Fitness: Discover the AVAC® Difference!

AbsoluteFIT with Lydia: Who’s In Your AbsoluteFIT Session? 

via – Lydia M, AVAC’s AbsoluteFIT Blogger

There’s not really a “type” of person who does AbsoluteFIT, except the type who wants a good workout!

trx straps

If you’re wondering whether AbsoluteFIT would be the place for you — well, you know I’m gonna say of course it is!

That’s because there’s not really a “type” of person who does AbsoluteFIT. The people who come are a broad mix of ages and fitness levels, and the trainers are great at adapting the exercises to the individual. This morning’s 9:00 a.m. Strength and Endurance session, with trainer Marie, had five participants:

  • Two men
  • Three women 
  • One person who is also a trainer
  • Two experienced AbsoluteFIT veterans
  • Two people brand-new to AbsoluteFIT workouts
  • An age range from late 20s to early 50s
  • Three parents of young children
  • Five people who came in to work out hard and have a good time

Just show up — you’ll fit right in!

—Lydia M.

 Lydia Markoff is an Almaden-area writer, mom, and fitness enthusiast with Texas roots, a New York education, and a Californian heart. She plays bass, reads a lot, watches too much TV, and can be found in the AbsoluteFIT studio three to five times a week. Her life goals include having a body like Linda Hamilton’s in Terminator 2, and/or having Bill Murray randomly crash a party she is attending. If you need something from her, try bribing her with good coffee or cold beer; odds are, she wants one or the other of those right now. 

Come Blaze Some Trails With AVAC®


Looking to share in some outdoor adventures with other like-minded individuals? We’ve got the answer!
The AVAC® Hike Club is open to All AVAC® members as well as their friends and family. Hiking is a fantastic way to burn calories and stay limber and strong. It’s something that can be done at your own pace, and uses minimal equipment. Even better, you can find your Zen in the peace and quiet of the outdoors.

When | 1st Sunday of each month at 9 am

Where | We’ll meet at various hiking trail heads throughout the San Jose South Bay Area, specifically hiking trails within an 8-mile vicinity of AVAC®

Details | Destination will be determined prior to the day of each hike. Meet up time is 9 am, the hike will start promptly at 9:10 am. Please plan accordingly 🙂

RSVP | It’s easy! Simply email Becky Smothermon or any hike leader.

Hike #1: “Quicksilver Park — Historic Trail” | Sunday, August 7 @ 9 am
Hike Leader: Jon Cebula (jcebula@avac.us)

AVAC’s David Crain Accounts TWA Flight 800 After 20 Years

AVAC’s Senior Tennis Pro, David Crain, was quoted in this recent article in the Long Island Press remembering TWA’s Flight 800 on it’s 20th anniversary of it’s explosion. The debate over the cause of the tragedy rages on to this day.

via – Long Island Press | By Ana Borruto

TWA Flight 800 Remembered on 20th Anniversary


Sunday marks 20 years since TWA Flight 800 exploded over the Atlantic Ocean several miles off Long Island, killing all 230 on board, yet the debate over the exact cause of the tragedy rages on.

The anniversary has brought new attention to old questions regarding whether terrorism, so-called “friendly fire,” or a technological malfunction brought the plane down. Theories have circulated since the disaster that Flight 800’s demise was the result of an errant missile fired by the U.S. Navy, or a terrorist. Victims’ families and loved ones joined first responders Sunday honoring all those who lost their lives.

“Sometimes I go ‘Well, why me? Why did I survive and then my friends did not?’” said David Crane, a former TWA flight attendant who was on the same plane days before it crashed. He said flight attendants went through more advanced training after the crash. “It went from ‘How to handle hijackers’ to how to handle ‘if you survive, if there is a bomb on board,’ which is a totally different scenario.”

The Boeing 747 destined for Paris fell from the sky 12 minutes after taking off from John F. Kennedy International Airport on the night of July 17, 1996. It ranks as the third-deadliest aviation accident in U.S. history. The victims are remembered at the TWA Flight 800 International Memorial at Smith Point County Park in Shirley.

Among those hosting memorial events is Barry Donadio, who was an EMT at the time. He responded to the crash site after he and other first responders were told there were survivors. But once on the scene, they soon realized the sad reality that there were no survivors, as the bodies of passengers and crew members were brought ashore.

“There are times you can be the best EMT, doctor, or whatever you are, and there’s sometimes nothing you can do other than pray for somebody,” Donadio said.

The victims included 16 members of a Pennsylvania high school French club, American composer David Hogan and Jack O’Hara, executive producer of ABC Sports.

Christine Negroni, an aviation journalist who was at the scene for six weeks covering the crash for CNN, recalled that she was on one of TWA’s 747s to Rome two weeks before the crash.

“It feels very personal when you [try to] imagine what it was like to be those people,” Negroni said. “I did think about that quite a bit when I was out at the scene for CNN.”

Negroni is the author of The Crash Detectives: Investigating the World’s Most Mysterious Air Disasters, which is due out in September, one of several books that explore the cause of Flight 800. Negroni doubts theories that a missile brought down the plane, as some witnesses have said. Four years after the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the likely culprit was an electrical malfunction causing the fuel tank to explode.

“Problems have been solved,” Negroni said. “Every catastrophe creates an opportunity to make a safer airplane.”

Another book, TWA Flight 800: The Crash, The Cover-up, and The Conspiracy, by journalist Jack Cashill, released July 5, revisits theories that the plane was brought down by terrorists, by the U.S. military, or other means besides the NTSB’s narrative.

But regardless of what brought the plane down, the victims’ friends and family hope the anniversary will help bring closure, while keeping their loved ones’ memories alive.

A Little Bit of Hope and Joy

family giving tree 2016

via – Sheena Dinga, AVAC Swim School®

The Family Giving Tree was started 25 years ago as an MBA project from SJSU students who were asked “to create a program that adds value to someone else’s life.” Jennifer Cullenbine and Todd Yoshida did just that. It has gone from project to non-profit helping children in low income areas get holiday gifts and school supplies.

In 2014 with the help of non-profits, schools and individuals they were able to collect more than 32,000 supply-filled backpacks for children throughout the greater bay area. Working in a facility with kids, we can see there are some children that need this kind of help to make sure they can get the education they deserve. Having the opportunity to give back like this is something we look forward to every year. AVAC® has been leading drives for The Family Giving Tree for the last 3 years and, with our families, have proudly been able to contribute 80-100 Backpacks to their cause each year.

If you would like to contribute to the cause you can donate money here https://fundraise.familygivingtree.org/checkout/donation?eid=76957 or come by the AVAC Swim School® and pick up a supply list to fill a backpack. Can’t wait to see how many backpacks we can donate this year!

Backpacks need to be in by July 31st!


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AbsoluteFIT with Lydia: Fighting the Allure of Screen Time, AbsoluteFIT-Style

via – Lydia M, AVAC’s AbsoluteFIT Blogger

The kids and I both need a break from screen time, and AbsoluteFIT is the key.

Summertime, and every parent is complaining about their kids’ screen time … usually while the parent is looking at his or her own iPhone. Heh. (Surely that’s not just me?)

They need a break — from Minecraft, Nick Jr., and RoBlox — and I need one from Facebook, Previously.TV, and the scrolling blue hellsite that is tumblr. It’s so easy to lose track of time, to just check one more thing, finish one more game, watch one more episode, read one more article, and then you look up and it’s time for dinner — where the heck did the day go?

But! AbsoluteFIT is the single guaranteed screen-free 45 minute block of my day. It’s the one time I’m absolutely certain to focus on something other than my computer or phone, the one time I’m definitely going to be moving, breathing, stretching — and talking to real people, not just iChatting.

And the kids come with me to the awesome new childcare downstairs, where they’re guaranteed to be around other kids. Now, my 8-year-old takes the iPad — but she sits with other kids, explains what she’s doing, teaches them the game, takes suggestions from her audience, so it’s a least a little bit social. And the 4-year-old gets to burn off his abundant energy and bomb around with friends for awhile.

We are all better for it, even if, when we leave, it’s to go Pokemon hunting …

—Lydia M.