February in Review
February saw some winter sports seasons come to an end and others continue into the playoffs. Our high school athlete population continues to grow and we had the opportunity to start some new participants in our Cerebral Palsy research project.
This review by no means encompasses the extent of accomplishments of our entire community but rather highlights a handful of events and successes from this past month. If you know someone who deserves recognition in future editions, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 4th – Matty Johnson and Sam Bolinsky Commitments
Matty and Sam have been integral members of the Nashoba football program for the last several years. After successful senior seasons culminating in the Super Bowl victory, Matty and Sam had interest from several different college football programs. Ultimately, Matty chose Endicott and Sam chose Assumption. I’m excited to have them close by so that I can make it to games to see them play.
February 17th – Umass Lowell Powerlifting Visit
On Saturday, February 17th, Dan, Brendan, and Doug, powerlifters at UMass Lowell came out to lift with our Special Olympics program. Dan has a record deadlift and effortlessly was pulling reps over 600 pounds for several sets. We’re looking forward to collaborating with this group in the future and getting more of their members involved.
February 19th - 8th Grade Strength and Conditioning Program
While we’ve had a lot of 8th graders training with us over the years, we’ve recently added an 8th grade strength and conditioning class as a transition into high school lifting. While our middle school classes introduce similar movements, this program allows for greater attention to strength work. With high school programs integrating strength and conditioning programs with minimal guidance, I want my athletes to have the knowledge and skill set to perform these workouts safely and effectively.
February 23rd – Dennis Peary wins American East Heptathlon and sets School Record
Dennis began interning for me this Fall. I am incredibly grateful that he ended up in Lancaster as he’s been a great coach, mentor for the kids, and friend. A couple weeks ago he got accepted into Tufts Doctorate of Occupational Therapy program that starts this Summer. An exciting, yet bittersweet accomplishment, as it means we won’t see him at the gym as much. I should’ve written a bad recommendation…
If you were to talk to him about track he would never mention his own ability. Of course it was through a UMass Lowell athletics tweet that I heard how he won the Heptathlon and set a school record. The work ethic, humility, and personality that he has brought to the gym is the type of coach I’ve been looking for the last few years.
February 25th – Perkins Fitness Program Starts
The Perkins School has both day-students and a residential program. The latter being a group that I’ve hoped to work with since I opened. This finally came to fruition earlier this month and on the 25th, we began the first session of our 8 week pilot fitness program. We’ll be working with 7 students from Perkins on all things fitness and nutrition.
February 26th – Ben Myers Media
This past week I was putting together a playlist for the Instagram page of all the videos Ben has made for me; which allowed me to reflect on how much value he has brought to the gym. He has played a large role in the number of followers the page has gotten over the last six months and we have some really cool projects lined up for the Spring.
To view some of his videos, check out our Instagram page @unified.hp
February 28th – Mia Caligaris accepted into NYC Marathon
Last year I helped Mia train for the Boston Marathon. She put together a fantastic training cycle, finishing her 20 mile training run at a pace significantly faster than any marathon she had run. All things were trending upwards until she got sick the week before the marathon, which made breathing difficult. This, coupled with the monsoon-like weather, prevented her from achieving what she had worked so hard for. As a running coach there are so many unpredictable pieces to training. I was excited to get a text on Wednesday “Ready to help me give my marathon PR another shot?”Mia had been accepted into the NYC Marathon lottery. With a race date of November 3rd, training will ramp up over the Summer but I’m looking forward to begin laying down a strong foundation for her training cycle.
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