Commit to Deeper Relationships

By Anthony Mejia

In today’s world, we have more opportunities to make new “friends.”

With the ever growing technological capabilities available to us, we can easily make new acquaintances across time zones, borders, and cultures without ever leaving home. If we do leave home, our many different and multiple responsibilities at work, home, schools, and neighborhoods give us access to numerous possibilities to meet people.

Yet, at the same time, in today’s world this influx of opportunities to meet people and make acquaintances has taken away from the time it takes to develop deeper relationships.

Center members Eric Heitman and John Lee, however, have found a way to develop a deeper relationship and share the incredible long-term benefits of doing so.

Despite working in completely different industries, raising their growing young families, and coming from different backgrounds, Eric and John have been able to commit to building a deeper relationship with one another through sports and fitness.

Eric and his wife, Emily, and daughters, Evie (7 yrs old) and Ellie (5 yrs old), joined the Center nearly 8 years ago on the recommendations of several Emerald Hills neighbors.

John and his wife, Justyna, daughter, Noelle (5 yrs old), and son, LJ (4 yrs old), became Center members 5 years ago.

Although both had been Center members, John, a lawyer for Shutterfly, and Eric, a commercial realtor for CBRE, originally met when Eric’s family moved across the street from John’s family in San Carlos.

As Eric states, “After having retired a few years back from a 10-year career as a San Francisco 49er offensive guard and center, it has become especially important to stay on top of my own personal fitness.”

Eric recalls, “It didn’t take long to realize that my neighbor John Lee and his family were members at PCC. Because we were both working out in the morning before work, it made sense to carpool.”

“We shared a mutual interest in sports, fitness, and avoiding ‘dad bod.’ Having an accountability buddy to keep me motivated for 6am workouts is critical,” adds John.

What started off as a convenient way to carpool to the Center has blossomed into a deeper relationship between Eric and John, their families, and the Center community.

“Our wives and kids have also become good friends. My whole family loves the Center facilities too. The gym, tennis team/classes, and camaraderie has become a huge part of my life,” says John.

Eric adds, “I love the variety of potential workouts that we have access to on any given day.  Getting in shape at PCC is never monotonous when you have the gym, pool, spin classes, boot camps, and maybe Yoga someday to take advantage of. However, I absolutely enjoy the people the most at PCC. The incredibly driven, caring, and creative staff and member community makes waking up at 5am an absolute joy!”

Nowadays, Eric and John have moved beyond avoiding the “dad bod” by engaging in a variety of different workouts and sports/fitness goals.

According to Eric, “Our goals really began to change after our first early morning Bootcamp over a year ago. After months of early morning weight room training, we were looking to change things up. The bootcamp was tough, fun, upbeat, almost euphoric when it was over; they quickly became an integral part of our workout schedule. As we got into a routine we found that our goals were starting to evolve and become more adventurous. We signed up for our first half-marathon last year really as a dare… something to have on the calendar that would affect almost every life decision leading up to the race. We found that if we enlisted more runners to run the race with us, then we would have the support and accountability to guarantee that we show up on race day.”

The plan worked as after a year and a half of Boot Camp training with Center fitness instructors Dawn Rollandi and Meredith McLean, Eric and John successfully completed three half-marathon trail runs and are working on completing number four.

So what’s next?

Without missing a beat, John responds, “Finish a triathlon. Reach “4.5” status in tennis. Bench press half of what Eric can do.”

Eric’s goals include, “Future goals – compete in a sprint triathlon this Spring, tough mudder this summer, and full marathon next year. Other goals – watch less TV and commit to a healthier meal plan.”

So what advice would Eric and John give those starting this New Year with new or renewed commitments to get fit?

From John, “Find a partner/friend. Eric and I keep a running tally of workout no-shows from the last two years. Go in the morning, especially if you have kids. Tell yourself that fitness and exercise will have a positive effect on every aspect of your life: energy, outlook, sleep, attitude, and clothes fit better.”

From Eric, “When it comes to getting in shape, the most important advice I can give is to always remember how it feels when your workout is over…the pride and overall happiness you feel throughout the day. I really do not ‘like’ running or working out…not many of us really do…and that is okay! The byproduct of running however….sense of community, adrenaline, pride, health, and the competition will always keep me coming back to PCC.”

A majority of us have or will make commitments to get fit for the New Year. As with nearly every aspect of our lives, we know the power that accountability, goal-setting, discipline, and hard work play in honoring our sports/fitness commitments.

Eric Heitman and John Lee are visible proof of the benefits of setting goals, cross training, discipline, hard work, and most importantly of developing deeper relationships while getting fit in community.

How about you? Who are you developing deeper relationships with? Who will encourage you when you hit the inevitable point of wanting to sleep in instead of getting up to workout?

This month at the Center, every time you participate in a workout, check to see if there’s another Center member that you can develop a deeper relationship with toward reaching a common sports/fitness goal. Or, if you have a friend who isn’t part of the Center community yet, ask me for a Gratis One Week Pass so you can begin to develop a deeper relationship through sports/fitness… together at the Center.

Thanks for BEING part of the Center!

Center Director