Month: March 2015

Recap – Stratos Seattle Open 2015

The Seattle Athletic Club would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all our wonderful sponsors, participants, host families and patrons of the Stratos Seattle Open 2015 PSA and WSA tournaments. Without your participation and support, the event simply would have not been the success it was.




Inspirational Member of the Month: Dr. Anthony Back

If you have ever spent any time with the morning crowd here at the club than you probably know Anthony Back, also known as, Dr. Tony.  To put it into simple terms, Dr. Tony is an amazing human being in every way.

He’s the guy you see doing everything.  Doing everything consistently and doing it with a smile on his lips and a twinkle in his eyes. He is involved with everything from training to Pilates, he’s in the pool & he explores Feldenkrais too! All of this is done mostly at 6 am, with a few exceptions for worldwide travel in service to humanity which we will get to.

One of the things (of which there are many) I love most about Dr. Tony is his ceaseless curiosity. He has the wonder of a 6 year old child about all things! Dr. Tony never ceases to ask questions, questions that inevitably lead to more questions which creates a deep and often profound search for answers. He is never bothered if an answer does not readily present itself- the answer is in the journey itself and he always seems satisfied with simply exploring.

For such a profoundly accomplished man, he carries himself in a genuinely humble manner. An unsuspected hero of sorts. See, Dr. Tony is intimately involved with the process of dying. He travels the world training doctors, health care providers and hospice workers on subject. He delivers hard news to patients and families with the presence of the Grand Canyon. He is an advocate for all of us as we transition into the inevitable stages of the end of life.

Dr. Tony recently created an app that will help Doctors remain present, open, and patient with clients as they have difficult conversations. He maintains a clinical practice at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance as an oncologist who specializes in the gastrointestinal system & travels the world incessantly to serve as a patient’s advocate, writing papers and publishing books for the medical community about how to cultivate good communication skills. Dr. Tony is also a professor at the UW & Fred Hutchinson and co-directs the UW Center for Excellence in Palliative Care with Dr. Randy Curtis. He also serves as a light for remote societies around the globe, helping to educate communities about the stigma surrounding illness and death. He is truly a Master in having “difficult conversations”.

Dr. Tony shares his exuberance of  life, and it is infectious. I am in awe of his deep spiritual studies and commitment to the betterment of human kind. For so many reasons, Dr. Tony, I bow to you!


Runners, Cyclists, and Athletes – Tight hip flexors? Low back pain?

The combination of certain activities – especially running, hiking and cycling – followed by sitting for long periods of time, can contribute to tension in the front of the hip, and pain in the low back. Have you had a day of activity, followed by a long drive home? Or had a great run or ride, maybe an intense spin class, then sat for hours at the desk? The hip flexors are in a shortened position while sitting, tighten, and then the nagging pain in the low back will often follow. Those muscles in the crease of your hip can actually get so tight, that they stop other neighboring muscles from working. The deep glutes can stop activating when walking. If this pattern continues, not only can your bottom become flat and flabby – AND WHO WANTS THAT – but back pain or discomfort generally follow. Our posture, while standing or walking will change. The top of the hip bones are pulled forward, which increases the curve of the lower back.

What will help, when this imbalance occurs? One stretch that is particularly helpful is a lunge, with the back knee down, sometimes know as the “lizard pose”. Ask one of our massage therapists, trainers or instructors to help you with this. Something else to try is to lay face down on a mat, with a lacrosse ball underneath you, positioned on the front and side of the hip. This can be a little intense, or uncomfortable at first, but if you are consistent, and try it for a few minutes every day, the hip flexors will loosen.

The best solution of all is to get a therapeutic massage session. There are a couple of assisted stretches that will target the front and side of the hip, as well as deep tissue and fascial techniques, that will really make a difference.

Try all three – stretching, self-care with the lacrosse “torture” ball, and a professional massage. Why live with that nagging pain? With some focused effort, one can really make some changes, and start moving freely again. Thank you for reading this,

Leo DiLorenzo
Licensed Massage Therapist
Seattle Athletic Club

Good Health and Good Relationships Susan Raab-Cohen, PhD Psychologist & SACDT Member

Most of us at Seattle Athletic Club are swimming, running or lifting because we want to increase our odds of living today and tomorrow with strength, vigor and flexibility.

It could be, though, that we are overlooking one of the most important variables contributing to good health: the quality of our primary relationships. A good relationship is the single best recipe for good health and the most powerful antidote to aging.

Research shows:

Men gain health benefits simply by getting married. Their health status improves, negative physical symptoms decrease, and positive behaviors increase.

For each year of marriage, a woman’s risk of dying prematurely decreases.

Consistent emotional support lowers blood pressure and bolsters the immune system. It appears to reduce the death rate from cancer as well as the incidence of heart disease and infectious disease.

A secure connection significantly lessens susceptibility to anxiety and depression and makes us more resilient against stress and trauma.

Close connection is the strongest predictor of happiness, much more than making masses of money or winning the lottery.

A successful, long term relationship may do as much for your longevity, mood and physical resilience as the hours you spend working out. However, a lack of attention to your relationship may have the same negative consequences as inactivity:

Men who are divorced experience health risks equal to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.

Women‘s health appears to be more susceptible to marital discord than men’s health. For women, poor relationship quality is associated with an increased risk of premature mortality and an increased risk of heart disease.

Obviously not everyone wants to be in a relationship, nor is it easy to find the right person even if you want to do so. Many people persist in relationships while feeling lonely, angry or hopeless. They have done whatever they can to improve their relationship but their efforts have been unsuccessful. Resignation seems the only possible outcome.

However, we now know more about strengthening the underlying bonds of marriage for straight, gay or transgender couples than we ever have. We understand that the attachment bond that defines the parent/child bond also defines the underlying bond of adult commitment. We see the power of that bond to build resilience in adults. We know what happens when the bond is broken—and we now know much more about how to repair it.

John Gottman, PhD, here at the University of Washington, did pioneering work describing what happens in the interactions of marriage. While Gottman studied thousands of hours of couples trying to get along, Sue Johnson, PhD, watched thousands of hours of couples in marital therapy and figured out what works. She developed Emotionally Focused Therapy, a theory and practice of couples therapy that has an extensive research record demonstrating its effectiveness. She also wrote a book: Hold Me Tight, which gives consumers a theory and outline for improving their relationships.

Sue Johnson also developed a consumer workshop based on her book:
Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for Connection®. This workshop is also evidence-based. It is now being offered all around the world.

My colleague, Dorsey Green, PhD, and I will be offering this seminar here in the Pike Place Market March 7-8 and May 30-31.

Rob Lauren has seen a direct connection between the mission of the Seattle Athletic Club and a focus on relationship health as related to physical health. We are appreciative to him for his willingness to partner with us this spring. SACDT members may attend Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for Connection at a discounted rate. This program is nonjudgmental (neither of you will feel blamed) and intimate (10-15 couples with significant time spent talking 1:1 in a structured way).

Interested?  You can learn more about the workshop as well as see comments from past participants on our website:

Still curious? Click on this four minute video—What Is a Healthy Marriage?

Lastly, the video below explains a very powerful research study that describes how love and trust change our neurochemistry and resilience to pain:

Soothing the Threatened Brain:

**Research references available upon request

Seattle Bicycle Laws and Regulations: What You Need to Know

This upcoming May 15th is Bike to Work Day in Seattle! We would love to encourage everyone to participate in this fun event which promotes a healthy active lifestyle. With over 240 miles of bike trails surrounding the emerald city, we live in a great place to commute in an eco friendly and healthy way. In fact, of the 25 largest US cities, Seattle has the largest percentage of people commuting by bicycle! Let’s keep Seattle at number 1! This being said we would like to educate everyone on the rules and regulations surrounding Seattle biking so your commute can be as efficient and safe as possible



  • Every rider must wear a helmet regardless of age
  • Every person operating a bicycle on a roadway at a speed slower than the normal and reasonable flow traffic should ride as near to the right side of the lane as is safe.
  • It may be appropriate to deviate while preparing to make or while making turning movements, or while overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
  • A person operating a bicycle on a one way street that has two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near to the left side lane as is safe.
  • A person operating a bicycle upon a roadway may utilize the shoulder of the roadway or any specifically designated bicycle lane if such exists.


  • Persons operating bicycles upon a roadway or sidewalk shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.


  • Given continuously during the last one hundred feet traveled by the bicycle before initiation of a turn, unless during the last one hundred feet both hands are needed to control or operate the bicycle.
  • Left turn: left hand and arm extended horizontally beyond the side of the bicycle.
  • Right Turn: left hand and arm extended upward beyond the side of the bicycle, or right hand and arm extended horizontally to the right side of the bicycle.
  • Stop or decrease speed: Left hand and arm extended downward beyond the side of the bicycle.


  • No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle or article which prevents him from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars, nor shall he operate the bicycle at any time without keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars.


  • Every bicycle, when in use during the hours of darkness, shall be equipped with a lamp on the front, which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front, and with a red reflector on the seat of a type approved by the State Commission on Equipment, which shall be visible at all distances up to six hundred feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle. A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector.
  • No person shall use a bicycle to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped, except that a person eighteen years of age or older may carry a child securely attached to his person.


  • A person operating a bicycle across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances


  • Every person operating a bicycle upon a sidewalk or public path shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian thereon, and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian.


With spring and summer approaching, it’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy the weather while being active. Help us keep Seattle the best bike commuter city in the US. See what it’s all about Friday May, 15th, 2015.

For more information check out:

Congratulations to the Aqua Dynamics Swim Team!

Congratulations to the Aqua Dynamics Swim Team for a Fantastic job at the KING Valentine Classic Swim Meet on February 14-15!

The Aqua Dynamics Swim Team competed in the KING Valentine Classic over Valentine’s Day weekend and the time improvements were incredible! Every swimmer achieved a personal best time in at least two of their individual events, some by as much as 33 seconds! In the sport of swimming, that is an incredible time drop! Below are a list of personal bests achieved at this meet:

Seth Baker

200 Back (2 second drop)

400 IM (33 second drop!)

Theron Baker

100 Breast (2.5 second drop)

100 Free (.5 second drop)

Vivian Baker

100 Breast (1 second drop)

100 Free (25 second drop!)

Ethan Cross

200 Free (First Time!)

200 Back (First Time!)

100 Free (4 second drop)

James Fiorito

200 Free (3 second drop)

100 Free (3 second drop

Evan Gwinn

100 Fly (4 second drop)

100 Free (1 second drop; Gold Time Achieved!)

200 IM (.5 second drop)

500 Free (23 second drop!)

Caroline Klewin

50 Free (2.5 second drop)

100 Breast (3.5 second drop)

100 Free (First time!)

Hope Klingenstein

200 IM (First time!)

50 Breast (2.5 second drop)

50 Fly (5.5 second drop)

Kiya Smith

50 Free (.5 second drop)

100 Fly (7 second drop)

100 Free (.7 second drop)

Sydney Thomson

200 Free (29 second drop!)

200 Back (First time!)

100 Breast (1.5 second drop)

Employee of the Month for March: Nicole Yates



Please help us congratulating Nicole Yates for being nominated employee of the month.


Nicole has graced us here at Seattle Athletic Club with her love and passion for kids. Her dedication and amazing disposition warms the hearts of not only the children but parents too. Her dedication to the Childcare Dept. along with her desire to please others has been recognized not only by her co-workers but most importantly, SAC members. Her high energy, sense of humor, strong work ethic and professional manner are a testament to the Club’s mission statement.


We feel very fortunate to have Nicole a part of the team here at SAC.

Pilates Exercise of the Month: Single Leg Stretch



Purpose: Single Leg Stretch strengthens the abdominals and the buttocks as well as improves coordination.

This is the first of five exercises termed as the Stomach Series.


1. Sit in the center of your mat with your knees bent. Hug your right leg and pull it in to your chest with your inside hand on the knee and your outside hand on the ankle.


2. Roll your back down to the mat, bringing the bent leg (right leg) with you; head and upper shoulders are off the mat. Then, extend your left leg out in front of you; let it hover above the mat at about a 45 degree angle or at an angle so your back stays flat on the mat.


3. With elbows lifted; chin to chest; inhale. Then, exhale and switch legs, bringing the outside hand to the ankle and the inside hand to the knee (left leg). Stretch your right leg long; hovering above the mat at about a 45 degree angle; making sure your leg is in line with the center of your body.

4. Repeat 8-10 sets. To finish, hug both knees in toward chest, put head and shoulders on mat.


  1. Scoop your belly at all times. Stay lifted (eyes on belly) and slide shoulders down away from ears.
  2. Remain still in your torso- not rocking your body from side to side when switching legs.
  3. Squeeze your buttocks each time the leg stretches out.
  4. Pay attention to the hand placement as it keeps your leg in proper alignment with your hip.


Visualization: Imagine you are anchored to the floor below.


Jocelyn Paoli, Pilates InstructorModification: Rest your head on the mat when necessary. If you have a bad knee; hold the underside of the thigh. For a bad back; extend the straight leg to the ceiling. As your lower abdominal strength improves, you can begin to lower the leg.

SAC’s own Mark Dyce wins Judges Choice award at Seattle Dances!

A big round of applause for Mark Dyce-Ryan and Professional Dancer, Casey Schneider as they won the Judges’ Choice Mirror Ball Trophy. The 6th annual Seattle Dances gala brought together nearly 480 generous guests who gave an incredible $442,000, which is enough money to provide homes to 45 chronically homeless people in our city.
Seattle Dances charity raises money for Plymouth Housing Group, which works to eliminate homelessness and stabilize homeless and very low-income people in housing by preserving, developing and operating safe, decent, affordable housing, and by providing opportunities for homeless and very low-income people to improve their lives.