By Robert Felder, U.S. Ambassador
First, a bit of background – I am among the older residents of The Oaks at Boca Raton. Since we moved in 4 years ago, I have used the gym regularly during the approximately 6 months per year we reside here. About 3 months ago, one of the extraordinary young men who work out at the same time I do, commented that he admired my tenacity, but also observed that I did the same program every session and that I would benefit in many ways from mixing in new exercises and new techniques; He made a lot of sense. So I contacted our Director of Fitness, PJ DeLuca, and asked him to train with me.
I am writing this because my experience with PJ has been so exceptional that it warrants public praise. Others should know just how good our Fitness Director is on every level. PJ has now worked with me twice a week for about 3 months, it has been clear to me each time we meet that he has prepared carefully for what we will do. The program always makes sense. Every single time I have asked why we are doing one thing or another, or how specifically one variation changes the impact of the exercise, he has answered me in a way that is not only intelligent, but inspiring, because I understand the value of what I am doing. Also, PJ watches every movement like a hawk. In the nicest possible way, he corrects my movements to maximize the benefits of the exercise. I recently discovered that he keeps track of my progress, and that of others, on charts. It is important to note that PJ keeps it fun, the exercise programs he provides are highly imaginative and combined with friendly conversation and humor.
Beyond my personal admiration and gratitude, we should all be aware of how diligently PJ takes care of our well-being in times of COVID. I have watched him personally wiping down equipment and assuring appropriate spacing. We should all be delighted by the environment PJ has fomented at the gym. He manages with a low-key grace that is admirable.
Anyone thinking of improving their fitness would do well to consider working with PJ. I have worked with a number of fitness professionals over the years. None have been as good as PJ.”
I agree! I too am older, and came from a dance background …. thinking I would never want to do the kind of classes offered here by Sue Lucia and PJ. But I gave it shot when we first got here in January (this is my first year). I got hooked. Both are so encouraging and use humor! (So important for motivation), I cannot believe how I am getting back into shape and feelings of aging and inadequacy are fading (at least a little bit!! LOL). When PJ or Sue call out the reps or the seconds to go – I think I can do this one more time! The other participants in the classes enhance the fun and camaraderie; very uplifting.
Mahendran K Jawaharlal
Well said. PJ deserves much credit for the program and oversight of the fitness center. I have been training with him for some time now and can tell you the results are self-evident. Probably one the best trainers and more importantly a good person. I would recommend him to anyone looking to improve their fitness, strength and flexibility. Glad someone took the time to write this.
Today a reader，tomorrow a leader！