourist activities to engage in from taking in the restaurants, shops and ambiance of Pacific Avenue, located in downtown. It is also stage to many street performers, musicians, and artists, and an experience of the artistic and unique culture that Santa Cruz possesses.
Santa Cruz is home to several state parks and beaches, including Lighthouse Field State Beach, a protected beach located at the north end of Monterey Bay. The beach overlooks the Steamer Lane surfing hotspot and is home to the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum housed in a 1967 lighthouse. The park is free to visit year-round, and offers walking trails, wildlife viewing, and picnic areas.
Natural Bridges State Beach features a natural bridge across a section of the beach and is a well known as a hotspot to see monarch butterfly migrations. The Monarch Butterfly Natural Preserve is home to up to 150,000 monarch butterflies from October through early February.
The Santa Cruz Wharf was built in 1914 and is the longest pier on the West Coast of the United States. Take a stroll known for fishing, boat tours, viewing sea lions, dining, nightlife and gift shops.
Or stop by the colorful, local farmers market on Wednesdays to meet farmers, pick up some flowers, and to grab some tacos.
See the sights via the ocean by going for a kayak or paddle board lesson in Santa Cruz Harbor experiencing over a mile of calm protected waters - perfect for beginning kayakers or standup paddling enthusiasts. For the more adventurous, head out into the Monterey Bay for open ocean exploration to see sea lions frolic and play.
Bring someone special or the whole gang for a private sail on the only classic charter boat in Santa Cruz.
Drive to the redwoods to soak in the splendor of majesty of the surrounding nature, and take a zip line tour with Redwood Canopy Tour, flying through the branches, 100 ft up in the air.
Or take a mountain bike tour through the redwoods.
If in the mood for a round of golf, DeLaveaga Golf Course is perched in the hills surrounding Santa Cruz, providing championship caliber golf and excellent service. As one of the top ranked public courses in California, Delaveaga combines striking natural beauty with a challenging course featuring tree lined fairways, deep canyons, and infamous 10th hole.
And when in the mood for a game of tennis, a great swim or workout, visit our sister club, La Madrona, a full service athletic club offering seven lighted tennis courts, two outdoor heated pools, sauna, spas, state-of-the-art fitness studio, tranquil gardens, barbeque areas, locker rooms, and Clubhouse, set amongst the sprawling beautiful hillside landscape of the Santa Cruz mountains.
Whatever your reasons for visiting Santa Cruz, a culturally rich and diverse city awaits, and while famous for its surf history, rich ocean life, and outdoor activities, the choices of things to do are endless, with literally something for everyone.
Meet your Trainers
Leticia Willingham is a certified yoga instructor based in Westlake Village, California. She has led her life down a path of healthy eating and working out for more than twenty years, discovering yoga while trying to help deal with severe anxiety. The results of practicing yoga were dramatic . . . providing the ability to calm the mind, find inner peace, and strengthen the body. Leticia’s 500 hour teaching certification is through YogaWorks in Westlake Village, California; mentored by Lainie Devina.
Leticia believes that everyone can benefit by practicing yoga. She focuses on providing each student, whether they have just been introduced to yoga or have been practicing for years, with insight, encouragement and the opportunity to help guide them on a positive journey and achieve their own personal goals. “I know how amazing the benefits of yoga can be because I have experienced them first hand. Yoga truly changed my life, and I want to provide the opportunity for others to affect positive change in their lives as well.”
Dafna Tobi, Yoga Instructor
Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel, from a young age, Dafna was a competitive windsurfer and was deeply connected to nature. At the age of fifteen, Dafna’s hard work, dedication, patience and bravery earned her a third place in Israel’s national windsurfing championship. As an accomplished athlete, Dafna developed her physical and mental endurance, by training under the most strenuous conditions.
Dafna moved to California when she was eighteen to attend college. She graduated with a B.S in applied mathematics and got her MBA from Pepperdine University. Dafna discovered a passion for oga while obtaining her MBA, learning that it strengthened her mind, body and soul, while providing her with confidence, courage and passion to conquer the world. Indeed, yoga became Dafna’s way of life; a way that she is eager to share with each of her students.
Dafna Tobi is registered with Yoga Alliance at the RYT-500 and ERYT-200 level Specialized in Yoga Therapy. Such studies and certifications have provided Dafna with the tools and ability to recognize and adapt to each individual's specific needs no matter how unique. In her teachings Dafna places a great emphasis on the practice of breath while implementing soothing encouraging music. Her classes include Therapeutic Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Hatha, and Alignment- Oriented Yoga. In each of her classes, Dafna encourages serenity, flexibility and strength.
Patti Markowitz has been helping people stay healthy & fit for over 25 years as a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer and Aerobics Instructor. Her tenure at the Westlake Athletic Club (WAC) began back in 1993 where she has trained hundreds of members who continue to reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle augmented by hours spent building strong bone, muscle, and piece of mind through exercise & resistance-training. Patti believes that when you change bodies you change lives, and that being a Personal Trainer is about much more that just knowing the exercise or routine, it’s about living the lifestyle, and being able to motivate and inspire others to move toward healthier and happier lives.
As one of WAC’s leading Certified Personal Trainers, Patti specializes in designing customized programs in training for strength, weight loss, and functional fitness. Her attitude and presentation makes workouts fun and motivating; never routine, dull or boring. As your trainer, she will take your health & wellness personally, working alongside you to help achieve ALL of your fitness goals.
An accomplished marathon runner, avid swimmer, and someone you will most likely bump into in a Yoga class at the Club, Patti’s attention to her own fitness reflects her commitment to well-being. With your determination and her dedication you can make anything happen.
For an opportunity to train with Patti, you can call her directly at (805) 208-9578, or inquire at the front desk at WAC.
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.
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.
Influenced by growing up in Boulder, CO (aka the fittest city in America), Holly Butler has always lead an active lifestyle. As an adult, she was drawn to non-impact fitness, starting with the athleticism of Vinyasa yoga. While practicing yoga she discovered and fell in love with Barre classes and Body Sculpting classes using resistance training. Her 3 daughters were all in school and Holly thought it was the right time to get her certification and go back to work, doing something she loved. Holly spends her “off” time coordinating many school drop-offs, pick-ups and dance carpools for her daughters, being involved in charity work for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, volunteering school, and playing tennis at WAC with her husband. We are pleased that Holly will be teaching the Body Sculpting class on Mondays and Wednesdays at 12:30pm.
We are pleased to have Kim Leigh as our newest Master’s Swim Coach. Kim has been coaching Master’s Swim for 5 years including open water swimming for triathletes and she actively participates in Master’s programs as well. She is a graduate of CSU Northridge with a BA and MS in Microbiology and has been a part of Amgen since 2003.
Group Exercise Schedule
|Sun||Yoga (Beg/Int)||9.00 am–10.00 am||Katie/Leticia|
|Sun||Skills, Thrills & Drills||9.00 am–10.30 am||Karl/Tim|
|Mon & Wed||TRX Training||9.00 am–10.00 am||Peter|
|Mon & Wed||Master Swim||12.00 pm-1.00 pm||Kevin|
|Mon & Wed||Body Sculpting||11.00-12.00pm||Holly|
|Mon||Adult Beginner Tennis||10.00-11.30 am||Joe|
| Mon || Yoga (Beg/Int)||5:30-6:30pm||Leticia|
|Mon||Live Ball (3.0+)||6.30-8.00 pm||Lorene|
|Tue & Thurs||Master Swim||5.30-6.30 am||Kari|
|Tue|| Yoga (Beg/Int)||9:00-10am||Leticia|
|Tue & Thurs||Masters Swim||6.00-7.00 pm||Logan|
|Tue & Thurs||TRX Training||6.30 pm-7.30 pm||Peter|
|Tue|| Body Sculpting||5.30-6.30 pm||Holly|
|Wed||Cardio Tennis||9.00-10.30 am||Chris|
|Wed|| Yoga (Beg/Int)||5:30-6:30 pm||Beth|
|Wed||Small Group Training||6.00-7.00 pm||Peter|
|Wed||Men’s Live Ball (4.0+)||6.00-7.30 pm||Calle|
|Wed||Adult Tennis Drills||6.30-8.00 pm|| Karl|
|Thurs||Adult Tennis Drills||6.30-8.00 pm||Tim|
|Sat||Master Swim||7.15-8.30 am||Kari|
|Sat|| Yoga (Beg/Int)||8:30-9:30am||Katie|
|Sat||Live Ball (3.0+)||10.30 am-12.00 pm|| Chris|
WAC is pleased to have Kari Davis as our Head Masters Swim Coach. Kari was a Collegiate All-American swimmer and has over 30 years coaching experience. Kari began teaching swimming in San Diego in 1990. In 1991 and 1992 she was San Diego’s Age-Group Coach of the Year.
In 2005 Kari moved to Park City where she started a Masters Swim Team and began coaching triathletes. Kari loves coaching and enjoys working with students of all ages and abilities. Kari lives with her husband in Westlake Village and has 2 grown children.
WAC is pleased to have Logan Franks coach our Masters swim program.
Logan Franks served seven years in the Marine Corps infantry. During his enlistment, he raced on the Marine Corps Triathlon team. He was 1 of 6 Marines selected to represent the All Marine Triathlon Team at Armed Forces Triathlon Championships in 2011. Logan also competed as a professional triathlete with a primary focus on long course triathlon. In 2010 he was ranked 52nd in the world for Ironman and he posted the fasted American run split of the day at Ironman world championships, crossing the finish line in 9:02.
Logan was also collegiate runner for the University of Delhi, located in NY. Though he was a fast runner, his success in triathlon was being hindered by his lack of swim knowledge and experience. Knowing this, Logan went to a number of swim clinics and trained under the guidance of some of the best triathlon and swim coaches in the United States. Logan soon became a front pack swimmer, often coming out of the water in the top six of the pro division for Ironman and 70.3 races.
2013, Logan shifted his focus
to coaching and put his athletic career on hold. Logan currently owns a
military focused triathlon team. He coaches prior service members and
active duty military. He also coaches paratriathletes and other wounded
vets hoping to compete in the Paralympics. Logan is a Level 2 Masters
Swim Coach, and is very approachable, always willing to help anyone on
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.