Saint Xavier University Cougar

The Shannon Center

Member Spotlight

The Shannon Center has been open for over 17 years in the community! We are grateful for all of our participants and as a result we would like to highlight some of our loyal members! A new member will be picked each month by one of our full time managers or student managers at the Shannon Center. We value all of our members and we hope that everyone enjoys learning about some the great people that make up the Shannon Center!

2017

Joan Prendergast

Joan Prendergast

Congratulations to Joan Prendergast for being selected as May's Spotlight Member! We are so proud of her dedication to the Shannon Center over the years and wanted to recognize her for her hard work and accomplishments.

Quick Facts

  • She grew up in Mt. Greenwood and went to Queen of Martyrs and Mother McAuley.
  • She attended SXU when it was still an all girl's college and earned her teaching degree.
  • After college, she married her husband Tom and had two children, Jean and Tom.
  • She has taught many years in both public and private schools, including Columbus Manor School in Oak Lawn, IL.
  • After retirement, she has continued to teach.

Interview

What made you interested in joining the Shannon Center?

My husband and I were always walkers. So when the Shannon Center was built, we thought it would be a wonderful place to walk in cold, hot and rainy weather.

What do you like about the Shannon Center?

There are many things that I like about the Shannon center. Since I live in Oak Lawn, it is most convenient. The classes are scheduled so that after a day of subbing, I can still attend the 4 o'clock and 5 o'clock classes. Also, I love the fact that there are double Saturday morning classes. The noon classes are great on my days off. All of the teachers are very good and I enjoy the fact that they change up the workouts. Many classes hit cardio, balance, stretching, and weights. These are crucial to a good workout. The very best part of the Shannon Center are the members and the instructors. I have met so many kind and friendly people of all ages, students, working people and retirees. Jen Quinlan, the manager, works very hard to make the Shannon Center wonderful place to exercise. I feel very fortunate to be a member.

What is a typical workout for you in the Shannon Center?

Since my schedule is so varied, my workouts are varied, too. Sometimes I walk the track and do the stairs when they are down. In addition, most days I do two classes back to back. On my days off, I do a noon class and walk the track with a friend. When I can make the Thursday chair yoga class, I call it my brain candy workout!

What keeps you motivated to exercise and live a healthy life?

Certainly I enjoy feeling good! Working out is sort of like walking the beach. Whatever problems life brings, working out helps you to feel better physically, mentally and emotionally. It is all the better when you can exercise with friends. Exercise leads to a healthy mind as well as to a healthy body.

Do you have any tips or advice to help motivate others to exercise?

Do whatever you are able to do! Short periods of exercise are better than none. I have recently read where the new smoking is sitting. So stay active and exercise with weights or without. Try new classes like Zumba. Don't be self-conscious, everyone is watching the instructor and trying to do what she is doing. If you haven’t exercised very much, go very slowly. There is no need to injure yourself! So come to the classes and make some new friends. The Shannon Center makes working out fun!

Theodore Robinson

Theodore Robinson

Congratulations to Theodore Robinson for being selected as April's Spotlight Member! We are so proud of his dedication to the Shannon Center over the years and wanted to recognize him for his hard work and accomplishments.

Quick Facts

  • He has been a police officer with the Evergreen Park Police Department for about 5 years
  • He loves serving the community and making a difference one day at a time.
  • He got started lifting weights when his father was in the Army. He always remembered him working out, and he wanted to be just like him.
  • He was introduced to bodybuilding back in 2006 and fell in love with it.
  • He is currently an amateur bodybuilder and working out has become a passion and lifestyle.
  • Besides lifting weights, he loves action movies, wrestling, rugby, martial arts, and being a proud father to his twin boy and girl, Theo and Thea.

Interview

What made you interested in joining the Shannon Center?
I was introduced to the Shannon Center by SXU alumni and Shannon Center Bootcamp instructor, John Frederickson. He is a good friend of mine who needed some motivation in the gym (haha)!

What do you like about the Shannon Center?
The atmosphere is soothing, and they have great equipment. I also like that it's close to home and the staff and members are very friendly. I enjoy being around college students because I find that young adults are hungry and eager to learn, and I'm glad I can be an inspiration and a mentor.

What is a typical workout for you in the Shannon Center?
A typical workout for me consists of about two hours with a combination of strength and volume and a little basketball for cardio. I like to start out lifting light and then increase the weight as I go.

What keeps you motivated to exercise and live a healthy life?
Being around for my children and being able to play with them keeps me motivated. Also being able to protect the public as a police officer and knowing that I can help those in need.

Do you have any tips or advice to help motivate others to exercise?
You have to have a goal. Life can be challenging, but you can't let life keep you down. If you wake up every day, why not help someone and strive to be better for yourself. It's important to make no excuses and motivate yourself one day at a time. My advice for losing weight is to perform cardio exercises first for 45 minutes and add strength training by working your big muscle groups and small muscle groups together.

Molly Higgins

Molly Higgins

Congratulations to Molly Higgins for being selected as March's Spotlight Members! We are so proud of her dedication to the Shannon Center over the years and wanted to recognize her for her hard work and accomplishments.

Quick Facts

  • She graduated from Saint Xavier University in 2009.
  • She spends her days working as an operating room nurse at Advocate Christ Medical Center.
  • During the evening, you can find her swimming laps, reading and writing poetry, spending time outdoors, conversing with good compan, and availing herself of the Shannon Center.

Interview

How long have you been a member of the Shannon Center?
I was first introduced to the Shannon Center as a student worker from 2005-2009. It was a wonderful job, and I have been a proud and happy member since graduation.

What is your favorite thing about the Shannon Center?
I love the people here! I also love the ping pong tables in the dance studio.

What does your typical workout consist of?
This summer I will be hiking across the Presidential Traverse in the Appalachian Mountains and competing in a marathon in Seattle. I am grateful for the indoor track that allows me to train indoors during inclement weather. I am also grateful for the ab class that reminds me of the muscles that I never knew existed and for the three men named Jim who, very patiently, try to teach me how to do chin-ups every Sunday in the weight room.

What keeps you motivated?
I do my best thinking when I am working out. It is the meditative and reflective part of my day.

Do you have any tips to help motivate others?
My Grandma was a member of the Shannon Center and she would always say, "If you don't use it, you lose it." She lived a long and healthy life.

Bob and Patty Johnson

Bob and Patricia Johnson

Congratulations to Bob and Patty Johnson for being selected as February's Spotlight Members! We are so proud of their dedication to the Shannon Center over the years and wanted to recognize them for their hard work and accomplishments.

Quick Facts

  • Bob is a retired Chicago Police Captain.
  • He is currently an adjunct professor of Criminal Justice at Daley College and at Calumet College of Saint Joseph in Indiana.
  • He is A.C.E. certified as a Health Coach and Weight Management Specialist.
  • He graduated from SXU with B.A. in Philosophy ('83) and a M.S. in Counseling ('86).
  • Patty is a Chicago Police Officer currently assigned to Midway Airport.

Interview

What made you interested in joining the Shannon Center?

We live right around the corner and often walk over. We previously belonged to an expensive health club. When the Shannon Center opened, we dropped the health club, walked over to the Shannon Center and signed right up.

What do you like about the Shannon Center?

The people are wonderful here, always friendly and helpful and supportive. Also, we often run into old friends and acquaintances. And, the Shannon Center has everything we need for the workouts we enjoy.

What is a typical workout for you in the Shannon Center?

We strength train, do flexibility exercises and run sprints. We play racquetball together at least once a week.

What keeps you motivated to exercise and live a healthy life?

Life is so much more enjoyable when you are fit and feel really good about yourself. Also, working out is a fun way for us to spend more time together and stay healthy at the same time.

Do you have any tips or advice to help motivate others to exercise?

Yes, look around at people who are fit and notice how healthy, happy and active they are. When you realize that exercise will benefit you in the same way, then start moving, even if slowly at first. Little by little, you'll add things that work for you and that you enjoy and before you know it, you won't want to miss a workout.

Colette Fizgerald

Dan Earner

Congratulations to Colette Fitzgerald for being selected as January's Spotlight Member! We are so proud of her dedication to the Shannon Center over the years and wanted to recognize her for her hard work and accomplishments.

Quick Facts

  • She has been a member of the Shannon Center for over 15 years.
  • Her husband is an alumni of Saint Xavier.
  • Her brother, Ted Kramer is also a Shannon Center member and she was his primary trainer of Hunky Santa 2016. Yes, her brother won a "Hunky Santa" contest this past December!

Interview

What made you interested in joining the Shannon Center?

I joined the Shannon Center because it was close to home and I was able to join as an Alumni Spouse.

What do you like about the Shannon Center?

There are many things that I love about the Shannon Center. The Shannon Center is convenient for me because it's close. I love the indoor track for runs in the winter. It's never too crowded and it has everything that I need to get in an efficient and effective workout. The Shannon Center is a great addition to the community!

What is a typical workout for in the Shannon Center?

My typical workout is an hour long. I do 45 minutes of cardio, something different every day, between running on the treadmill or track, Stairmaster, Matrix Stairclimber or the elliptical. I also mix in 15 minutes of abdominal work and strength training using either the dumbbells or weight machines. It's important to cross train with a variety of different exercise machines to prevent injuries.

What keeps you motivated to exercise and live a healthy life?

What motivates me to live a healthy lifestyle and exercise is primarily my favorite 5, Danny, Joey, Charlie, Sarah and Mikey, all of my kids. They are a bundle of energy and exercise allows me to both clear my head and build the stamina to keep up with them. Also, since I am a personal trainer and work in the exercise Industry, I need to work hard and exercise so I can continue to motivate my clients.

Do you have any tips to help motivate others to exercise?

As a Certified Personal Trainer and lifelong fitness enthusiast, I believe your habits, good and bad alike, serve a purpose that makes you emotionally and behaviorally attached to them. I feel I need to be a good example for my kids so they will stay motivated and healthy as they grow up. Research has shown that it takes just 21 to 30 days to change a bad habit into one that improves your health or exercise level. It takes about 7 weeks to really see visual improvements. The effort required to attain and maintain the motivation to exercise promotes perseverance and positive action, which you need to increase your level of effort while you exercise. Additionally you will notice that you will start to make healthy changes to your eating habits, get more sleep, watch less television and improve whatever else you feel needs improvement.

Four primary motivators are: 1) People exercise to feel physically strong and fit 2) improve or maintain health, 3) as a source of personal accomplishment, 4) and to be outdoors. Mental alertness also scored high as a motivating factor for participating in an exercise program: "Now only comes once so make it count!"

Three great ways to keep your motivational levels up high are: first identifying someone who can help 'feed' you more motivation - a mentor of sorts. Secondly, reinforce good behavior by exercising good form when you perform your exercises so you get the results you want. Third find someone to discuss your exercise goals so you stick with them and are held accountable for them. Lastly, always be open for advice and try new workouts continuously so you always keep your muscles confused and challenged because you will see better and faster results. But most importantly, try to enjoy your workout!

2016

Dan Earner

Dan Earner

Congratulations to Dan Earner for being selected as December's Spotlight Member! We are so proud of his dedication to the Shannon Center over the years and wanted to recognize him for his hard work and accomplishments.

Quick Facts

  • Is an alumni at Saint Xavier University.
  • Grew up in Evergreen Park and still lives there today.
  • Went to Leo High School and graduated with a B.A. from Notre Dame in 1986. After many years in the working world, he returned to school to get his MBA from the Graham School of Management at Saint Xavier University.
  • He graduated from SXU in 2013, specializing in Financial Fraud Examination.
  • Currently works for TCF Bank as a BSA (Bank Secrecy Act) Investigator.

Interview

What made you interested in joining the Shannon Center?

I got involved in the Shannon Center little by little. I wanted to stay connected to SXU after graduating. I started by participating in their running program in the spring of 2013 with the goal of completing my first 5K which I achieved. I kept going to the running program each spring and fall and kept improving in my running. From there, I built up to training for the 10K and have now completed the Ridge Run 10K twice. Each time the running program was over, I felt like I could do more. Someone told me about the Shannon Center Boot Camp classes which I started attending in 2014 and led to me becoming a member of the Shannon Center in 2015.

What do you like about the Shannon Center?

The thing I like best is the Boot Camp class! The instructors, John and Courtney, challenge me to do things I probably would not have even thought of doing on my own (lunges, squats, running up and down stairs, etc.) They push us to our limits and they take care to make sure we have the right form to do the exercises correctly. It is also fun and sociable and I have met some great people there!

What is a typical workout for you in the Shannon Center?

I like to run about 2 miles on the track or 20 to 30 minutes on the treadmill. I also like the stair machine and try to do 10 to 15 minutes on that. Then spend maybe another 20 minutes with light weights or the weight machines. I try to make it to the Shannon Center a couple times more per week in addition to the twice a week classes.

What keeps you motivated to exercise and live a healthy life?

Even though I don't always feel like going, I always know I will be glad I did! After exercising, I feel energized and de-stressed. I've seen some definite improvements in my overall health since picking up my exercise level a few years ago. When you see results, it motivates you to keep going!

Do you have any tips or advice to help motivate others to exercise?

You are capable of much more than you think you are! I never would have done a 10K without encouragement from others that I could do it! Take things one step at a time. Start small and keep building little by little. Before you know it, it will become part of your routine and you will look forward to working out!

Ellen and Lauren Bedore

Ellen and Lauren Bedore

Congratulations to Ellen and Lauren Bedore for being selected as November's Spotlight Members! We are so proud of their dedication to the Shannon Center over the years and wanted to recognize them for their hard work and accomplishments.

Quick Facts

  • They are mother and daughter!
  • They attend most group exercise classes together.
  • My mom is a guidance counselor at Morgan Park High School or and I am a registered dietitian at St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago, IN.

Interview

How long have you been a member of the Shannon Center?

My mom has been a member since 2010, and I have been a member since 2011. My mom supervised a counseling intern from the SXU Counseling program and received a one year membership to the Shannon Center, which turned out be a beneficial reward. When I joined, I thought this rec center was better than any gym I belonged to before.

What is your favorite thing about the Shannon Center?

Definitely the group fitness classes. The variety of classes and times make it easy to fit a workout into our schedules while also switching up strength training and cardio so we don't get bored. We like the caring support of the class members and the personal involvement of the excellent instructors.

What does your typical workout consist of?

We do strength training two times per week and kickboxing three times per week. Actually, my mom does strength three times per week, and I do Zumba when I can make it on Tuesdays. We also like to walk my dog, Higgins, around campus.

What keeps you motivated?

Each other (we always text before class to make sure the other will be there), the instructors, and other class members. When we miss a class everyone asks where we went and what we were doing; lazing on the couch isn't a valid excuse!

The desire to maintain endurance, strength, and balance. As we age, exercise is vital, and exercise helps maintain optimal biometric screening levels (BP, cholesterol, BMI, etc.). I am also trying to create healthy habits that I can carry with me as life changes.

Do you have any tips to help motivate others?

Make eating right and being active a priority by scheduling your workouts like you would anything else that is important in your busy life. Eating right takes meal prep and planning. Get a friend or family member to work out with and encourage and motivate each other. Remind yourself that this is making your heart and body stronger so you can have more quality years, and that it may take a while to develop a routine don't give up so quickly. At SXU nobody is judging anyone, and everyone is doing their best. As cliche as it sounds: no one ever regretted working out (or eating those veggies).

Peggy Myren

Peggy Myren

Congratulations to Peggy Myren for being selected as October's Spotlight Member! We are so proud of herdedication to the Shannon Center over the years and wanted to recognize her for her hard work and accomplishments.

Quick Facts

  • Proud mother of four wonderful children, three have graduated college and her "baby" is a junior at New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • Has been a teacher for over 20 years
  • Currently teaches 4th and 5th grade special education

Interview

How long have you been a member of the Shannon Center?

I have been a member for almost a year and plan on being a member for many more. I am consistently trying to recruit my parents, siblings and friends to join me.

What is your favorite thing about the Shannon Center?

Everything! I enjoy the fitness classes because I am able to work out with old and new friends; the instructors are very motivating and supportive; the weight room provides machines to switch things up; the track allows me to walk and talk some more with old and new friends.

What does your typical workout consist of?

Four days a week, I like to devote my time to the classes; my favorites are the People on Weights and Kick Boxing. The other days, I like to spend time in the weight room and on the track. My favorite machine is the elliptical. When I first started, I could only do 4 minutes. Now, I am proud to say that I typically stay on for 40 minutes in one workout.

What keeps you motivated to exercise and live a healthy life?

When I joined the gym, I needed to get healthy and lose weight. My goal was to weigh the same as my license. Despite my weakness for M&MS, with hard work and dedication I was successful. The better I felt, the more I was able to do. With the encouragement of my kids, family, and friends, especially my workout buddies, I was able to accomplish more than I ever thought possible. I'm now in the running class and am looking forward to running, well maybe jogging slowly, my first ever 5K, The Cougar Run.

Do you have any tips or advice to help motivate others to exercise?

You are only as old as you feel. I do whatever I can. As I tell my students, "Never settle for anything less than your best!" In the classes, there are many people who are in better shape than me, but it doesn't matter; you do what you can and keep moving even though there may be a little groaning along the way. The important thing is that you show up and do whatever you can. You might even make a friend while you're at it!

Martin Gallagher

Martin Gallagher

Congratulations to Martin Gallagher for being selected as September's Spotlight Member! We are so proud of his dedication to the Shannon Center over the years and wanted to recognize him for his hard work and accomplishments.

Quick Facts

  • Married with two adult children
  • Resides in Morgan Park
  • Registered Investment Advisor and owner of Gallagher Investments located in Orland Park. His firm has been a long time sponsor of the annual SXU Cougar 5K Run/Walk

Interview

How long have you been a member of the Shannon Center?

I have many ties to Saint Xavier University. I received my MBA at SXU and was an adjunct faculty member for nine years. Joining the Shannon Center was an easy choice for me.

What is your favorite thing about the Shannon Center?

The diverse demographic makes the gym unique. The mix of students, varsity athletes and residents gives the Shannon Center a great energy. It is more fun than the typical workout facility.

What does your typical workout consist of?

I try to do a mix of upper body, core, legs, and aerobic workouts on different days. Mixing up your workouts produces better results and prevents boredom.

What keeps you motivated to exercise and live a healthy life?

In the past I would pick a different race every year and train specifically for that event. Consequently, I have done marathons, trail races, obstacle races, and sprint triathlons. Each year was a different and distinct challenge so I was always engaged. I have slowed down in the past couple of years though.

Do you have any tips or advice to help motivate others to exercise?

You have to find things that you enjoy be it classes, running, or resistance. If you hate a particular exercise you will never stick with it.

Chuck Ruzevich

Chuck RuzevichCongratulations to Chuck Ruzevich for being selected as August's Spotlight Member! We are so proud of his dedication to the Shannon Center over the years and wanted to recognize him for his hard work and accomplishments.

Quick Facts

  • Lives in Mt. Greenwood with his wife and three daughters
  • Is the grandfather to a beautiful baby girl
  • Works as a Chicago police officer
  • Also referees for IHSA basketball games

Interview

How long have you been a member of the Shannon Center?

I have been a member of the Shannon Center for 12 years!

What is your favorite thing about the Shannon Center?

My favorite thing about the Shannon center is the track, cardio machines, and the weights.

What does your typical workout consist of?

My workout routine consists of cardio, free weights, and the use of the machines. I usually workout 5 days a week, 60-90 minutes.

What keeps you motivated to exercise and live a healthy life?

My job requires me to stay physically fit, but beyond that I truly enjoy going to the gym. I started working out in high school, and I've continued going ever since.

Do you have any tips or advice to help motivate others to exercise?

An important tip would be to set time aside for yourself to do some type of exercise that you enjoy doing-running, walking, swimming, etc. Your health is important, so do what you can to take care of your body. The Shannon Center is a great place to work out!

Bill and Shirley Pawlak

Bill and Shirley PawlakCongratulations to Bill and Shirley Pawlak for being selected as July's Spotlight Members! We are so proud of their dedication to the Shannon Center over the years and wanted to recognize them for their hard work and accomplishments.

Quick Facts

  • They live on Christina in Mt. Greenwood for the last 45 years
  • They have two boys, Bill and Tom, who went to St. Christina and Brother Rice
  • They have a great daughter-in-law and two beautiful granddaughters
  • This coming September is their 50th wedding anniversary

Interview

What made you interested in joining the Shannon Center?

In 1999 when the Shannon Center opened we decided to get off the couch and get some much needed exercise!

What do you like about the Shannon Center?

We can get a variety of exercised in a clean, safe and comfortable facility with awesome staff and workers. Plus we've made some great friends over the years as well.

What is a typical workout for you in the Shannon Center?

For Bill it's 45 minutes on the bike and for me it's 2 to 3 miles on the track walking. Plus, we do chair exercise and yoga every week.

What keeps you motivated to exercise and live a healthy life?

We both always feel better after we work out!

Do you have any tips or advice to help motivate others to exercise?

As they say, MOVE IT OR LOSE IT!

Tom Gilmartin

Tom GilmartinCongratulations to Tom Gilmartin for being selected as June's Spotlight Member! We are so proud of his dedication to the Shannon Center over the years and wanted to recognize him for his hard work and accomplishments.

Quick Facts

  • Graduated from Saint Xavier in 2005
  • Currently works as the staff accountant for Potbelly Sandwich Works
  • Lives in Oak Lawn with his wife, who also is a graduate of SXU, and their son
  • Is a big fan of all Chicago sports teams (except the Cubs)
  • Self-proclaimed comic book nerd

Interview

What made you interested in joining the Shannon Center?

I used to work out during my breaks at the Shannon Center and I've known Jen Quinlan, facility manager, since I was a freshman. I live so close to the facility. They have everything I need: weight room, indoor track, and different classes.

What do you like about the Shannon Center?

I love how I can walk in to do my regular workout or to do boot camp, and all the students know my name. Everybody that works here is so nice. I love boot camp and the exercise instructors John Frederickson and Courtney Broderick. Of course I love Jen and her attitude every single day. She makes me think I can do anything, including running in my first 10k ever.

What is a typical workout for you in the Shannon Center?

Mondays and Wednesdays I do boot camp. Saturdays I started doing "People with Weights" and "Kickboxing Cardio" classes. The other days I start in the weight room doing different exercises working on whole body for 30 to 40 minutes and then I run between 2 to 3 miles on the track.

What keeps you motivated to exercise and live a healthy life?

I've always liked exercising and staying healthy since I was young. My current motivation is my little guy. I want to stay healthy for him so I can always say "Yes" to him whenever he wants go outside and play catch.

Do you have any tips or advice to help motivate others to exercise?

Don't ever think you can't do anything. You can always run that extra mile, you can always do those extra push ups, you can always do that extra rep. It's better to do at least 30 minutes of exercises than none at all. Just when you think you should stop is when you should keep going.

Robert Perez

Robert PerezCongratulations to Robert Perez for being selected as May's Spotlight Member! We are so proud of his dedication to the Shannon Center over the years and wanted to recognize him for his hard work and accomplishments.

Quick Facts

  • Alum of SXU's Graham School of Management
  • Shannon Center Running Coach
  • Completed 12 marathons, 24 half marathons, one ultra marathon, and numerous short distance races

Interview

How long have you been a member of the Shannon Center?

I have been a member of the Shannon Center for six years.

What is your favorite thing about the Shannon Center?

My favorite thing about the Shannon Center is that it is walking distance from my home, the hours of operation, the numerous fitness classes available, the indoor track and the friendly staff.

What does your typical workout consist of?

My typical workouts are cardio based (running). During marathon training season, I range anywhere from 40-60 miles per week. I perform dynamic stretches before/after and incorporate core exercises after each workout. Strength training with weights is done two to three times a week.

What keeps you motivated?

My goal to run the six World Marathon Majors is what keeps me motivated. I'm halfway there. I've run the Chicago Marathon, New York City Marathon and Boston Marathon. The next marathons I'll be scratching off my list will be the Tokyo Marathon, Berlin Marathon and the London Marathon.

Do you have any tips to help motivate others?

The best advice I got from a running coach was to be patient. Work hard and don't cheat yourself. Make every workout count and put 100 percent effort into it. Becoming a better athlete requires time and commitment. Make time for your workouts, not excuses!

Diane Ritchie

Congratulations to Diane Ritchie for being selected as April's Spotlight Member! We are so proud of her dedication to the Shannon Center over the years and wanted to recognize her for her hard work and accomplishments.

Diane Ritchie

Quick Facts

  • She has been married for 37 years
  • She has three children and nine grandchildren
  • She has worked at A.E.R.O. Co-Op for the past 20 years
  • She lives in Chicago and is close to the Shannon Center

Interview

How long have you been a member of the Shannon Center?

This summer I will have been a member of the Shannon Center for two years.

What is your favorite about the Shannon Center?

My favorite thing is the weight class that is offered here at the Shannon Center. I also like that it is close to my home. The environment that the Shannon Center offers is also one of my favorites.

What is a typical workout for you in the Shannon Center?

The typical workout for me includes the use of the track, stationary bike and the weight class.

What keeps you motivated to exercise and live a healthy life?

The biggest thing that keeps me motivated besides weddings is my bone density. Since working out, my bone density has improved and stayed the same without the use of medications. Knowing that it can lead to osteoporosis keeps me motivated to stay on top of it and make sure my bone density stays within the healthy range.

Do you have any tips or advice to help motivate others to exercise?

Working out is great for many things including your bones as well your mental and physical health. Staying on top of these helps when you are exercising!

Phyllis Simpson

Congratulations to Phyllis Simpson for being selected as March's Spotlight Member! We are so proud of her dedication to the Shannon Center over the years and wanted to recognize her for her hard work and accomplishments

Phyllis Simpson

Quick Facts

  • She is a graduate of SXU; both in 2002 and 2007
  • She is a detective for the Chicago Police Department

Interview

How long have you been a member of the Shannon Center?

I became acquainted with the Shannon Center while taking a group fitness class as a student; I was impressed with the facility as well as the knowledgeable and friendly staff and instructors. At that time I was working with a personal trainer at a north side facility. When that trainer married and moved out of state, I wanted to workout at a facility closer to my south side home; however, I also wanted to continue working with a personal trainer (I need the accountability). Fortunate for me, Jana Terborg, at that time a newer personal trainer was on staff at the Shannon Center. We met and our personality "gelled" which is important when working with a personal trainer and we have been working together going on approximately four years now; she doesn't let me get away with much!

What is your favorite about the Shannon Center?

The Shannon Center is convenient with available hours; it is a friendly atmosphere and adequately equipped with both machines and free weights.

What is a typical workout for you in the Shannon Center?

My training sessions begin with a 15-20 minute warm up on either the stationary bike or the treadmill. This is followed by a combination of cardio, core work, strength training and stretching, dependent upon how I'm feeling that day.

What keeps you motivated to exercise and live a healthy life?

I am personally just not ready to stop moving, going and doing! Although older, I know that as long as I continue to exercise and live a healthier lifestyle, I trust that I will remain vibrant and have as well my quality of life!

Do you have any tips or advice to help motivate others to exercise?

Getting started is the difficult part of exercising, particularly if it's been some time since you've participated. I would encourage you to make the effort and the eventual benefits will be well worth your time.

Pat Rohan

Congratulations to Pat Rohan for being selected as February's Spotlight Member! We are so proud of his dedication to the Shannon Center over the years and wanted to recognize him for his hard work and accomplishments.

Pat Rohan

Quick Facts

  • He is a retired teacher/administrator
  • He is been a devoted runner over the years
  • He and his family live in Beverly

Interview

What made you interested in joining the Shannon Center?

I love the idea of a university with such a strong tie to the community. It is a beautiful facility with great people.

What do you like about the Shannon Center?

I love the exercise classes offered. The teachers are enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

What is a typical workout for you in the Shannon Center?

A typical workout would be 15 minutes with weights followed by a quick 2 mile track walk.

What keeps you motivated to exercise and live a healthy life?

Being a longtime member of the running community boosted my motivation. I have a strong competitive streak.

Do you have any tips or advice to help motivate others to exercise?

Join an exercise class. I always get a better workout being with others. The Shannon Center is like a family to me.

Therese Ready

Congratulations to Therese Ready for being selected as January's Spotlight Member! We are so proud of her dedication to the Shannon Center over the years and wanted to recognize her for her hard work and accomplishments.

Therese Ready

Quick Facts

  • She is 52 years old and has two adult children, John and Shannon.
  • She has lived in the Mount Greenwood area her entire life.
  • She recently became a flight attendant with Southwest Airlines

Interview

What made you interested in joining the Shannon Center?

My sister is a member and when I won a membership in a raffle basket I decided to give it a try and I love it. My sister doesn't come as much anymore and now I am urging her to come back!

What do you like about the Shannon Center?

It's conveniently located. I especially love the entire Shannon Center crew who make me feel welcome every day and treat me like family. Likewise, I love the sense of community and seeing the same people there every day who keep me accountable!

What is a typical workout for you in the Shannon Center?

I walk, and then I walk again, and then I walk some more! Occasionally I do go downstairs to check out the various equipment or ride the bike, but I feel most at home on the track.

What keeps you motivated to exercise and live a healthy life?

Results! When I first joined I had hoped to walk in an effort to relieve stress, lose weight and simply live a healthier life. Exercising has helped me achieve all of those goals and now it has just become a part of my life that I look forward to every day. I've lost over 70 pounds from walking and making healthier choices. I still enjoy my favorite foods but do so in moderation and balanced with exercise. I worried I would put the weight back on but through continued simple exercise I have kept it off for several years!

Do you have any tips or advice to help motivate others to exercise?

Just show up. The work will pay off!

2015

Mike Pomorski

Congratulations to Mike Pomorski for being selected as December's Spotlight Member! We are so proud of his dedication to the Shannon Center over the years and wanted to recognize him for his hard work and accomplishments.

Mike Pomorski

Quick Facts

  • Graduate of SXU in 1984; Graduate of Brother Rice and St. John Fisher
  • Lives on the southside with wife, Jean, and they have three children, David (25), Brian (23) and Tess (20).
  • Owns a real estate appraisal business for the past twenty years called MP Appraisals and the business is located on 104th and Kedzie.
  • While at Saint Xavier he played basketball all four years and was elected into the athletic hall of fame.

Interview

What made you interested in joining the Shannon Center?

After graduating from Saint Xavier I began to lose touch with Saint Xavier, as I saw the Shannon Center being constructed I was impressed with the building and became a member. My membership has been great, not only is the facility fantastic, but I have run into people from my past and have met people I enjoy working out with.

What do you like about the Shannon Center?

The Shannon Center is a well-run building with a laid back atmosphere. The staff is always cordial and positive and the equipment fits my needs and is well maintained. I also enjoy coming to the sporting events.

What is a typical workout for you in the Shannon Center?

I play racquetball, tennis and volleyball which cover most of my cardio needs. A typical workout for me at the Shannon Center includes weights and stretching as I feel that as I age muscle strength is important for both my upper and lower body.

What keeps you motivated to exercise and live a healthy life?

I am motivated to exercise because I enjoy it, and do not look at it as a chore. I like keeping my body in shape which I am hoping will give me an active lifestyle in my retirement years. Exercise is also a great stress reliever; it gives me a positive outlook on the day.

Do you have any tips or advice to help motivate others to exercise?

Motivation is key and I believe the days you don't feel like working out are the days that make the difference in your workout routine. When working out, I try to work on different body parts each day to keep the workout fresh and different; doing the same routine each day will get boring and would be a reason not to workout. Keep at it.

Thomas Hitz

Congratulations to Thomas Hitz for being selected as November's Spotlight Member! We are so proud of his dedication to the Shannon Center over the years and wanted to recognize him for his hard work and accomplishments.

Thomas Hitz

Quick Facts

  • Graduated from SXU in May 2015
  • Played football at SXU for 4 years, Captain his Senior Year
  • Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago
  • St. Rita High School Grad

Interview

What made you interested in joining the Shannon Center?

Enjoyed it during my time attending SXU and I live in the neighborhood so it is very convenient.

What do you like about the Shannon Center?

Never too crowded. The people who use and work at the Shannon center are respectful. I like the community feel instead of being at some big name gym.

What is a typical workout for you in the Shannon Center?

A typical workout for me would be starting off using the free weights and then eventually finishing with some type of cardio. The Shannon center having a track is a huge bonus.

What keeps you motivated to exercise and live a healthy life?

I love the way working out makes me feel mentally. Watching yourself change and become mentally and physically stronger makes going through hard workouts completely worth it.

Do you have any tips to help motivate others to exercise?

Everything takes time. You can't just have a good week of working out and eating and expect to be in amazing shape after that week is up. You have to have exercising become a part of your daily routine and a couple of months down the road you'll wonder why exercising hasn't been a part of your day your entire life. Rome wasn't built in one day, imagining where you could be in a couple of months should give yourself motivation to achieve whatever goal you have set.

Jessica (Serafin) Kahr

Congratulations to Jessica Kahr for being selected as October's Spotlight Member! We are so proud of her dedication to the Shannon Center over the years and wanted to recognize her for her hard work and accomplishments.

Jessica Kahn

Quick Facts

  • Jessica is an SXU Alumni
  • Received her Bachelor's degree in Art and Design in 2005 and her Master's degree in Elementary Education in 2011
  • Teaching 1st grade at Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Catholic School in Orland Hills for four years now
  • Lives in Oak Lawn with her husband, Jon, and their two dogs, Lily and Maya

Interview

What made you interested in joining the Shannon Center?

I have always been a runner and fitness fanatic, and started going to the Shannon Center as an undergrad. After graduation I continued to go because I enjoyed the friendly atmosphere and what the gym had to offer for my workout routine.

What do you like about the Shannon Center?

It's close proximity to home, fellow members and staff, and the variety of exercise equipment. I have met so many people throughout the years and it is nice to come to a gym where there's a range of age groups and a genuine sense of a "community, neighborhood" feel.

What is a typical workout for you in the Shannon Center?

I'll go to the gym six days a week and I love starting out with cardio. I'll warm up on the stationary bike and then run on the track. As an avid runner, I'll log around 40-45 miles a week. Running is my passion. For strength training, I'll work my upper body three days a week and my lower body on the alternate days. I'll do my core workouts at home.

What keeps you motivated to exercise and live a healthy life?

Staying in great shape and feeling good on the inside and out keeps me motivated. Nothing beats the feeling of a "runner's high" nor the sense of accomplishment upon reaching new goals. Eating a healthy diet not only gives me energy but it fuels my workouts.

Do you have any tips to help motivate others to exercise?

Find something that you enjoy doing and that you can maintain on a regular basis. If you're having fun doing it, then you'll be more likely to stick with it and see results.

Dan Hnatusko

Congratulations to Dan Hnatusko for being selected as September's Spotlight Member! We are so proud of his dedication to the Shannon Center over the years and wanted to recognize him for his hard work and accomplishments.

Dan Hnatusko

Quick Facts

  • Shows up to workout with wife Sonia everyday
  • Served over 20 years in the Chicago Police Department but has since retired
  • Served a few on-the-job assignments here at SXU with certified bomb dog Max

Interview

How long have you been a member of the Shannon Center?

I have been a member since the Shannon Center since August of 2000.

What is your favorite thing about the Shannon Center?

My favorite thing about coming to the Shannon Center besides its convenience is the faculty and staff, the positive energy and the friendliness of the staff is very welcoming.

What does your typical workout consist of?

I workout about five days per week with a customized circuit of weights and cardio. I also come and workout more than once a day at times.

What keeps you motivated?

Staying halfway fit at age 66 keeps me motivated; it helps in prolonging my life.

Do you have any tips to help motivate others?

Don't have any excuses not to workout!

Ted Kramer

Congratulations to Ted Kramer for being selected as August's Spotlight Member! We are so proud of his dedication to the Shannon Center over the years and wanted to recognize him for his hard work and accomplishments.

Ted Kramer

Interview

How long have you been a member of the Shannon Center?

I have been a member since the Shannon Center opened in 1999.

Favorite thing about the Shannon Center?

My favorite thing about the Shannon Center is its convenience, right in the neighborhood, the quality of the equipment, but most of all the staff!

What does your typical workout consist of?

My typical workout consists of two muscle groups per day with abs and cardio added for good measure. There is a three day rotation with 4 or 5 days per week.

What keeps you motivated?

My job as a firefighter for the CFD keeps me motivated to be in good physical condition to be able to handle any situation that comes up. My children also motivate me to keep up with them.

Do you have any tips to help motivate others?

Just decide what you want to be and look like and take the steps to get you there. Find a mentor who will help you get there and not let you slide when you should be pushed and dedicate the time.

Carol O'Connor

Congratulations to SXU staff member Carol O'Connor for being selected as July's Spotlight Member! We are so proud of her dedication to both the Shannon Center and the Graham School of Management over the years and wanted to recognize her for her hard work and accomplishments.

Carol O'Connor

Quick Facts

Member since 1999

  • Has been a long standing member and contributor to the SXU community. Carol is the Secretary to the Dean at the Graham School of Management and has worked at Saint Xavier for the past 18 years!
  • Daughter Andrea graduated from SXU with a degree in Nursing
  • Practices agilities with her Standard Poodle Jolie, and they train and compete for dog shows
  • Works out 4-6 times a week at the Shannon Center and is always one of the first members to arrive in the morning (if not the first!) and she brings her smile and happiness with her when she walks through the door

Interview

Favorite piece of equipment?

The Elliptical

Favorite part of the Shannon Center?

Carol enjoys the staff, student workers, and all of the members. She says they are all kind, helpful, and create an enjoyable environment to exercise in.

"It's great to have a variety. When I get tired of using one thing I move on to the next; Bikes, machines, weights. It is also nice to have a buddy to do it with."

Marge Quinn

Congratulations to Marge Quinn for being selected as June's Spotlight Member! We are so proud of her dedication to the Shannon Center over the years and wanted to recognize her hard work and motivation to stay healthy.

Marge QuinnQuick Facts

Member since 1999

Interview

How long have you been a member at the Shannon Center?

I have been a member here since it opened. My kids thought it would be a good place for me to walk, so they signed me up for a membership. They did not want me to walk outside anymore, so they made me come here.

What do you like about the Shannon Center?

The students are what I like most about the Shannon Center. They are all respectful, kind, and nice. They give the building life, and when you're old like me, you need that life. It makes me feel good.

What is a typical workout for you at the Shannon Center?

I walk at least a mile every morning, and if I feel good, I walk more. While I walk I do my prayers, that way I';m not thinking about the walking.

What keeps you motivated?

My health keeps me motivated. I have to do it. I'm old, and walking keeps me going.

Bill Frieske

Congratulations to Bill Frieske for being selected as May's Spotlight Member! We are so proud of his dedication to the Shannon Center over the years and wanted to recognize him for his hard work and accomplishments.

Bill FrieskeQuick Facts

Member since 1999

  • Bill is an SXU Alumni
  • Recently reached 1,800 member swipes at the Shannon Center since 2007!  

Interview

What made you interested in joining the Shannon Center?

Most of my adult life I have worked out some. When my boys were young or during school I did not have as much time but still worked out as time permitted.

What do you like about the Shannon Center?

The people! I come at a regular time and have gotten to know a few of the members as well as some of the staff. It also helps that the Shannon Center is only 3 miles from my house.

What is a typical workout for you in the Shannon Center?

I usually do about half of my upper body one night and the other half of my upper body the other night. I am an avid cyclist to get my legs.

What keeps you motivated to exercise and live a healthy life? Do you have any tips to help motivate others to exercise?

It starts with a desire to be healthy but working out also builds on itself. Once you start going regularly, it becomes harder to not go.