We are only as great as our members!
Every month we recognize one or two of the many unique, friendly, and hard-working individuals who are choosing to make their wellness a priority at the Duke Center for Living at Fearrington.
December 2016 – Sheila Peluso
Sheila grew up in Brooklyn, New York and attended Brooklyn College where she studied Economics. After college she went to work in quality control for Coca Cola which led her to working in quality control for a pharmaceutical company. Sheila went back to school to get her graduate degree in Statistics from Rutgers and met her husband while doing it! After school she continued her career working in the pharmaceutical industry as a data analyst for clinical trials. Sheila moved to North Carolina in 2001 and has been here ever since!
Sheila originally started exercising at UNC Wellness at Meadowmont after completing physical therapy there. She eventually joined DCFL in 2009 because it was a more convenient commute from home, and she’s now been a member with us for over 7 years! Sheila enjoys swimming in the pool, trying out new classes, and she recently started resistance training with one of our personal trainers. She says the desire to improve her walking and overall physical fitness keeps her motivated to continue. Sheila is always trying out new classes and attending clinics to learn new exercises and ways to challenge herself despite the challenges she faces with her leg injury. You may find Sheila swimming in the pool, in a group exercise class or working out on the machines. If you see her tell her to keep up the great work!
November 2016 – Matthew Leavitt
Matthew is originally from New York City but has lived in Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Maine, and now resides in Fearrington Village. His first career was in survey and market research and in his second career he owned computer stores while residing in Maine. Matthew originally joined DCFL because it was recommended he start a non weight-bearing exercise program to alleviate some of his back pain. He started working out in the pool, then he added yoga classes to his routine and then cardio machines.
He now combines all three and has been a member with us for 7 years! Matthew has lost 40 pounds since he first joined DCFL and is motivated to continue his program here so he can keep his weight down and extend the productive part of his life. Matthew says he frequently recommends DCFL to others because of its friendly staff, great yoga classes, variety of other classes, pool, hot tub, and state of the art equipment. You can find Matthew getting his 45 minutes of cardio in on the treadmill or the Arc trainer, balancing on the BOSU ball, relaxing in the hot tub or a yoga class.
If you see him, tell him to keep up the great work!
October 2016 – Phyllis and Richard Beane
Phyllis is a Jersey girl but has spent most her life in North Carolina. She was a school teacher in New Jersey, Washington D.C., and in Rochester, NY. Phyllis also served as a volunteer on several school boards and commissions in Chapel Hill and Orange County. Richard was born in Roanoke, VA and has worked as a private practice Orthodontist for many years. He also has taught college full and part-time throughout his career and is currently on the adjunct faculty at UNC.
Phyllis and Richard have been members at DCFL for three years now and love that it is a close and convenient commute from home. They both believe that exercise is the key to well-being and work to maintain physical and mental health with an active, independent life style. Phyllis and Richard say that their regular attendance at DCFL has helped them maintain their well-being and the variety of excellent classes and programs keeps them motivated to continue. They believe that the staff is wonderful, well trained, helpful and encouraging, and would definitely recommend DCFL to others. You may see Phyllis in one of the many aqua aerobics classes, Yoga, or stretch classes. The aqua classes are her favorite and she believes that there is something medicinal about them. You can find Richard working on one of the exercise machines, lifting free weights, in the pool, or running on the indoor track. He finds the free weights most beneficial for building and maintaining upper body strength. Next time you see Richard and Phyllis be sure to say hello and keep up the great work!
September 2016 – Claire H. Brown
Claire was born in Westport, Connecticut where she spent many years of her childhood and teenage years. She also spent three years of school in Montreal, Canada where she attended a French convent and quickly learned to speak French because it was mandatory to do so at the dinner table or you didn’t eat. After high school Claire joined the US Marine Corps and was stationed in Santa Ana, California for two years. After the Marines, Claire worked in early television for the BBDO advertising agency for twelve years.
Claire and her husband raised many kids and after the youngest was gone she went back to school at age 48 and attended the University of Connecticut at Stamford where she studied English Literature. Claire became a role model for women going back to school and ended up graduating Phi Beta Kappa. She even has the necklace to prove it! After winning a battle with lung cancer, Claire’s doctor suggested DCFL. She joined in 2005 and has been exercising with us every since. Claire says the fear of stopping keeps her motivated to continue and it must be working because at age 92 she’s still going strong! You can find Claire keeping the fitness instructors on their toes in the Senior Fitness classes and if you see her, ask her to tell you a joke, she knows a few good ones.
August 2016 – Gary Piontak and Ken Edwards
Ken and Gary AKA “Huff and Puff”, both hail from Chicago where they wrestled junkyard dogs, sang the blues, and befriended Bad Bad Leroy Brown. Gary first joined DCFL as an employee of the Member Services team.
Gary worked for us for two years and since retiring he has become a regular face here at DCFL. He noticed while working at DCFL there were a lot of heavy things to pick up in the gym, so naturally he decided it would be a good goal to pick them all up and put them back down. He’s still hard at work. Gary is motivated by the faces he sees at the gym. “They are doing as much as they can for as long as they can.” He’s very grateful to the personal trainer at DCFL that gave him the skills to swim open water…and best of all, he likes the way he looks in those tinted goggles.
Ken is naturally adventurous so he rightfully joined DCFL on a quest for a new adventure. Ken has been “living the dream” with us for three and a half years now. He says equal parts fear and vanity keep him motivated to continue, as well as seeing others older than himself continue to stay fit no matter their physical or mental challenges. You can find Huff and Puff working hard lifting all the heavy weights here at DCFL, or you may see them zoom by on a run around Fearrington. Don’t blink or you’ll miss them. They are terrific members and an inspiration to watch, so if you see them, tell them to keep up the hard work!
July 2016 – Gerry Taschabold
Gerry recently moved to Pittsboro with his wife in 2013 from southern Maryland after retiring from a 44 year career in Naval Engineering. During his career Gerry worked for the Department of Defense, the U.S. Navy, and Northrup Grumman on projects to modernize naval warships and airplanes such as the V-22 Osprey. In his last job, Gerry worked as a consultant to the maintenance staff of the Navy’s Blue Angels. He is most proud of his work in helping to design the USS Bunker Hill, the San Antonio-class amphibious ship, and the Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier.
Gerry joined DCFL this past August after being introduced during his first physical therapy session. He was very impressed with the facility, pool, whirlpool, indoor track, and felt it would be great to help him continue his exercise after completing physical therapy. Gerry is motivated to be as fit as he can at his age and with a disability. Since being at DCFL he has seen results in better maintenance of his weight and has more agility and self confidence. He really enjoys meeting like-minded people with interesting stories and has become friends with many members and staff at DCFL. He has also enjoyed learning in classes such as Total Brain Health and Healthy Cooking. You can find Gerry pedaling away on one of the recumbent bikes, Nu-Steps, walking on the track upstairs, or in the pool.
June 2016 – Ray and Cathy Morehead
Ray and Cathy recently moved to North Carolina this past March from West Virginia. Ray writes computer code and Cathy’s professional background is in healthcare. Both Ray and Cathy joined DCFL the day they moved here and love it because it is a beautiful facility within such close proximity to their house. They love that everyone knows their name when they come in and are constantly meeting new people and making new connections.
Exercise has been a big part of Ray and Cathy’s routine for many years. They say that it is easy to stay motivated at DCFL because there is a great variety of classes and the staff is always helpful if you need some new ideas for your routine. They are motivated to stay as fit as possible for as long as they can and have been seeing great results since they joined DCFL. You may see Ray hard at work lifting weights, on the elliptical, or in spin class. You can find Cathy swimming laps in the pool or taking Pilates, Yoga, and Tai Chi classes. She also just finished our first Total Brain Health: Brain Workout class, and enjoyed it very much!
May 2016 – Teenie Sanders
Teenie grew up in Montclair, New Jersey. She was a stay at home mom of 5 children. Teenie joined DCFL when the center first opened and has been a member for 10 years. She joined because she had a stroke and lost some of her vision. She needed a place to workout where help was available when she needed it. She loves to walk on the treadmill and also works with a personal trainer 3 times per week on strength, core, and balance exercises.
Teenie appreciates the motivation of the staff. She was never a great athlete growing up, and really enjoys what she does in the gym. Teenie doesn’t let her limitations with vision interfere with her exercise routine. Teenie says her health and wellbeing are great because of DCFL, and that she would go back to being a couch potato if she didn’t have this great facility. She highly recommends DCFL to others and says the staff is awesome!