With nearly 100 different classes and activities a week, The J, also known as the Jewish Community Center, plays a vital role in keeping our community healthy.
But don’t let the name deter you. “You don’t have to be Jewish to come in,” assures Fitness Director Ron Peacock. “Seventy-five percent of members and staff are non-Jewish. We open our arms to everyone. Come try it out. It’s a fun, friendly environment.”
A nationally certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor, Ron Peacock has been the fitness director at The J for a decade. “I love my job because I love helping people with fitness and health,” he says. It’s a big change from his days working in the mortgage industry, but now, he feels better when he goes home and looks forward to getting up each day.
According to Peacock, cross training, strength conditioning mixed with sports, suspension training and body pump are popular trends of the moment. Body pump is popular nationally as a group fitness class where instructors follow a designated routine to certain music. Another favored offering at The J that may not be as widely recognized is pickleball.
Pickleball is best described as a group game that mixes table tennis and racquetball. Utilizing a whiffle ball, teams serve back and forth over a net. “It’s pretty big right now,” says instructor Deborah Foster. “There are times we might get 20 to 30 people on the floor. It’s a low-impact sport, so it’s not as hard on your knees and bones,” she says.
Mark Eichengreen is a J member and avid pickleball player. He started playing almost three years ago and now plays six days a week. “I love it,” he exudes. “The best part is, I have met hundreds of people. This game is addictive, fun and competitive.”
New members receive a complimentary 30-minute session with a personal trainer. Sylvester Davis is one of the 13 personal trainers employed at The J. Since 2011, he’s been engaging members in dialogue about where they’re at and where they hope to be. A core component of that is educating the public on the fundamentals of movement and basic movement patterns that can be transferred to highly functional exercise and applied to daily life.
“I love training people because I like to see people achieve their fitness goals,” he relates.
“It’s rewarding to see someone accomplish something they’ve been after. Strength equates to independence. This is an investment in yourself; it will carry over to the outside. Being physically fit is the best insurance policy a person can have.”
With playgrounds, pools and teen groups, fitness can be a family affair at The J. Parents are free to drop their kiddos off at J Play, where they’ll be supervised for up to 90 minutes so you can get your daily work out in. The 13 personal trainers, 50 group instructors and 10 floor staff employees are always ready to help you along on your health journey.
The J has garnered high ratings and “best of” awards in the tri-state area and is quickly becoming known as one of the best all-around facilities. “The main thing that sets us apart,” describes Peacock, “is that we’re a one-stop shop. You can come here and there’s something for everyone to do.” VT
By Sara Giza.
3600 Dutchmans Lane