Family fitness

July 22, 1999

Margot and Bruce WeneckBy KATE COLEMAN / Staff Writer

photo: MARLA BROSE / staff photographer

Several local families are taking steps to keep fit. Some are getting a real kick out of their exercise classes, and others are putting their weight behind the effort. Washington County families are working out together.

[cont. from lifestyle]

There are not too many things for a father to do with a teenage girl, says Bruce Weneck of Hagerstown. He and his 13-year-old daughter, Margot, ran in Hagerstown YMCA's benefit race in June. He wanted to take a kickboxing class with her, but Margot declined. So her dad tricked her, making up excuses to get her to the Hagerstown YMCA. Margot concedes that the class is OK.

"She's embarrassed," Bruce Weneck says.

"Very," Margot says. It's her dad's holey old shorts that do it.

"He's so funny," she says.

If the instructor gets ahead of them, they just make up their own moves, Weneck says, and Margot grins in agreement.


The Rosenberry family is another Hagerstown group that fits fitness into busy lives. Gold's Gym is the site of their gatherings, according to Irene Rosenberry, 45, of Hagerstown. Her son, Mark Shives, 25, a physical education teacher in Florida, is in Hagerstown for the summer, as is his sister, Megan Shives, 20, a Towson University student. Irene Rosenberry's husband, Theodore, lifts weights at the gym, and it's a good place to catch up with his 26-year-old daughter, Heather, who works in Frederick, Md. His son, Teddy Rosenberry, works third shift, so he's not there with the rest of the family, but he also goes to Gold's.

This family is one of many who work out at the gym, says Eric Easton, general manager. Gold's recently started some beginner-level gymnastics and exercise classes for kids. "The benefits of exercise are not just for adults - it's for everyone," Easton says.

Irene Rosenberry says her family exercises for health reasons. Exercise is a release from everyday workplace stress, she adds. "I think it's good for everybody - physically and emotionally," she says.

It's good for several mother-daughter teams in the Jacki Sorensen step-aerobics and aerobic dancing classes that C.L. Widmyer teaches at Family Skating Center in Hagerstown. She's been teaching the classes for more than 20 years and noticed the families last summer. There are Monica Oder and Roseanne, 13; Beth Joliet and 4-year-old Ellen; Janice McWilliams and Sarah, 12; Tina Guiney and Hillary, 12; and Sherry Schweinhart and Ashley, 15, Samantha, 12, and Molly, 10. Some of the women have been with her for years, among them Janet Roberts and her daughter Cindy Downs.

Roberts started taking aerobic dancing 17 years ago because her daughter Cindy was in a class and could get a discount if she signed up a new member. Roberts thought it would be something she'd do for her daughter.

It turned out to be something she also does for her self.

"I love aerobic dancing, because it's exercise, and it's fun," Roberts says. Roberts also has tried yoga and tai chi, and she and her daughter have swum together for years.

"We're real close," Downs says of her relationship with her mother. Exercising gives them a chance to get together and then do something after. Downs jokes that she owes her parents about $2,000 in lunches.

Three generations of women in another Hagerstown family also work out in Widmyer's class. Kim Cutchell and her daughter Megan, 12, had looked for a class to take together when they lived in Delaware, but no place would let them, Kim Cutchell says.

She and her husband had grown up here and moved back about a year ago when he retired from military service. Since then, the mother and daughter have been going to aerobics classes with Shirley Cutchall, their mother-in-law/grandmother. Shirley Cutchall, 60, says she decided about 15 years ago that it was time to do something for herself. Now it's for Kim and Megan Cutchall, too.

There's a kinship among members of Widmyer's classes.

"We all know each other so well," Downs says. The classes have become like part of her family, Widmyer says.

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