Member Stories: Katie Marx, “A small price to pay”

We’re extremely proud of our members. Over the years their work out agendas and sporting endeavors serve as healthy examples of how it feels to be Elite, and how exercise not only adds years to your life, but life to your years! Today we’d like to highlight another member’s accomplishments:

A few weeks ago (8/9/13-8/11/13) I joined thousands of walkers in the Susan G. Komen Chicago 3-Day. I signed up for this personal journey to walk 60 miles over three days to demonstrate my determination in finding a cure for breast cancer.

Katie Marx Susan G Komen Chicago 3 Day Walk

My best and lifelong friend, Molly Fuglestad was diagnosed 3 years ago with Stage 2 breast cancer at the age of 33. At the time she had 3 year old twins and an 18 month old. She was cancer free for less than one year before it came back in her sternum and she was upgraded to Stage 4. Molly is putting up her best fight possible. She has endured weeks of unbearable pain, countless rounds of chemotherapy, and lost her hair a second time. She fights every minute of every day while taking care of her family and living her life to the fullest.

I often found myself asking…what can I do? I, of course, loved spending extra time with her, attending chemo sessions, stocking her freezer with meals – but I wanted to do something to fight cancer in a bigger way, so myself and 8 other “Molly’s Army” members signed up for the 3 Day. After I submitted my registration, the fundraising and training began.

Elite Member Katie Marx and Molly's Army

The first step was getting fitted for running shoes and investing in good socks – then my training could officially start. First it was 2-3 mile walks at the club in the spring, then it was hitting the pavement for 15 miles around neighborhood parks and trails. By the time August rolled around I was ready.

The Susan G. Komen 3 Day is just an awesome experience. We had perfect weather and all nine members of our Army (including Molly) walked all 60 miles. I have never drank more water and Gatorade, or eaten more food in my life – plus now I am somewhat of an expert in foot blister care! I met so many inspiring men and women while walking. Breast cancer survivors, their families, and their friends are an amazing group of people that I am honored to be associated with.

Our team raised over $23,000 for Susan G. Komen cancer research and support. I was amazed and humbled by the generosity and kindness of our donors. I would also like to thank my husband Andy, my little girls Lauren and Ellie, and my parents Rita and Neal Larsen for helping my find the time to train for the 3 Day and meet my fundraising goal.

I was excited, nervous, and anxious for the 3 Day to come, but now that we have completed it, I would gladly do it all over again. The physical training, fundraising, and preparation for the event are a small price to pay to help find a cure for breast cancer.

-Katie Marx, Elite Sports Clubs member

Words can’t express how proud my family, Neal , Bob, Nels, and Abbey, are at the completion of the very long training and walking event that Katie Larsen Marx , our oldest daughter, has just finished.

Elite Sports Clubs Members Katie Marx and Family

3-Days for the Cure was indeed a challenge for all to imagine doing. From early spring the group of 10, nine women and one man, worked hard to train and to be ready for this event.
I have always taught my children to take the time out to take care of others, especially when in need, as her friend Molly is, who has stage 4 breast cancer. Ever so privately, the girls and (one man) hope that they will be able to somehow slow up the effects on this young mother of three.

The combined group of 10 walkers raised more than $23,000 as a part of the 3-Day event, as family and friends, cheered them on! Hats off to them; and hats off to Molly, who also raised money and walked!

A true survivor’s story!

-Rita Larsen, mother of Katie Marx

Thanks to Katie, and her mother Rita for sharing their story of great accomplishment and support–of each other, friends in need, and breast cancer research. Submit your own healthy story.

Elite Sports Clubs are proud to support its communities and charitable causes of all sorts. We will once again be teaming up with a local charity (ABCD) for breast cancer support at our Open House this Fall. Check out last year’s event, the “Totally Pink Breakfast & Fashion Show.”

Youth Nutrition for Tennis

There are two main parts to the optimal sports performance puzzle.

1. Proper nutrition.

2. Proper exercise and training.

That’s why no discussion of athlete training and development is complete without considering proper nutrition – the fuel for the roaring motor that is your child. Being the cute chunk of moldable clay that they are, laying down foundational nutrition habits now will help propel them to tennis legendry in the future (also when they get to college and a normal “meal” consists of Ramen Noodles, soda, and beef jerky).

A young athlete requires a bit more than just the basics of a healthy meal and sports nutrition, like exercise. They also require an individualized approach that takes a young athlete’s age, developmental stage, calorie expenditure, body composition, and the effect of exercise on the body into consideration. Think of it as a complex, interlinked Jenga stack – one missing piece can send the whole thing crashing down.

To keep your young one’s “Jenga stack” of nutritional health from crashing to the ground, it’s best to work with a professional.

BUT, in the meantime, here are a few nutritional morsels for you to “chew” on (please don’t actually chew on your computer screen….)

A Few Basic Youth Tennis Nutrition Tips



  • Eat every 2-3 hours
  • Eat lean complete protein with each meal ­­– fish, eggs, low-fat dairy
  • Eat vegetables with each meal – spinach, carrots, tomatoes
  • Eat fruits with each meal – apples, oranges, berries
  • Eat healthy fats daily ­– avocado, fish oil, nuts & seeds
  • Eat whole foods instead of supplements whenever possible
  • Break the rules 10% of the time
  • Plan ahead and prepare meals in advance
  • Eat as wide a variety of good foods as possible
  • Eliminate most empty calorie high sugar / high fructose corn syrup drinks – aside from Gatorade during training / competition
  • Finally, one of the most important and oft ignored tennis nutrition we can impart upon you is HYDRATION Child_Drinking_Water

While still growing and developing, a child’s internal thermostat is less efficient than their incredibly cool parents (pun intended). Because of this, keeping the kiddies hydrated is extremely important, especially when they’re training or playing on a hot summer day. During training or a match your young ones should drink liquid with sodium chloride and carbohydrates, like Gatorade, every 15 to 20 minutes. This will help to replace fluid lost and help the body retain what they’ve just replaced.

It’s important to remember that proper training and nutrition for a youth are complex, so it’s okay to reach out for help! Hey, we only want what’s best for you and your young tennis pro! Proper guidance from a qualified individual is the question and the Elite Jr. Tennis Program is the answer! .

Back to School Means Back to a Routine

It’s amazing how quickly summer comes and goes. Before you know it, the air is crisp, the leaves are turning and the sweaters are coming out of the back of the closet. Just because cold-weather clothing provides a little more coverage, doesn’t mean we have to let that summer body go. With “back to school” time comes a little more routine and therefore the capability for a consistent workout strategy to help you maintain that physique you worked so hard for this summer.

Back to School Back to Routine

Try some of the tips below to get started in creating your own Back to School Fitness Routine.

  • Just like you plan out the kids’ schedules on the family calendar, build in some workout time for yourself as well. Remember, just 30 minutes a day can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Things can get hectic and you may not be able to get away on your own to the gym. Don’t forget to take advantage of your health club’s child services or playroom. If unavailable, try playing basketball with the kids or taking advantage of the pool. We often forget that play is not just fun, but also a good workout.
  • Be prepared for your workouts, otherwise you will be more likely to skip them. When you pack your kids’ lunches, pack your gym bag or set out your clothes/shoes for your morning run.
  • If you think of working out as something as necessary as brushing your teeth, you won’t feel inclined to pass it up if you get busy. It will just become a part of your daily routine.
  • Be flexible and get creative. Sometimes the unexpected will interfere with your plans, that’s inevitable. Don’t beat yourself up over it though. Take a deep breath, and re-adjust. See if your group exercise class is offered at a different time or club location, or even do squats and lunges while you make dinner.
  • Stay fit by incorporating workouts into family activities. Take date night out of the restaurant and onto bikes in the park. Turn family game night away from board games and into the backyard. Who doesn’t love a good game of Kick the Can or Ghost in the Graveyard?

Back to School Check List

Remember, back to school time isn’t all about the kids, it’s about you too. Summer will be back again before you know it!

Are you excited to get back into a routine? What about your workout routine changes between summer and the school year?

Don’t forget to get the kids back into a routine too with Elite Sports Clubs youth tennis lessons and youth swim lessons! Registration is now open for Fall and Winter sessions!

8 Tips for Knife Safety in Your Home

By Rita Larsen, RD; Elite Sports Clubs Nutrition & Diet Counselor

For class presentations at Elite Sports Clubs, we have often spent a fair amount of time talking about knife safety for preparing foods. It is a serious matter, as we often have children helping for food preparations. And keeping them safe, and ourselves, should be a primary goal. Purchase the best possible knives that you can as it is an important part of a wonderful meal. A good idea for a gift!

Knife Safety-Elite Sports Clubs

The safe use of knives is imperative for obvious reasons. There are only a few rules to remember, but they are crucial:

  1. A sharp knife is a safe knife. Using a dull knife is an invitation to disaster. If you try to force a dull knife through the surface of a food product, it’s more likely to slip and cause an injury. Also: if you do happen to cut yourself, a sharp knife will result in an easier wound to attend to.
  2. Never, ever grab a falling knife. The best way to avoid having to think about this rule is to make sure your knife is always completely on your work surface, without the handle sticking out into traffic areas. Inevitably, however, it will happen from time to time that you or someone else will bump a knife handle, resulting in a falling knife. We all have a natural instinct to grab for anything that’s falling. You must overcome this inclination. Remember: a falling knife has no handle. Just get your hands and feet out of the way.
  3. Use the right knife for the right job. Many knife injuries occur when laziness induces us to use the knife at hand rather than the correct knife for a job. Place your knife inventory where it is easily accessible so you won’t be tempted to make this mistake.
  4. Always cut away from – never towards – yourself. Sometimes this is a hard rule to follow. Again, don’t be lazy! If the angle is wrong, turn the product around. Or turn your cutting board around. By the way – if your cutting board doesn’t have rubber feet, you should place it atop a damp kitchen towel to make sure it doesn’t slide while you’re cutting.
  5. When you have a knife in hand, keep your eyes on the blade. This rule stands whether you are cutting something or carrying a knife. The simple fact is: you’re unlikely to cut yourself if you’re watching the blade, especially the tip. Another idea, don’t talk and cut.
  6. Carry a knife properly. If you’re carrying a knife through the kitchen, especially a busy kitchen, there are often people, and better, pets hurrying around. You must get used to the idea that the only way to walk with a knife in hand is to carry it pointed straight down, with the blade turned towards your thigh. Keep your arm rigid. You don’t want a family member going to the emergency room with a puncture wound from your knife.
  7. Never, ever put a knife in a sink full of water. In addition to soaking probably being bad for your knife handle, putting a knife in a sink full of (likely soapy) water is just asking for trouble. Wash your sharp knives by hand (not in a dishwasher!) and put them away immediately.
  8. Always cut on a cutting board. Don’t cut on metal, glass or marble. This will ultimately damage a knife’s edge.

At what age did you start including your children in the cooking of meals? When did you let them start using knives in the process? How did you teach them about knife safety?

Coming this Fall: “All in the Family Nutrition” a health and nutrition program offered by Elite Sports Clubs’ Registered Dietitian, Rita Larsen that involves each member of the family. Members work together for family-centered nutrition planning for meals and set goals for improved health and wellness. Each family member also monitors his or her own food intake. Plans are made for meal selections, grocery shopping, eating meals out, and making better snack choices. Offered by appointment to fit your family’s schedule. Contact Rita for pricing options and availability to start your “all in the family nutrition” program today!

Member Stories: Brenda Cullin and Pam Tullberg

We’re extremely proud of our members. Over the years their work out agendas and sporting endeavors serve as healthy examples of how it feels to be Elite, and how exercise not only adds years to your life, but life to your years! Today we’d like to highlight another member’s accomplishments:

Brenda Cullin and Pam Tullberg, both Elite members, recently won the gold medal at the 2013 National Senior Games Championships. The games were held in Cleveland, OH a few weeks ago. They competed in the age 50-54 tennis doubles competition.

Their semi-final match against a team from Florida was a marathon match with Cullin/Tullberg finally winning 15-13 in a third set super tiebreak. The final against the home team from Ohio also went three sets. With the pair from Wisconsin winning the Gold 10-6 in the final set to be crowned the National Senior Games Champions.

Pam Tullberg and Brenda Cullin

Congratulations to our National Champs!

Submit your own story! Or tweet us @MyEliteStory with not just your major accomplishments, but also those little everyday wins too!