JCC Insider: Les and Mark Schaffer

Les and Mark Schaffer

(Published June 11, 2018)

As a former ER nurse, Les Schaffer knows firsthand how important it is to take care of your body and has established a well-rounded routine because of it. She does personal training, participates in group exercise classes like Pilates and cycling, and works with Katherine Matutes, Ph.D., the JCC’s staff nutritionist. Her husband, Mark also comes to the JCC two or three times a week for about an hour each time, though he usually sticks to more traditional workout regimens like the treadmill, exercise bike, weights, stretching, or walking around the track.

Care of the Whole Person

For the Schaffers, who have been JCC members for close to 40 years, belonging to the JCC isn’t just about ensuring physical health. “It’s the whole mind-body-spirit thing,” Les said. “It’s not just a gym, it’s a community center. It’s like a big family here.”

That friendly atmosphere is evident as soon as Mark and Les walk into the JCC Mordoh Fitness Center. They greet the desk staff by name and chat with them about their plans for the day. Other members recognize the couple and stop to say hello. The JCC cares, and to Mark, it shows. “You’ve got a great facility here,” he said, “and we will both continue to make people aware of what a special place this is.”

Mark prefers traditional workouts like the treadmill and exercise bike for his routine.

Recently Mark (right) suffered a heart attack while working out. A math person, he considers himself lucky that he was at the JCC at the time and JCC Head Trainer Javan Odinga (left) was nearby and responded quickly. Les (middle) said about the JCC “We liked it before; love it now.”

One week after a heart attack, Mark thanked the JCC team who responded quickly.(L to R): Rachel Horan, Katherine Matutes, Mark and Javan Odinga.