A Runner’s Story: Featuring Elizabeth Doop
Elizabeth Doop joined the WRAC along with her husband Ryan in October 2017 after they both participated in our ‘Take a Swing’ trial. Since joining, both Elizabeth and Ryan have utilized all aspects of the club: taking tennis lessons, participating in racquetball events, regularly attending group fitness classes and in March of 2019 - Elizabeth joined our Board of Directors.
This last November, Elizabeth participated in her FIRST half marathon in Palm Desert, CA - finishing in 3 hours and 33 minutes! After sharing the details of the event on her Facebook page, I reached out to Elizabeth to find out more. I wanted to know what inspired her to run the half marathon, how she trained for it, her favorite part of the experience, if she has any plans for future races and most importantly: if I could share her story! I can honestly say that after reading her response and seeing the great pictures that document her journey - I was truly inspired!
A HUGE thank you to Elizabeth for letting me share this story with all of you.
- Emma Bush, Membership Coordinator
“Where do I begin?!
I started 2019 off with Anja's Petterson's Couch to 5K program at the WRAC. After completing her program, I participated in the Lake Steven's Chamber of Commerce Chase the Leprechauns 5k.
Immediately following, I ran in the LA Big 5K at Dodger Stadium. It was while I was in LA at the LA Marathon Expo, that I learned of the USA Women's half marathon event. While exploring the other booths at the event, I talked it over with my husband, Ryan. I was excited about the possibility of doing the half marathon but I wasn't quite confident in my abilities yet. Ryan, being a distance runner himself, basically said I needed to get out of my head and sign up for the darn thing. SO I DID!!
Oh the anxiety that followed. Thankfully I had 8 months to prepare. For several months my focus was on getting comfortable running outside and learning how our local terrain and weather affected my performance. When I was ready to work on my mileage building, I found a 12 week training program online for guidance. During my training, I participated in my first 10K race, the University of Washington Dawg Dash, to test the waters of running a longer distance. Finally, the big day arrived and I have to say the best part of the event was the energy. Almost 3000 participants, all with encouraging attitudes running side by side. So much girl power!!
I've made plans to do another half marathon in May 2020, the Windermere Marathon in Spokane, WA.”
- Elizabeth Doop
When playing tennis and the points start getting more and more intense...
The tendency is to start gripping the handle harder and tighter. You will do your body a lot of good if you learn to relax your grip as the point continues. Not only will this help the rest of your body to relax but you will save your arm from future injuries. Wrist injuries and Tennis Elbow will be less common in your Tennis career by loosening your grip while playing.
Trying to elevate your game to the next level?
Learning to use your legs more by using a squatting position is a great way. When at the Kitchen Line to prevent your opponent from pushing you back behind it try to squat down for those shots right off the bounce instead of taking a step backwards. This will keep you at the Kitchen line for more points and keep you from giving your opponent and easy target by hitting your toes on the very next shot.
Clint Vidano, Head Tennis Pro and Pickleball Director
Head Tennis Pro and Pickleball Director
Have you started your end of the year check list?
What list am I talking about?
1. Should I get Disney +?
2. Did I get my Christmas cards out before December 25th?
3. I’ve moved and have a new address, I changed my email, I have a new credit card with a new expiration date or the one I’m using has a new expiration date, I have a new phone number.
4. The big question… I need to join a place with people that care about my health and Fitness and have Tennis, Racquetball, Pickle ball, amazing classes, massage and a fitness center where I can achieve all my fitness and nutritional goals, where do I find this?
. . . I can help you with these questions!
Yes, of course you need Disney in your life!! People always enjoy a Christmas/ New Year’s card.
Our end of the year check list at the WRAC is to provide our members with a place where people care about your health and Fitness. We have Tennis, Racquetball, Pickleball, swim instruction, amazing classes, Certified instructors, kids club, massage, Personal Trainers, and a fitness center where we can help you achieve all your fitness and nutritional goals. Did I mention our deli where our staff makes amazing smoothies, while you purchase Christmas presents in our pro shop!
We at the WRAC would be happy to help you complete your list. If you have questions or would like a tour of our facility, Please, contact our Membership Coordinator, Emma Bush. If you would like to secure and update your information. Please contact us today @ (509) 662-3544.
From Tammy Donaghy, Accounting Director and The WRAC Staff
Where we play every day!
Massages are a great way to relax. They are particularly enjoyable and beneficial after a good workout.
Improved Flexibility: A post workout massage helps your muscles release tension and helps them get back to their normal state. This can lead to improved flexibility.
Muscle Recovery: Receiving a massage right after your workout can also help your muscles in the recovery process. A massage improves the circulation of fluids in your body which allows nutrients and oxygen to reach your muscles and tissues better.
Pain Relief: Tight muscles can eventually lead to pain in different parts of your body. For instance, if your glutes, quads and hamstrings are always tight then chances are you will develop sore hips and knees. A post workout massage can decrease the soreness of your muscles after your workout.
Increased Range Of Motion: When your muscles tighten from exercise, joint range of motion becomes lessened. Stretching or receiving a post workout massage can help unlock your muscles so your original range of motion is restored which allows you to perform your exercises more efficiently.
Make an appointment TODAY!
Teaching at the WRAC, I am often asked for advice on an effective training/exercise program. So, if you are one that wants to have a zest for life and eat and sleep better, let’s get started! Following are exercise parameters for improving strength, VO2 max, co-ordination and endurance.
Frequency is the foundation of a successful and rewarding fitness plan. For purposes of this missive, we are all specifically cleared medically for exacting exercise sessions. Thirty minutes every day is a great maintenance schedule. Sixty minutes every day is a fine program for achieving new levels of performance. Exercising 120-150 minutes per day is a good regimen for a competitive athlete. Big, big bulletin here… when it doubt…rest!!!
Strength advancements are best attained through rotational weight training. Day 1 target legs, next day arms, next day core. Resistance equals exhaustion at 12 repetitions performed with rigorous attention to detail. Choose 3 exercises and consider that one set. Complete 3 to 5 sets. Change exercises weekly.
For VO2 max enhancement you need intensity and speed. Any exercise utilizing “big levers” (arms and legs) is perfect. There should be 20 – 50 repetitions with 15 to 45 second explosive durations. An example is jumping jacks with straight arms. Vary exercise choices daily.
For co-ordination you want eye to hand (or leg) games. Improvements are best realized through novelty. As an example, 15 minutes of pickleball, next time basketball, next time dance, next time rock climbing, next time roller skating.
Endurance improvement programs are tricky because of the seductive lure of long hours or many miles. While there are a myriad of benefits in prolonged sessions, there is a near certainty of injury. Anecdotally, Gerry Lindgren’s running 300 miles weekly. Jim Ryan sprinting 50 times 400-meters and Mary Decker’s phenomenal mile repeats are the stuff of legends and deservedly so. However, today’s best science shows an hour session results in 80%+ results compared to a three-hour session with 70% fewer injuries. Plan on an hour at 80% or more of your maximum heart rate. Variety is instrumental. Run one time, row one time, bike one time, swim one time, etc. The results will astonish you!
Most importantly, seek counsel from the experts on staff at the WRAC. The experience and knowledge of our instructors ensures a broad spectrum of coaching inputs.
Cheers, Dave Wilson, Coaching champions for 48 years
On behalf of WRAC Management and the Board of Directors, I would like to thank all of you who took the time to complete the recent online survey. Over 200 members responded and we are encouraged by the results. Fifty-seven percent gave the highest rating of 10, with 86% recording a rating of 8 or higher. This one question survey asking if you would recommend to a friend, is a performance measure used by many companies to determine the loyalty that exists between the organization and its clients. The rating percentages are used to calculate what is called the “Net Promoter Score”. The WRAC scored 68.5 which puts it in the “excellent” category, just 1.5 points below the highest category of “world-class”. As positive as this outcome is, probably more important are the comments made by our members that confirm what the Board considers to be the WRAC’s primary strengths and assets. Those things that members find most appealing are categorized and summarized below from the many positive comments made:
The environment The word “friendly” was used forty-one times in describing the WRAC. Member comments included, “fun to go to, family friendly, welcoming, low key, uncrowded, unpretentious, somewhat quiet, and a casual gym experience”. The WRAC was referred to as a wonderful community to be a part of, and a great place to exercise and make new friends. Some expressed appreciation for the social aspects, the opportunities to interact with members and connect with like-minded people, people who appreciate fitness. One member stated, “Before joining, I tried a couple of other fitness establishments but they were cold and uninviting. I did not have that feeling here…I felt at home.” Another compared the WRAC to other facilities by simply stating, “It’s a club not a gym”.
The facilities Many members expressed appreciation for the quality of the various facilities, and the large number and variety of fitness options for all ages, fitness levels and interests. One noted that the WRAC offers so much more than the usual weight training and exercise machines that other facilities provide. Others praised the organized competition, wide selection and varied challenges of fitness classes, remodeled fitness center, availability of childcare, overall cleanliness of the facility, accommodating hours of operation, and easy access to the hiking trails. A tennis player noted that the combination of quality and availability of courts, scheduling options, professional staff, and cost to play tennis, probably doesn’t get much better.
The staff The staff was complimented by several members noting that they make you feel welcome, are responsive to member requests and willing to help, and communicate well with the members. The instruction leaders were described as inspiring, cheerful, helpful and knowledgeable. One referred to the yoga teachers as the best in the valley. There were also some non-positive, but mostly constructive, comments expressed. These included concerns about accommodating pickleball, tennis court lighting and heating/air conditioning, the need for more things for children to do, and the cost of membership; although the cost was appreciated by some with such comments as, “the best value around for about $2 per day (fitness), and “they’re not trying to nickel and dime you with add-on expenses”.
Having been a Board member for over six years, I have grown to appreciate how challenging it is to run a multifaceted recreational facility in a rural area, while keeping it updated and staying in the black. Our very lean staff works hard to provide our members with a rewarding exercise experience in a pleasant environment. The survey results demonstrate that you appreciate the efforts being made, and for that we are grateful.
- Alan Patterson, WRAC Board of Directors Past President
Q & A with Tony -
How long have you been a WRAC member?
I started in April of 2017, right after moving back to Wenatchee.
What was your main reason for joining the club?
I needed to find a gym and I knew a couple of people who worked at The WRAC. Plus my dad is a member and its only a few minutes from my house and on my way to work.
What is your favorite part of the facility to utilize?
The free weights/lifting area. Although I enjoy cycling class with Tony and A.J..
How long ago did you begin your fitness journey & what is your main goal?
I played sports in high school and have been interested in fitness all of my life - I even job shadowed a personal trainer at The WRAC my senior year. But I really committed to changing my lifestyle on New Years Day this year. I looked in the mirror and didn't like what I saw. So I committed myself to changing what I ate & consistently going to workout. My main goal was to get to 193 lbs, which was my high school wight.
What has been the hardest part of your journey? Most rewarding?
The hardest part has been changing my eating habits. I was an athlete in high school and was able to eat whatever and my eating habits never changed, so it took me awhile to adjust to not eating fast food and cutting out the junk food. The most rewarding part has probably been needing to buy new work and workout clothes. The old stuff doesn't fit!
Describe how you feel (overall) NOW compared to how you felt when you first started on your fitness journey.
Faster, lighter. Its difficult to describe beyond just saying, better. But I do feel a lot better...I am proud of what I have accomplished thus far, but I am not done yet.
Free weights or Cardio?
Is it a cop out to say both? I enjoy lifting but its hard to beat going on a run and watching the sunset.
Leg day or Arm day?
LEG DAY!! I really enjoy lifting heavy things so squats and dead-lifts appeal to me.
Outside of working out at The WRAC, what do you enjoy doing for fun?
Well I am an Assistant Golf Professional so I enjoy golfing, but my favorite activity has to be basketball.
CAUTION: Highly Classified Information below!
BEWARE! Your opponents will want you drug-tested because you’re about to play so well if you follow some friendly advice. Have I got your attention? Good.
Often, at any level, the serve can be your biggest weapon or your biggest weakness. Go back a few years to when Djokovic would make consistent QF/SF rounds but double faulted too often to begin his championship-winning streak.
Wimbledon finalist Tim Henman says, “Removing gluten from your diet and the doubts from your head is all well and good, but if you have a fault with your serve, your technique will tend to let you down at key moments. He was serving a lot of double faults, and if that starts creeping into your game, it affects everything.”
To understand the importance of the service, you only have to go back a month to Kevin Anderson vs Rodger Federer at Wimbledon in the fifth set. Anderson's serve was unbreakable and won him the match. Even though most of us aren’t 6’8” Goliaths serving down 130 mph rockets on a grass court (which only speeds up the ball), we can all learn some valuable insights to help us hold serve more consistently and help ourselves maintain control of the point.
Furthermore, Lleyton Hewitt is a famous example the year after he’d won Wimbledon. The Old England Club schedules the previous year’s tournament winner to “open” the tournament with his match. This year, however, Hewitt – an absolute beast on grass himself – drew one of the nastiest guys to play, Croatian; Ivo Karlovic. Karlovic isn’t really considered one of the greats for tour-level play in general but possesses a height of 6’11” and held the record for the fastest serve at 156 mph. Over his career Karlovic hit 12,936 aces! Only one of four players to ever surpass 10,000 aces in a tennis career. As you guessed, Hewitt lost. The serve is a great weapon that allows a player to gain “free” points or gives them an easy ball to put away or control a point.
Finally, Roger himself can bomb a 143 mph serve (that’s his fastest recorded) but does he? Not always. One of the most underrated servers; Federer uses his serve to keep his opponent guessing and help set up to control a point. A good server is not predictable – they mix up their service with slice, topspin (or ‘kick’), speed and placement.
Maintaining “control” of a point should be your goal at any level. If you’re only just learning to play and consistency is an issue, focus on simply making more balls in the court and let them “beat” you… aka hit winners. Tennis is hard enough, do your best to make your opponent earn the points and not beat yourself J. If you’re more advanced, the idea becomes making your opponent uncomfortable running to balls or getting them off balance so they cannot hurt you with a faster and heavier ball. If you control the point, you hurt them. If you like running, hit them a pancake serve and enjoy your day at the marathon.
All this control starts with the serve.
You could argue Andre Agassi never had an amazing serve but focused all his efforts onto his returns to help himself get into the point straight away. This is the same idea: Control the point. Agassi is arguably in the conversation for one of the best returns to ever play the game of tennis, so begin your journey on building the point hitting that fast serve where you control the whole shot – don’t play reactive tennis trying to hit that fast serve back to get in control… it’s a lot harder.
Okay, I have to make a point of highlighting the importance of the service because it’s what will dictate the rest of your play and oftentimes the match… and what I’m about to suggest to improving your own serve is rather tedious, boring, but necessary – and yes, I’ve done them all a zillion times, as has anyone who ever had a consistent - aka good - serve.
Placement over power. Work at 70% power to build technique and understanding with your coach. Hit the ball where you need to first, then back it up with power. As my juniors often hear me say, “you get nothing for the fastest double fault.”
Ball toss. What are the two most important parts of your serve? The ball toss and the contact. One directly affects the result of the other. Don’t believe me? Toss your ball to our indoor roof and try to hit it…. I’ll wait. This drill is one of the most taught drills in tennis worldwide, but it has three major parts which are often overlooked:
1. Line up your racket with the handle lying on the baseline so the strings are on the ground, inside the court. The racket serves as a reference to where/how far you want to toss the ball. You can do this drill at home or wherever you like, just take the example correctly from the court to wherever you want to practice.
2. When we serve, we line ourselves up side-on to the net. Don’t get caught standing front-on to your racket here because it’s more “comfortable.” If you’re right-handed, you will stand behind the baseline with your left foot forward and the racket slightly to your right. If you’re lefty, the opposite applies. How you position yourself relative to your racket is very important. Don’t practice the wrong movement patterns just because you lined yourself up front-on or too far away from your racket. In general aim to have about 1-2 inches between your front toe and racket handle.
3. When you toss, you want to toss up at least as high as you can reach with your racket. Any lower and you’ll be losing your height advantage to hit a harder, more consistent serve over the net. You want to be comfortable holding the ball in your fingers, more than in the palm of your hand where the ball tends to roll out of your hand rather than be “placed” up there. Open your fingers like a flower in the morning when you toss to eliminate any spin on the ball and be more consistent with your toss.
One tip that always helps my students – and what helps make your serve look graceful – is to relax your tossing arm, and begin the toss at your front thigh (or pocket). This starting point helps reduce the need for any jerky acceleration in the toss and thus creates a more consistent toss.
Bonus round: Finally, shout out to Ben Borden, a student of mine who was trying so hard to learn a kick serve with no success. I told him to go hit 40 serves in but serving on his knees. A day later, he shows me a genuinely good bouncing-off-to-the-side kick serve! You might want to try it with your knees on a towel or something soft, but serving on your knees will do wonders for your serve action, ball toss, and balance in helping your serve because you can’t compensate with your body, the toss must be good or your result suffers. Jennifer Capriati’s father used to make her toss the ball onto her racket 50 times every time she practiced her serve when she was a developing player. The rest is history. Build your serve, build confidence in setting up points, build your record and build your legacy one toss at a time.