Goodness, we need the moisture but these rainy days keep us indoors on the couch rather than outside walking or running the greenways. Do you feel like you have been on an eating “binge” starting with Thanksgiving and continuing through December? As always, the New Year brings so many ads and television commercials urging us to tone our abs, stretch our hamstrings, tighten our glutes and get serious about healthy eating. What’s a person to do? Your curious columnist decided to check on one group of ladies who have a unique approach to fitness.
Today Around Davidson tries something a little different and visits with a group of women who have found a way to make exercise fun – thanks in great part to an innovative instructor. Calling themselves the Snappettes, they are committed to routines at Davidson’s SNAP Fitness facility (www.Snapfitness.com) that should make even the laziest couch potatoes sit up and take notice.
THOSE SNAZZY SNAPPETTES
Their names are Pat, Lenore, Donna, Charla and Jackie>. They gather three times a week at SNAP Fitness in Davidson for 45 minutes of TRX. Their instructor, coach and nutrition adviser is Dave Fairhall. After months of classes, they each confess not only to feeling better but also to making wonderful, new friends. They decided to name their group, The Snappettes, and Around Davidson decided their outlook on exercise was definitely worth looking into.
WHAT IS TRX?
Zumba, Pilates, Yoga, Boot Camp. These are all words most of us have heard and perhaps know a little something about. Mention TRX and you may face a blank stare. TRX is the brainchild of the Navy Seals who, the story goes, attached their parachute ribbing to Humvee bumpers for exercise regimens when stationed in the boondocks. Using similar straps, TRX is now marketed as suspension training for gym groups or personal workouts.
TRX allows you to use your own body weight to create resistance, and works multiple muscles and joints while building core strength and improving balance. The literature states that it combines the benefits of Strength, Cardio, Yoga and Pilates in one workout. Best of all, classes at Snap Fitness are specifically tailored for particular age groups from the sedentary to the elite athlete. (See our Dec. 17, 2010, Health & Fitness page story and photos on TRX, “Snap Fitness introduces suspension training.”
Retired from Corporate America at age 55 in 2009, Dave Fairhall gained his certification and started personal training the same year. He works with many clients one-on-one to address specific health issues, but has found quite a challenge in his TRX classes for seniors…mainly that he is trying to instruct these young-at-heart Snappettes and cannot get a word in edgewise! Asked for a “serious” quote about the class, Dave remarked, “As a personal trainer, I am inspired by the action of exercise to improve clients’ physical and mental condition. Snap’s 'TRX for seniors' class combines balance, strength, mobility and cardiovascular training in a fun manner.”
Well said, Dave, but we should also mention that as the fearless leader of the Snappettes, he also plans the best background music for the group, ribs a few “yellow dog Democrat” ladies about politics, shows off his TRX prowess just to elicit a response and changes up the routines to avoid complacency. Dave does not limit his time at SNAP Fitness to seniors but can work, as he claims, with children of any age (of course including his two beautiful, preschool granddaughters)!
HOW ABOUT THOSE SNAPPETTES!
Just like most of Davidson, the Snappettes come from near and far and bring varied life experiences to the group. Like any gathering of retired women, they solve the world’s problems, trade hair salon secrets, review the latest movies, rate new restaurants, compare exercise fashion, talk about children and grandchildren – all while working hard (and even perspiring!) during their 45 minute class. Although the TRX at SNAP Fitness is NOT limited to these five ladies (everyone is welcome), these seniors are committed to this form of exercise. Thus it is only fitting that we introduce them one by one providing a little background “check” and a quote from each about staying fit with TRX.
The class’ classy, classic New Yorker is Lenore Milo. She came to Davidson from Nyack, NY, in 2002. Traveling and TRX are her favorite activities in addition to helping her three children and eight grandchildren. Trained as a nurse, she still works occasionally and has been involved in an exercise class for five years. Fitness paid off when she did a trek in the Himalayas a few years ago. Speaking about TRX, Lenore says, “When I originally signed up for the class I could barely complete 30 minutes of easy exercise. Now 45 minutes leaves me feeling exhilarated and wanting more. The reason I signed up had to do with bilateral knee issues which have now disappeared. They say that laughter is the best medicine so combine it with TRX and you are a winner all around.”
Charla McEachin came to Davidson from Charleston in 2008. She has worked as a family therapist but now enjoys travel, scuba diving and keeping up with her two children and five grandchildren. In addition to her SNAP routines, she is enthusiastic about meditation and yoga. She enjoys smoothies with protein powder and lots of fruit but always is a fan of a good chocolate treat. Regarding TRX, Charla comments, “I love TRX. It is exercise with FUN!! Keeps us in shape physically as well as mentally. Come join the group and see what the fun is all about.”
A North Carolinian for half her life, Pat Bacon enjoys Dave’s TRX class and writes, “It gives me more energy for working both indoors and outdoors and keeping up with my two grandsons.” Pat moved to Cornelius in 1976 from Woodville, Ohio with her husband, Frank, and family. She has been a member of SNAP Fitness for one year and tries to eat healthy with green kale salads but cannot pass up any foods with peanut butter.
A resident of Davidson since 2005, Jackie Jones likes to write. She first came to North Carolina from Connecticut 25 years ago when, as a corporate trainer, she was reassigned to Charlotte and found a home in Huntersville. In her free time, she enjoys walking, swimming, photography, travel, theater and concerts. Her grown children live in Florida and Connecticut. When asked for a comment about TRX, Jackie replied, “I attend TRX to stay fit because it offers a variety of exercises and is much more fun than exercising alone. Dave is an excellent teacher who uses his professionalism, knowledge, sense of humor and creativity to adapt the exercises to our individual needs. His encouragement fosters a camaraderie among us that helps us stay motivated.”
As for travel, Donna Howell goes to the head of the class! She grew up as an Army brat and then corporate wife resulting in relocating 34 times before landing in Davidson in 2004. She loves the beach, butter pecan ice cream and keeping up with her two sons and one granddaughter. Her thoughts on TRX are as follows. “Aside from the obvious health benefits of this workout, it is major fun. I never thought I would say that about any exercise program. Regardless of one’s age or fitness level, TRX will provide a challenge.”
In summary, thanks, ladies for taking the time to visit with Around Davidson. Nice to know how friendship partners with fitness whether stretching hamstrings with TRX straps or flexing upper arms reaching for the wine and cheese! Well done, SNAPPETTES.
(NOTE: Learning about the SNAPPETTES and their devotion to TRX was a great assignment for Around Davidson. Let us hear from you if you have a similar experience with an exercise group. Around Davidson is glad to visit any fitness class and promote getting “off the couch!”)
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