March Member of the Month – Rodolfo Hillen

It is our pleasure to recognize Rodolfo Hillen as the CV Fitness Member of the month.  Rodolfo has been a CVF member for 4 years.  He is married with two daughters, ages 15 and 11.  He is a Solution Architect for Amazon Web Services (AWS). He likes to read, movies, technology, travel and cooking.  Ask him about how to use a spice and he always has an answer.

He first came to CVF looking for a more personalized experience where he could get planned workouts, coaching and guidance.  He also wanted to avoid injury that can be caused by not using proper form when exercising.  He has seen improvement in his strength, flexibility and posture.

In the last year he suffered a bulging disc in his lower spine which caused severe pain in his sciatica.   He avoided surgery and after 6 weeks of physical therapy (after a month of being flat on his back), he was able to get back to the gym.  He feels that his time in the gym before the injury helped him during his physical therapy.  After returning to CVF his workouts included extended stretching and more which allowed him to get back 100%.  This experience has reinforced the importance of a healthy body and the ability to move well.

The three words that describes Rodolfo’s experience at CVF are “positive, supportive and community.”

January 2020 Member of the Month – Diana Zankowsky

It is our pleasure to recognize Diana Zankowsky as the CV Fitness Member of the Month.

Diana has been a member for 1+ years.   She found CVF through Facebook.  Her initial goal was to work on her balance and build her strength.  She is also working to improve her bone density.  She has made great progress which was recently demonstrated when she was able to help lift up and move her washing machine. She has set a 200+ lb. deadlift as her January goal.  We are confident she will meet (if not beat) that goal!

Diana is very busy.  She works part time and volunteers a great deal.  You may see her picking up trash on Castro Valley Boulevard.  She is a member of her Synagogue’s governing Board, she teaches at the Synagogue and if that isn’t enough, she mentors student Rabbis. In her free time (not sure when that is) she likes to read.  She has two grown children and a daughter-in-law.

The three words Diana uses to describe her experience at CVF are “enjoyable”, “community” and “challenging”.

Member of the Month December 2019 – Stephanie Corliss

It is our pleasure to recognize Stephanie Corliss as the CV Fitness Member of the month.

Stephanie has been a member for 1 ½ years. She is a Social Worker with two bunnies as pets – Olive and Arthur. We have learned so much about bunnies since she joined CVF. She found CVF through Yelp and participates in Boot Camp on a regular basis. She was looking for a place close to home, would fit with her work schedule and was fun. She wanted something group based, with a community, something that would bring her in and keep her coming in.

Her initial goal was to work out consistently to reduce her work stress and to get strong. It is important to her to be mobile as she ages. Her current goal is to just get stronger. She is well on her way to meeting that goal.

She likes the exercise variety in Boot Camp and her sense of humor really adds to the fun.

The three words Stephanie uses to describe her experience at CVF are “challenging”, “fun” and “community”.

November Member of the Month – Lenese Ross

It is our pleasure to recognize Lenese Ross as the CV Fitness Member of the month.

Lenese has been a member of CVF for two years.  She is a Nurse Educator at Kaiser Permanente.  She likes gardening and traveling – she visited Rome and Paris this year.

Her original goal was to do something different than what she could do at 24-Hour Fitness.  She wants to lose weight and gain muscle definition.  Since joining CVF she feels stronger and is making progress towards that muscle definition.  She has more energy and is able to spend more time gardening.

She likes the custom workouts based on her goals and the personal attention she receives in smaller training sessions.

The three words Lenese uses to describe her experience at CVF are “personalized”, “fun” and “challenging”.

October Member of the Month – Carla Francis

It is our pleasure to recognize Carla Francis as the CV Fitness Member of the Month.  Carla has been a member for a year and a half.  She joined CVF because she thought about doing personal training, saw the gym while filling up her car and came in to see what CVF was all about.  Her goals were to build strength, power and endurance so she could play Racquet Ball with men.

Since joining CVF she finds her strength and endurance has increased — she’s faster on the court.  There are others she plays with who have commented on how much faster she has become. She has better reaction and movement to the ball.  She used to have monthly Micro Fascial treatments and those are no longer needed. She finds her balance is better and it’s easier to walk upstairs.

Carla is one busy person…..not only does she do personal training, she plays Racquet Ball (both in Singles and Doubles Leagues) and competitive Bridge twice a week – sometimes all on the same day!  In additional to her Leagues, she plays in monthly Racquet Ball tournaments. She also participates in four Regional Bridge tournaments and one National tournament each year.

Her goal is to continue her very busy life style for as long as possible and to make it past a 195lb deadlift.

The three words Carla uses to describe her experience at CVF are “consistency”, “improvement” and “community”.

September Member of the Month – Nina Squillante

It is our pleasure to recognize Nina Squillante as the Castro Valley Fitness Member of the Month.  Nina has been a member for a year and a half.  She joined CVF because she had to do something to feel healthier and stronger. She feels she’s received more support than she imagined for both her physical and mental health.

Nina participated in the recent Powerlifting for Puppies Meet.  This was a stretch goal for her because she didn’t think she could do it.  It was empowering to train for it and to make a personal record on her squat. She felt very supported every step of the way.  She especially liked the comradery in the gym during the Meet.  Since she participated in the Meet she has been more willing to take risks in her personal life and in the gym (attempting higher weights or a new exercise).  She liked having a goal to work towards and sees the potential for more success in the future.  Transitioning from the trap bar to the straight bar for her deadlift was a challenge. Nina listened to the cues and kept working to improve her form each time.  There was great excitement when her new weight belt was delivered!

Her new goals are to participate in the next Powerlifting for Puppies Meet, hit a 200 lbs deadlift, add 5 lbs to her bench, and get down to depth on her squat. There is no doubt that with her work ethic, she’ll make those goals and then some.

Since joining Castro Valley Fitness she finds she moves better.  She lifts things from the floor safely.  She is more conscious of her body, balance, stability and posture. The three words she uses to describe CVF are “supportive”, “fun”, and “empowering”.

August Member of the Month – June Bovenzi

It is our pleasure to recognize June Bovenzi as the CV Fitness Member of the month. June joined CVF almost six years ago after a referral by Carla Mill. Her first goal was to walk (especially stairs) without her knees hurting. She saw improvement and could walk much easier in less than a year. She has found that patience and consistency are the keys to success. She was just able to do the three flights of stairs from the Civic Center BART station to the street and then the flights of stairs to the Balcony of the Orpheum Theatre – a few short years ago she would not have been able to do that.

Earlier this year she decided to compete in our Powerlifting for Puppies event in July. She liked having something specific to work towards and it helped her look forward to her workouts. She felt she had increased her strength and was in a position now to compete against herself. She wanted to push herself as she had never participated in a Powerlifting Meet before. Her hard work paid off and she was elated to meet all of her lifting goals. She wishes now that she had added 5 pounds to her deadlift. It was very empowering to watch her lift more weight than she had done before. She kept telling herself “I can’t believe I just did that!”   This experience has made her want to keep getting better so she will be ready for the next Meet. We are looking forward to sharing that experience with her.

She finds the CVF community supportive and non-judgmental. The three words she uses to describe CVF are “acceptance, friendly and encouraging.”

July Member of the Month – Zelinda Zingaro

Castro Valley Fitness Member of the Month Zelinda Zingaro

It is our pleasure to recognize Zelinda Zingaro (better known as “Zee”) as the CV Fitness Member of the month for July 2019.

Zee is a retired University Educator who joined CVF five years ago after moving to Castro Valley the year before.  She joined as an opportunity to make friends and improve her strength.  You’ll find Zee usually during a morning session with her partner Jim Gomes.  She suggests that everyone have a work out buddy to share the experience with.

Her goal is to continue building her strength and balance. She feels that setting a schedule and keeping to it helps her and others to be consistent.

Her advice is not to expect a physical transformation immediately – to look for other things to determine progress.  It’s okay to take longer breaks in your program and recommends doing more stretching.

Zee is a world traveler and always has great stories about her travels.

She finds the diversity of ages at CVF really fun. The three words that describe her experience are “enriching, fun, and satisfying”.  CVF is her happy place.

May Member of the Month – Kathy Viera

Castro Valley Fitness May Member of the Month Kathy Viera

It is our pleasure to recognize Kathy Vieira as the CV Fitness Member of the month for May 2019.  Kathy was one of the “dance Moms” and saw CVF as she was waiting for her daughter’s dance class to end (FYI: she’s no longer a “dance mom”).  She decided to join about 2 ½ years ago with a goal to get stronger.  She wanted to fight the genetics and be stronger than her parents.

Kathy is not only a mother, spouse, and teacher; but also helps manage estate sales.  This requires her to lift furniture and boxes.  Achieving a 150lb deadlift assures she can handle that job just fine. She has found her added strength to be very empowering. On a recent plane trip she surprised a fellow passenger by being able to put her suitcase in the overhead compartment without help. You Go Girl!

Kathy has been dealing with some pretty tough family health issues.  This has caused significant stress in her life.  Throughout it all, she rarely misses a workout.  She is always positive with a smile on her face.  She finds CVF as a place where she can concentrate on herself and de-stress.  The very positive and family oriented environment is where she knows she’ll find support.

The three words she uses to describe her experience at CVF are “positive”, “inspirational” and “fun”.  Kathy, you are an inspiration to all of us at CVF!

April Member of the Month – Eric Nelson

It is our pleasure to recognize Eric Nelson as the CV Fitness Member of the month for April 2019.

Eric joined CVF a little over a year ago after listening to one of Mitch’s presentations.  He had back pain and a hurt ankle that were restricting him from doing the things he loved – playing baseball, golf, and hiking.  He thought he would have to give these things up because they had become too painful, but his performance has actually improved.

CVF has helped him gain confidence to do physical things without being afraid of immediate pain.  He is no longer tentative and he doesn’t think about his back every time he moves.  He has experienced gradual and steady improvement and is confident there is more to come.  His improvement is so much more than he expected.

He is consistent with his workouts as he wants to stay healthy and feel better — and there is no disputing the results.

He enjoys the CVF community.  His three words that describe his experience are “steady, positive and satisfying.”