Break Patterns of Habitual Inactivity for a Healthy Lifestyle

dsc_1208Patricia McKenna was born and raised in LA. Graduating with a Journalism degree, her first job was as an on-camera reporter with an NBC affiliate.  She realized she preferred being behind the scenes, went back to school for a Masters in Art, then got an opportunity to work for Turner Broadcasting as an art director. Later her role shifted to a director and producer of commercials and features.
Twenty years ago she moved to Highlands Ranch with her husband, a SEC lawyer.  Today Tricia works at a branding and marketing agency downtown.
Her husband Steve, and children Jack, Chance and Grace, are very healthy and active. They work out regularly and enjoy time at the pool.  Last July, Tricia got a phone call from Sheri, GATC Member Coach. Sheri had noticed that even though Tricia’s husband and kids were active at Greenwood, she had not been coming.
“Sheri graciously invited me to come in and visit with her. We talked about my goals, why I wanted to lose weight and an action plan.  I am not a joiner, not one who participates in big classes or does weight watchers or talks about feelings. It is just not part of my DNA. Sheri said, ‘Let me give you a program to do three to four times a week.’ She suggested, ’Put it in your calendar – put it in writing and commit to it.’ That really helped!
I just decided to take this time for myself and I have come almost every day since.
It is true that you get the bug! I remember one day the club closed in the afternoon during a snowstorm. I had this moment of-Oh my gosh! I am not going to work out today and I don’t know how I feel about this!
It is amazing how in your 40’s you can slowly acquire weight and how much harder it is to lose it then it was in my 20’s, but I have managed to lose 40 pounds. There were plenty of reasons to not make it work, but I did. I had to work against habitual inactivity. The more sedentary I had become, the more it seemed like an incredible effort to get back in the groove. There adsc_1242re no easy ways to do it. I don’t think there is a staff member here who isn’t silently encouraging me. Just by their cheerful smiles as they greet me, I feel part of this community.  This is one of the reasons I really like it here. I appreciate the quiet encouragement, the diversity at Greenwood, the beautiful environment and state of the art equipment. In many ways, GATC is understated and that delights me.  I pay a reasonable amount to have a lovely place to work out, where my children feel safe and I am part of a community that values working out as a way of life. I feel as though I belong here.
For anyone who is struggling or stuck like I was, I want you to know there is no right or wrong way. Every single day do something.  Tomorrow, do a little more for a little bit longer. You will be pleasantly surprised if you make the mental decision-you want this for yourself.”

Women’s Locker Room Remodel Update 9/27/16

Still to come….

I hope you are enjoying the new showers and whirlpool, and are happy to be able to utilize the steam and sauna as well. We have been open for about three weeks but there are lots of little things that still need to be done. Please know we are working on a punch list for construction and still have items that need to be installed.

Here is what we are working on to date:

  • The wet vanity is still under construction. We are closing the women’s locker room each evening at 9:00pm allowing the construction workers to have earlier access to
  • The wet vanity is still under construction. We are closing the women’s locker room each evening at 9:00pm allowing the construction workers to have earlier access to the space and therefore be able to finish the project in a more timely manner
  • The transition vestibules between the dry part of the locker room and the wet area need finishes and paintThe wall on the dry side of the whirlpool is still in need of paint and base
  • The wall on the dry side of the whirlpool is still in neforfyi16018_n7ed of paint and baseThe kit lockers, including the book exchange
  • The kit lockers, including the book exchange locker are currently located in the women’s lounge until the wall is finishedThe lounge has been painted and new furniture is on order
  • The lounge has been painted and new furniture is on orderEach shower will have a shower door except the handicap shower (curtain). Some of the doors had the wrong cut for the hinge that was installed. They are being re-done and will be installed this week
  • Each shower will have a shower door except the handicap shower (curtain). Some of the doors had the wrong cut for the hinge that was installed. They are being re-done and will be installed this weekThere will be a new flap-door installed on the trash doors in the dry vanity
  • There will be a new flap-door installed on the trash doors in the dry vanity
  • We will be replacing all the magnifying make-up mirrors and looking to add two more
  • We have removed the Eucalyptus and Dewberry lotions and have replaced them with Green Team Lemongrass and Lavender Mint. We still have fragrance free lotions available

Still to come:

  • Clock by the whirlpool and outside the dry sauna
  • Hook next to the scale
  • Sharp’s container for used razors
  • Mounted razor container
  • Mounted lotion and cups outside the dry sauna
  • Mounted sun screen bottle in shower area
  • Switch on the whirlpool that allows for timer or off. Right now if you move the switch up it will run, if you move it down it will be on a timer. Middle is off

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we continue to make Greenwood “The Best Part of Your Day”!

Should I Avoid Gluten?

What is gluten? People say it’s bad, so should I avoid it and what are good alternatives?  Kristin Burgess, RD will answer all of your questions about this grain.

What is gluten?gluten
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and possibly oats.

What foods contain Gluten?
Any product made with wheat, barley, rye, and oats. Gluten is also used as a food additive to thicken various products. For this purpose, gluten is found in many unexpected foods such as ketchup.

What starches do not contain gluten?
Corn, brown rice, potatoes, amaranth, arrowroot, millet, gluten-free oats, quinoa and nut flours. Many believe that one may consume sprouted grains (including sprouted wheat) while following a gluten-free diet. I suggest trying a small amount (one slice of sprouted bread) and see if any side effects occur. Research shows that oats are gluten free, but they do contain a protein called avenin that has a similar structure to gluten.  When dealing with celiac disease, talk to your doctor about consuming oats.

Should I avoid gluten?
Not unless you have celiac. It is best to limit gluten and include many different grains in your diet, besides wheat. The problem with gluten is that too much is consumed; bread, crackers, bars, tortillas, chips, cereals, pasta, etc. Instead of whole wheat bread, choose sprouted grain bread. Instead of whole grain pasta, choose gluten free pasta (not because there is magic in gluten free pasta but to get a variety of grains in your diet). In addition, add more fruit, vegetables and nuts to your diet.

How do I choose products and cook gluten-free?

  • Read food labels and look not only for the words “gluten free” but also read the ingredient list for any gluten-containing starches such as wheat, barley and rye. Never assume a product is gluten free.
  • Any alternative flour (almond flour, brown rice, etc) can be substituted into a recipe.
  • Most grocery stores have a section for gluten-free breads, cereals, bars, pasta, etc.

Are you looking to eat healthier and feel more energized from your diet? Try LEAN, this six-week program to help you eat better and look better at the same time. Contact Kristin Burgess at 303.770.2582 x382 to learn more.

Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club is Hosting the 9th Annual Tri-Our-Village Kids Triathlon

Now more than ever kids are following in their parents’ footsteps and participating in triathlons. On Sunday, September 25, 2016, the City of Greenwood Village and Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club (GATC) are hosting the ninth annual Tri-Our-Village Kids Triathlon for ages 5-16. kids triathlonThe triathlon will feature four different difficulty levels adjusted according to age group. Participants will run, bike, and swim their way through the course surrounding GATC and Westland’s Park in Greenwood Village.
According to Crystal Garland, Aquatics Coordinator at Greenwood, “The 9th Annual Tri-Our-Village Kids Triathlon introduces kids to the fun of swimming, biking and running while also helping kids discover the benefits of healthy activities. On average we have 200 participants and we are looking forward to a similar turnout for this year’s event.”
In fact, the Kids’ Triathlon gives back to the community! Dr. Chip Southern from Greenwood Pediatrics is a sponsor of the Kids Triathlon and his contribution goes to the top three schools with the most participants.  The donation goes to providing schools with much-needed equipment for their physical education department. Last year, the top three participants came from the following schools: Cottonwood Creek Elementary, Belleview Elementary and High Plains Elementary.
lowmarcus-garland-and-sydney_dsc08002According to Dr. Chip Southern, “We have been honored to support the Annual Tri-Our-Village Triathlon year after year.  Greenwood Pediatrics supports our community’s efforts in developing active children.  This event is a fun way to expose the students and their families to a healthy activity and lifestyle.”
Cathy Pate, Greenwood Village Recreation Manager said, “I have the best job of all, announcing the names of the participants at the finish line and watching mom and dad embrace their accomplishments, such a joy!”
Kids’ of all ages really have fun participating in the event, according to Bobby Garland, 13 yeadsc08115rs old, says, “I have done the Kids’ Triathlon for the past 5-years and I really enjoy that I get to swim bike and run, and my favorite part is swimming!”  Nathan Garland, 11 years old, says, “I enjoy the Kids’ Triathlon, and I really enjoy the refreshing ice cream treat, right after the race.”  Marcus Garland, 8 years old, says, “I like that I get a medal as soon as I cross the finish line and enjoy seeing and racing my friends.”
Early registration for the Kids’ Triathlon ends Saturday, September 17 and the last day to register is Thursday September 22 at 6:00pm.

nathan-and-marcus-garland_dsc07869Greenwood is offering a Kids Triathlon Training Camp to help competitors prepare for the events on September 25.  The training camp will take place on September 19, 20 and 21 from 6:00-7:00pm. In these training sessions, kids will practice swimming, biking, running, transitions, and learn race course safety. For more information contact Crystal 303.770.2582 x325 or or visit  Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club is located at 5801 South Quebec Street, Greenwood Village, CO 80111.

Women’s Locker Room Update September 9

Women’s Locker Room Remodel Nearing the Finish

Ladies…we expect to open the wet areas of the locker room next week. We passed the whirlpool and miscellaneous other inspections this week. We are scheduled for final fire inspection at 6:00am Monday, September 12 and the final inspection later that day. There is still a lot to be done but the space is coming together beautifully.

Crews will be working all weekend on the final push:

  • Increased number of jets and jet action in the whirlpool
  • Handicap chair has been installed
  • New motor in steam room
  • Painted floor in dry sauna
  • Painted walls in lounge and new furniture is on order
  • Tile is complete; in the process of grouting tile
  • Shower doors being installed
  • All new ceilings have been installed
  • All new lighting (ceiling and sconce) has been installed
  • Glass finishes are being installed

Thank you for your patience as we near the finish line!

Brittany Warly, How Cross-Training inspired this Champion

Brittany Warly is just one example that membership at Greenwood can lead to great things. On April 22, she helped her team, University of Colorado Boulder Triathlon Team, win their seventh consecutive national title and won her first individual USA Triathlon national title. She qualified for the World University Championships and will be representing the USA this August in Switzerland.

Tbritwarly5he 23 year old GATC member has even bigger plans as a professional athlete. She will train with the elite team PEAK Multisport at the US Olympic Training Center. Warly has been training under the guidance of Ken Axford (2015 USAT Development Coach of the Year) since she first started the sport four years ago. Her first elite race will be the CAMTRI U23 Sprint Championships in Des Moines on July 9.

Brittany and her three sisters practically grew up at Greenwood. David Solsberg and Dorothy Warly created opportunities for all of their daughters to explore a variety of athletics at Greenwood. At age 4, the triplets (Alexa, Brittany, Caroline) could be found on the tennis courts with Peggy Bernardis, while the eldest Danielle was pursuing musical theater and the arts.

I discovered my love for fitness at Greenwood. My parents gave each of us unlimited opportunities to discover our passion for a sport. We learned how to swim and play tennis. We did kick boxing, Tae Kwon Do and britwarly4participated in many Kid’s Club activities. Yoga was something I picked up in high school and as I got older I learned to appreciate it more and more. I still practice in the midst of my competitive training schedule.

The fire and love of competitive training and workouts captured Brittany more than any of her other sisters. As a teenager (with the support of her mother traveling with her) she moved to Palm Springs, California to be part of a prestigious tennis academy run by Jose Higueras (former French Open semifinalist), followed by a move to Florida to train with the Hungarian federation national coach, Nandor Veres. For more about Brittany’s challenges in this phase of her life you can read this Rise and Grind article online.

Brittany returned home to Colorado while still in high school. She says: “As I grew older, I started to question what my real motivations [for playing tennis] were and I began to feel the desire of living a normal teenage life.” Exhausted from traveling to tournaments week after week while being a full-time student at Cherry Creek High School, she came down with mononucleosis.

While recovering from mono, Greenwood was the most positive part of my day. I did yoga during this time, a little swimming and had my introduction to triathlon training. I always felt better when I left GATC. The people at the club are like family to me. I would see the same people there on a daily basis, which was comforting.

My good friend Sonja Wieck and Jessica Vitcenda, (a mother of a HS Classmate) took me under their wing and introduced me to the Masters swimming group.  I was in the slowest lane at first, but now I am in one of the fastest lanes. I felt so included even though most of the Masters swimmers were adults. The coaches were so willing to help me. That summer I competed in Stroke and Stride, Aquaman (a 750m swim and 5K run). I used this for cross training for tennis. I did my first triathlon shortly after and was hooked.

Brittany started college with a Division I tennis scholarship at Santa Clara University, but tennis just wasn’t where her heart was anymore. She switched to CU Boulder to finish her Mechanical Engineering degree while competing with the collegiate triathlon team. Competing for the CU Boulder Triathlon Team was by far the most positive experience in my collegiate career and I am so glad I made the choice to transfer. My best friends to this day come from that team. We are competitive, but we uplift each other.
Why did she select engineering?  I was always good at math and science. It seemed the perfect route for me as a type A, hard worker. We sisters all were at the top of our class – Alexa in civil engineering and applied math, Caroline in bio and chemical engineering. My older sister Danielle is a lawyer in Grand Junction. It is safe to say that my family is pretty darn academic.

Greenwood is still my GoTo training gym in the Denver area. When I used to come home from school on the weekends at CU Boulder I would work out at GATC.  Now I come to GATC when I come home from Colorado Springs. Mike Keirns, head physical therapist at GATC, has known me since I was 11 or 12. When I had a bad bike accident last July, Mike was the first doctor I approached. He knows me well and knew what my body could withstand; he gave me hope that I would recover fully and get back to competing. Now I am in my first pro-season, training around four hours/day.  I enjoy yoga, playing the piano and singing.  I also love writing and I have gotten a lot of encouragement and interest on my blog posts .

Brittany recognizes the support of her parents and sisters for her unusual teenage years. My mother practically had a full-time job traveling with me, even spending holidays on the road with me. My father (a radiologist) and sisters supported both my mother and me in making my training and competing possible.

There is no secret pill. There are days when I don’t want to train and I need to remind myself of the bigger picture; I am doing this sport because I love it and I enjoy meeting new people. I am a very social person and I have found my love with the endurance sports family; I feel I fit right into this community. Everyday I am proving to myself I am stronger. I can withstand more than I ever think. It is honest hard work seeking the next improvement always that encourages me to keep pushing. When I hit those moments in training or in a race when time ceases to exist and I’m “in the zone”, it is a spiritual experience that makes this all worth it. Fitness has really been the most balancing force in my life, and for that I am truly grateful.

Stay in touch by following Brittany on her ongoing journey through her blog, or social media Instagram: @bwarly,
 Twitter: @brittanywarly3.

NEARING THE FINISH LINE! Women’s Locker Room Remodel Update 9/2

We are in the last days of the women’s locker room remodel. Estimated opening day for the showers, whirlpool, steam and dry sauna is Tuesday, September 13.

Many things need to happen to hit that target date:

  • Finish all tile and grout
  • Pass whirlpool inspection
  • Paint dry sauna floor
  • Install and fire up new steam motor
  • Install shower doors and all pluming accessories
  • Install ceiling lights and ceiling tile
  • Install drinking fountain
  • Complete the north and south vestibules

The north vestibule will be complete on Tuesday, September 6. That evening they will move the temporary wall in the north vestibule to allow access to the dry vanity and will shut off the south entrance to the dry vanity. At that time they will begin work on the south vestibule.

Final inspection is scheduled for Monday, September 12. That evening all the temporary walls will come down and they will begin night work on the wet vanity and adjacent vestibule.

Starting Tuesday, September 13 we will close the women’s locker room at 9:00pm, Monday-Friday to allow for construction to begin earlier and finish the wet vanity in a shorter time frame.

Thank you all for your patience as we near the end!

Women’s Locker Room Remodel Update August 25

We are nearing the completion of the women’s locker room remodel. We hope to open the new showers, new whirlpool, steam and sauna on Monday, September 12.


  • Finish laying tile this week. Start grout this weekend and all of next week
  • Finish laying whirlpool tile this week and start grouting Saturday
  • Install shower doors next week Friday
  • Install ceiling grid and ceiling tile next week

They will begin moving the temporary walls to different locations to expose the vestibules leading to and from the showers. This will include closing off one side of the main dry vanity at various times. You will still have access to the main dry vanity but will be through one side.

Thank you.

Women’s Locker Room Remodel Update August 11

We are in the final stretch of the women’s locker room remodel and it’s pretty much tile, tile and more tile! There is so much square footage that has to be tiled including hallways, floors, showers and whirlpool that there won’t be much more happening until the end of August.

We are still on schedule for a mid-September opening day!

You will see another “test sample” of a trash door in the main dry vanity. We want to come up with something that keeps the trash hidden but won’t pinch fingers.

The fluctuations in temperature in the temporary showers is fixed and the water is perfect. We also changed out shower heads in the family locker room so there is more pressure in those showers.

Thank you.

Paula Neubert
President/General Manager

Women’s Locker Room Remodel Update August 4

We are nearing the end of our women’s locker room remodel:

  • The fluctuation in hot/cold temperatures in the temporary showers is being fixed tonight
  • We are installing new shower heads in the family locker rooms to increase the water pressure
  • LED lighting in the main dry vanity was installed last week. The shadowing has disappeared. The brightness of the lighting will burn down slightly over the next couple weeks
  • We are pouring concrete for the whirlpool on Monday
  • Prep work for the tile was completed this week
  • We will begin laying tile tomorrow and all of next week
  • Plumbing for new drinking fountain has been completed
  • We are rebuilding the motor for the women’s steam room during the remodel

Thank you.

Paula Neubert
President/General Manager