Fitness Specialist and Balance Expert
Donna: How long have you been working at Meadowood?
Jon: My hire date was July 27, 2009, so 13 years! I started as a part-time lifeguard at the therapy pool, and went from there.
Donna: What is your educational background?
Jon: I have a B.S. in Business Administration and Marketing, Radford University, and a M.S. Exercise Science and Sport Physiology, West Chester University
In the first half of my career, I worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer in the Production Division. Realizing that the newspaper industry was dying, I switched careers in 2001.
Donna: What is the most satisfying part of the job?
Jon: Being able to improve the quality of life for our residents is the most satisfying part of what I do at Meadowood. Additionally, knowing that there is value in what I do is important for me.
Donna: You are the resident balance expert. Can you tell us why balance training is so important?
Jon: Primarily, balance training will equip you with the skills needed to prevent falls. Strength exercises (primarily leg exercises) are balance exercises. Frailty and atrophy of the muscles leads to falls. Exercising major muscle groups is one of the best things you can do to prevent falls. Additionally, exercise for using vision, along with the vestibular and the somatosensory (touch pressure and proprioception) systems are needed to improve balance. Exercises in these areas are part of our Balance Bootcamp and Fall Proof Balance classes at Meadowood.
Donna: We know you are dedicated not only to our residents’ physical fitness, but also your own. What do you like to do to stay fit?
Jon: I like a balance of cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility training. My normal weekly regimen includes walking, jogging, biking, Pilates, strength training, and flexibility training. Recreational activities include pickleball, water volleyball, disc golf, and ballroom dancing.
Donna: What does “wellness” mean to you?
Jon: To me wellness is a state of being in good health. Including mental, physical, financial, spiritual, environmental, and vocational.
Donna: Tell us a little bit about your family.
Jon: I’m the youngest of four children. My parents met at Cornell University and married in June 1953. My mother majored in Biology and wanted to go to medical school, but she got married and was busy raising four children. There weren’t too many women in medical schools in 1952.
My father worked for several different agricultural chemical companies. In my first 11 years we moved seven times. We lived in six different states. I was born in Batavia, New York. When I was 3 months old, we moved to Andover, Massachusetts. When I was 3 years old, we moved to St. Louis, Missouri. At age 4 we moved to Mankato, Minnesota. When I was 9 years old, we moved back to St. Louis. At age 11 we moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia. We stayed in Virginia Beach 10 years. When I was in college my parents moved to Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. Upon graduation I relocated to Pennsylvania.
I met my wife at a Labor Day picnic in 1981. We were married the following Labor Day. We just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary.
We have three sons, three daughters-in-law, and 8 grandchildren!
Donna: What kinds of programming would you like to implement at Meadowood in the future?
Jon: I’d like to do a Pickleball clinic to help people improve their shots, a disc golf clinic and take a group off-campus to play at local parks, and maybe a chess clinic or club.
Donna: Thank you, Jon!