Fit Family: the Serenyis

cuteDSC_4696Steve and Christy Serenyis joined GATC ten years ago, just a few months after they were married. Christy: When we moved south of Denver I wanted a good club with some intense classes. I picked GATC primarily because of the class options. We didn’t have children when we first joined, but I had heard the GATC kids programs were really good. I did the Outdoor Fit classes and loved them. A group of five or six of us really bonded last year. We wanted to keep working out really hard so we joined Boxing Babes. Now our group has grown and we participate in PWRFIT with Brandon. I like a teacher that pushes me. PWRFIT has great music and Brandon works us really hard. For Barre, it is the same thing. Christine or Chrissy are both great teachers with some really good high energy flow music.

Steve comes three times a week, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, and focuses on the weight room and maybe some stair-master work. Christy: The staff in the Kids’ Club is special. They are so understanding and forgiving to the moms when we are tired and dropping off our kids quickly. Not that they know us, it is as simple as opening the door, the kids run in and you run away. I have witnessed crying kids and crying moms with the staff saying “We got this, just go” and I have assured other mothers “they will find you if there is a problem.”

Christy and Steve also speak highly of Little Lobbers instructor, Lisa Thomas. They feel that Lisa is good at engaging even challenging kids. She loves them even when they have bad days as kids do. If Christy wasn’t there at the end of Little Lobbers, Lisa knew she was in a class and took her child back to the Kids Club.

Nine-year old Anna just joined the Greenwood Tiger Shark swim team, but also plays tennis and soccer. Anna likes school (third grade) and is great at everything. MarcuteDSC_4737shall is seven and in second grade. He is an excellent reader, well above his age group. He participated in Little Lobbers with Lisa and has taken Stroke School. Harrison is five and has done a lot here at the club. He is in his third year of Little Lobbers with Lisa. He loves everything and Trish has helped him be really good at swimming.

MacKenzie is the youngest at two and a half. She loves Kids’ Club and taking swim lessons with Trish too. Christy: I often think of my mother’s regret. She wishes now that she had taken time for her own needs while raising children. I tell my friends, take just one hour; your kids will be fine. My husband sees that because I work out, I am a lot happier. I know Steve is happier because he works out and we want our children to find happiness and be healthy too. I like the community here. Since GATC is smaller, a lot of us recognize each other. I think the community creates more respect for each other – it is cleaner, neater and friendlier. I tell people to come here all the time!

Fit Family

When Tony and Natalie Plant first joined Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club two years ago, “the best part of your day” seemed a rather large promise.
Not anymore.
“I think it is true! We are here almost every day and even had Dylan’s birthday party here.  It is a home away from home.  We hFavorite 2ave gotten to know members slowly over two years and now we know many people.  It is nice to see other parents by the pool or other members in class, to know them on a first name basis and wave “hello” as we walk in the door. It is all very welcoming.”
It is natural for Natalie and Tony to incorporate fitness as a family. In the 15 years they have been married, working out and a healthy lifestyle has been part of their lives.
“Fitness is important – when we don’t work out we feel yucky. We need it emotionally and physically.  We also want to be in good shape and live a long time.  We eat well too and cook together as a family.”
Prior to joining GATC two years ago, they were members at Lifetime Fitness and CORE power yoga.  Natalie was pregnant with her second child when they started their search for a new fitness home.
“I thought I really needed something great to get back in shape.  Greenwood has everything we were getting from two locations.  There is also more of a family and community vibe here.  We just like the atmosphere and energy here.
Dylan (5) wants to come to his tennis lessons with Coach Lisa and basketball lessons with Coach Brian. He asks to come to YAC; the staff members that supervise know Dylan and he knows them.  He feels wanted there and that is important. Both Dylan and Jameson (18 months) take swim lessons, Jameson with her father.”
When asked why Dylan likes basketball, Natalie said: “Coach Brian has a way of talking to them.  He doesn’t treat them like babies.  Coach Brian treats Dylan like he is really playing basketball.”
Tony’s work in commercial insurance  takes him out of town 1-4 days a week, but GATC is often the last stop on the  way to the airport and first stop on the  way home.
With Dylan and Jameson in good hands, Natalie can focus on taking care oFavoritef herself. Yoga classes are her favorite but Natalie also participates in Indoor Cycling, cardio, weights and tennis lessons. Tony mainly utilizes the weights, cardio and yoga. The pool is a family favorite all summer long!
They have so many good things to say about so many staff members. For Natalie, “Amy (Baker) really inspires me with how much she is (successfully) juggling as a mom herself. She is here all the time, teaching, working out.  I look up to that. Lana is also a great example and she feels like a friend to me now. She inspires me to get here more.”
“We want our kids to grow up here.  In addition to school and our Highlands Ranch neighborhood, we want to have GATC as one of the communities where they have friends.”


Okay. Picture this.

You are a camp counselor and today just isn’t your day. Your car breaks down on the way to work; you forget your coffee; you prick yourself with your name tag; the kids seem as tired as you are and cannot agree on a game to play; you get hit in the face with dodge balls at least four times before you vow to stop counting; and by the time your shift is over, your feet hurt, your head aches, and frustration pulses through you.

I hate to say it, but these days do happen. They are greatly outnumbered by the good moments, don’t get me wrong, but when the stress of kid care sneaks up on you, it can be overwhelming to say the least.

However, if you are overcome with this wave of emotion on a Tuesday, you’re in luck! It is a Camp Greenwood tradition for coworkers to unite one day a week to exhale any stress that the day has entailed, reminisce on the high points, and catch up in a relaxed environment. So every Tuesday, we gather at Buffalo Wild Wings to bond over the sticky spice of hot wings.

Much like the intensity of our days at camp, the sauces have a wide range of flavors, spanning from “Sweet BBQ,” which leaves you smiling and licking your fingers, to the fiery insanity that is “Blazin’,” which results in tears on your face, sweat on your forehead, and, well, if you get it in your eye…just ask Lindsey. :)

I tend to stay within the greenish-yellow area on the scale of spiciness at Buffalo Wild Wings because it is safe and comfortable, much like those camp days where the pool feels warm, the kids get along, and there is no reason to fill out an accident report. These days pass by fluidly, but as much as I appreciate the cooperation…it is the little pinch of spice that keeps us on our toes.

Last Tuesday, I caved to the peer pressure of my coworkers and tried a wing that was coated…no, dripping, with “Blazin’” sauce. Upon initially experiencing the subtle tickle in my throat and on my lips, I thought I could handle the impending blaze. But with the passing of each second, as the tickle crept through my sinuses and intensified, I braced myself. Unfortunately for me, no amount of warning could have prepared me for the heat that hijacked my senses.

Basically, I felt like I had just swallowed the sun.

But after a few everlasting minutes, some encouraging words, and a handful of ice cubes later, I was proud to have survived the Blazin’ hot wing.

Just like at the end of a demanding day at camp, I was left with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that I would have never been exposed to had I never faced the challenge. The intense moments allow us to appreciate the steady ones that much more.

Will I ever eat a hot wing that spicy again? Absolutely not.

But at the very least, I know that despite camp’s daily trials and tribulations, we, as counselors, can handle them…and at the end of the day, they help us grow.

After all, it is the sugar and the spice that makes our job so rewarding.


On Tuesday, the 11th, 108 campers attended Camp Greenwood.

It would be easy to say “Wow! That is a lot of kids,” and then go about your day. And you wouldn’t be wrong, that is a lot of kids. But this number, albeit large, fails to adequately embody the 108 souls that it represents.

This three digit number is meant to encompass 108 people; one with a scraped left knee from that one day on the playground when he fell off the slide. Another with blisters on her toes from practicing that flip in the pool until she did it perfectly.

108 different smiles—with wide gaps where wiggly teeth laid until eager fingers placed them beneath a pillow, each child awaiting the glint of a coin the next morning.

108 different outfits—some are flashy, fluorescent, and forward. Others simple, striped, and sweet.

108 different haircuts, mindsets, talents.

108 different worries, nightmares, and dreams.

108 different endings to the statement, “When I grow up, I want to be…”

108 different stories, all yet to be written.

108 different futures waiting to be fulfilled.

We, as counselors, look after dozens of campers each day. Sure, there are times when their faces seem to merge together. Moments when individual giggles blend to form one collective chorus of laughter.

But every now and then, a little red grouper looks up at you with beaming wide eyes and a crooked smile, or a blue grouper trips over his words as he excitedly tells you about that new science fact he learned, or the quiet girl from yellow group who, with watery eyes, so tightly squeezed her mother’s hands that morning, begging her not to leave, lets out a squeal and says “this is the best day ever.”

And it is in these moments that we pause, glance around, and notice the 108 unique, pure, irreplaceable human beings that surround us, no two children the same.

So yes…on Tuesday, 108 little pairs of feet scurried their way into Camp Greenwood. But, in reality, these four walls contained more energy, history, and life than one number could ever encompass.