CornerStone Blog

Category: News & Updates

They Call Her “Lightning”

Editor’s note:  It’s been about 6 months since we started the Parkinson’s Program at Cornerstone Clubs.  At this point, we can safely say that’s it’s been a resounding success.  We are thrilled to be able to provide this very important fitness service to an under-served population and felt it was time to start sharing some success stories. So, please read on and enjoy “Lightning’s”  story.


“They call me Lightning and I have just celebrated 6 months with RSB (Rock Steady Boxing)!!! I am really proud of this accomplishment, because when I first started, I didn’t think I would attend the 2nd class.  When I first heard that Cornerstone was starting up the RSB program, I was elated!!  My doctor had suggested that I enroll in an RSB program because studies have shown that it is very beneficial for Parkinson’s patients. So very merrily I went to my first class. I had met the instructors previously whom I immediately connected with because their commitment and resolve to RSB was quite evident.”

Lightning’s story begins on a bright October day. As wide-eyed, uncertain boxers began to fill the room, a sense of curiosity started to grow. With speed bags on the wall, heavy bags on the floor and focus mitts placed on the chair, this boxing idea was becoming more real. Just as real as when their Doctors said “You have Parkinson’s Disease.”

Everyone in the room chose a seat in a circle and waited quietly.  The class started with introductions. First up – the coaches, “I’m Bart and I’m a Boxer. I’m Kristin and I’m a Boxer.” One by one, each participant introduced themselves following the lead of their coaches, not really believing their own words just yet.

“1 – 2 – 3 -4! Jab! Cross! Hook! Hook!” Footwork was taught, punches were thrown, and when the final bell rang after 12 rounds of work, a feeling of major accomplishment filled the air. “BRING IT IN!” the coaches exclaimed.  With hands joined together, a cheesy chant ending with “ROCK STEADY” sealed the deal. We had done it. The first workout was in the books.  As for  “Lightning”, she thought it would be her last.

“I found the first class to be very intense, more so than I anticipated and I went home and spent the rest of the day on the couch because I was literally exhausted!  (I did very little exercise prior to this program, hence the exhaustion!!) My enthusiasm was completely deflated and I sadly went to my next class with the intent of quitting.  Kristin and Bart had previously asked for feedback on how we felt after the first class and I told them how I felt.”

Lightning walked in and handed over her gloves. As coaches, we couldn’t let her quit. Not yet. See, we knew that Lightening was a fighter. We just needed a little more time to prove to her that she was a Boxer. After some conversation, she agreed to give it one more shot. And boy did she ever! “ Jab! Jab! Cross!”  Lightening bobbed, weaved, and danced her way through the second class. At the end of the session, each boxer chose their fight name – “Jabbin’ Joe,” “The Stallion,” “The Hurricane.”  Our fierce fighter, who almost walked away, chose “Lightning” because her punches became electric and her smile could light up the night’s sky (her coaches came up with the second part!).

“They convinced me to give it a chance.  I did and here I am today!!!  I cannot express enough my gratitude for their support, for their commitment, their dedication and encouragement.  I have never felt better or stronger and have become totally committed to my RSB and PWR workouts.  Last, but not least, I have met wonderful folks at these classes and that is an extra bonus!!!”

~Kristin McCoach, Parkinson’s Program Co-Director and Rock Steady Boxing Coach (contact Kristin)

For more information about the Parkinson’s Program at Cornerstone, click here.



Amy’s story proves that your 40’s can be a great decade!

My husband and I joined Cornerstone in 2003. For several years,  I took spinning classes twice a week, yoga twice a week and then did some general weight training and cardio. When I turned 40, I decided I wanted to step things up. I wanted to start a new decade feeling stronger. I always struggled in aerobic and step classes, so I knew taking a class that required coordination was not for me. I was scared to go in the Training Room because I didn’t think I had the strength or stamina to try classes. At the time, Cornerstone offered a Boot Camp. For several years, that is where I was at 6:00 am, three mornings a week. Boot Camp helped me realize that I like working out with other people. I liked the group effort, and I was motivated and inspired by what I saw other people doing. I also appreciated being able to complain and laugh with other people, knowing I wasn’t alone (I was surprised to learn that one day a week, Boot Camp was held in the Training Room!).

A few years in to Boot Camp, a friend suggested I try team training with Lisa Andersen. I tried it one morning. Eight years later, I can still remember how sore I was after that first workout! But I also remember I wanted to go back.  I was so impressed with the workout Lisa prepared. I was amazed that even though she was training a group of people, Lisa was able to focus on each of us. Although we each had a different skill set or level of strength and fitness, we motivated, encouraged and pushed each other. In spite of training a group of people at the same time, Lisa had, and continues to have, a remarkable way to make it unique to each individual. When a shoulder injury impacted what I could do (no more pull ups), Lisa was quick to not only find other exercises, but along with physical therapy, to help my shoulder heal and gain strength during the process.

 As my time doing the team training with Lisa continued, I felt myself getting stronger and doing things I didn’t think (or know) I could do – things like push-ups and pull-ups. When I look back on some of our old workouts (I have many of them written down), I can see the progression I have made in how much weight I use and how my endurance has improved. When my life as a parent and a hospice social worker became more stressful, I started team training with Lisa twice a week. I recognized that for me, the benefit of team training with Lisa wasn’t just physical, but emotional too. Her workouts helped to keep me grounded, feel strong and empowered to face challenges. After I start my day working out with Lisa, I feel that I can tackle what the day has in store in for me. An added benefit of Lisa’s workouts is that they are “portable.” When I travel, I take the work out I have written down and repeat it while I am away. Even if I do not have access to a gym, I can always do some element of a Lisa workout.

I mentioned that I stepped up my workouts when I turned 40. As I approached 50 a short while ago, I was ready for another change but wasn’t sure what that was going to be. By chance, a conversation with Lisa generated that change. Full disclosure, I say by chance, but Lisa might disagree. She has long been an advocate for healthy eating and fueling the body properly. I have always heard her words but never paid too much attention or made any changes. Apparently, I was paying attention in one particular conversation. I mentioned to Lisa that in my late 20’s, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease (an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the thyroid). While my thyroid levels have always been managed, for years I suffered from other debilitating effects like exhaustion, pain and constant stomach distress. Lisa mentioned the negative impact things like gluten and diary could have on my body given the Hashimoto’s. She mentioned a book about Hashimoto’s disease, and how nutrition (among other things) can help manage symptoms. I purchased the book the next day and three days later started making changes that have resulted in me feeling better than I have in over 20 years. As I navigated a new way of eating and taking care of my body, Lisa was an amazing support. Now that I am in my “midlife,” I am sure her certification in Midlife Fitness for women will be an extra benefit/help for me as well. 

To this day, I continue with my twice a week team training and often do a third day of Lisa’s workout on my own or with some friends. Twice a week, I take a spin class with Lenny Vicciardo – his knowledge about how to get the most out of a spin bike, his energy and his music make it a great class.  And much to my surprise, Boot Camp taught me that I can do a Trainers Choice workout. I have a love/hate relationship with Vicki Tenaglia’s fun, energetic and intense Trainers Choice classes. The friendships I have made at Cornerstone (many of them through my team training with Lisa) and my regular workouts at Cornerstone help me to live my life more fully outside of the gym. I am thankful for the difference it has made in my life.

Interested in learning more about Personal Trainers like Lisa Andersen or about Training Studio classes in Doylestown? CONTACT US!


Create a Strong Core with Tribe!

Are you getting bored doing the same old workouts day after day? Then it might be time to try something new and exciting! Tribe Team Training is a great way to get in a fun and challenging workout in a motivating group environment. Tribe is a small group training program that meets twice a week for 6 weeks. Tribe coaches will be there with you every step of the way to keep you safe, push you when necessary, and help guide you through the workout. And with the option between Tribe FIT, CORE, and LIFE, there is a Tribe for everybody!

Tribe FIT is a high intensity conditioning workout that focuses on both strength and endurance. It’s perfect for anybody looking for a full body workout that tests their limits. If you’re looking for something just as challenging but low impact, then Tribe LIFE is the right choice for you! LIFE workouts are full body functional workouts that will help you build strength and improve your cardiovascular fitness at the same time. Both FIT and LIFE are offered at various times throughout the week, so simply call the Warrington Cornerstone Club to find a time that works for you!

However if you’re looking for a workout that is more tailored towards challenging your core, then Tribe CORE is perfect for you! CORE workouts are designed to help improve strength, stability, and power throughout your entire center (targeting mostly the shoulders, abdominals, back and glutes). If you’re tired of doing hundreds of sit-ups just to work your core, then you’ll love the variety that a Tribe CORE workout entails. Each workout strengthens the entire body, but they have an extra emphasis on core stability and strength. You’ll be amazed at how much stronger you can be in just 6 weeks!

If you’re ready to give Tribe a try, then sign up for a free class during Free Trial week which starts March 4th. We offer each class at a variety of different days and times, so there’s guaranteed to be one that fits your schedule. And for the upcoming season of Tribe (starting the week of March 11th), we have two brand new Tribe CORE classes! Join Coach Morgan on Mondays and Wednesdays at 9:30am or join Coach Alyssa on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:30pm to get in a great CORE workout! Check out the full season schedule on our website.  To sign up for a free class, fill out our form to directly contact Head Coach Sean Rimmer or give us a call at 215-918-5900!

Get to know Carol Hunt, Doylestown Massage Therapist

I’ve been meaning to set up an interview with Doylestown Massage Therapist Carol Hunt (license # msg000415) for some time. She’s an interesting and kind person and a font of information when it comes to bodywork. Given that February includes the Valentine holiday and is now considered a month to focus on love – both towards others as well as towards ourselves – it seemed the perfect time to speak with Carol who’s love of her work makes her not only an outstanding massage therapist, but also a valued member of the Cornerstone team.

How long have you been working at Cornerstone and what brought you here?

I started working at Cornerstone in September 1996, so it’s been a little over 22 years. A friend of mine used to drive by the Doylestown club, which was the first Cornerstone location. He told me that the parking lot was always full and suggested that I stop in and speak to someone. So, I did. Apparently, there was a massage therapist who had broken her ankle and no one was sure if she was coming back. After a couple interviews, I was hired. There were times when I was the only massage therapist on staff. Now, I’m fortunate to work with two other highly experienced massage therapists, Cathy Calabria-Kane and Rachel Zhang. Between the three of us, we have about 65 years of experience!

Why did you decide to become a massage therapist?

I originally went to massage school in the 80’s, but it wasn’t the right time in my life and I wasn’t ready to do anything with it. So, I went again in ’95 and by that time, I was ready to practice. As for why I chose this line of work, I can’t really articulate it. I just felt it was a calling, a calling that was strong enough that I paid for school twice!

How has massage therapy changed over the years that you have been practicing?

It’s much more in the public eye and awareness. Thankfully, the old-fashioned perception of “massage parlors” has dropped away and massage therapy has become properly integrated into the healthcare and wellness industry. There’s also been a lot more research in the last 10-15 years proving the efficacy of massage. We’ve learned that massage can benefit lots of different populations. Massage therapy has also become more professional with state licensure requirements along with other rules and regulations.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Staying relevant. I have a lot of long-term clients. I don’t want people getting bored with their massage. It’s important to me that I keep my massages fresh and focused on the needs of my clients. Since I love what I do, this is not hard.

How would you explain the importance of regular massage to overall health and wellness?

All massage is therapeutic with each treatment targeted towards creating total relaxation and restoration in an individual. Massage can release restrictions and ease muscle pain and tension, increase range of motion by promoting joint flexibility and induce relaxation, increase circulation and contribute towards deeper sleep.
Most people don’t stretch enojgh, so massage will help lengthen muscle fibers and can improve circulation through the body resulting in the movement of nutrients into and out of the cells. Tight muscles have less elasticity. So, cells have waste and toxic products. Relaxing muscles and improving fluid circulation moves nutrients into the cells and waste products out. Also, massage can help align new scar tissue and have it become pliable with the muscle fiber. There is also the importance of the power of touch. Massage therapy provides connection to another person in a non-judgmental and caring way. Massage is also like a vacation from stress which is the root of so much disease.

What do you like most about your job?

All of it. It feeds my soul. I love the one-on-one connection, I love seeing improvements in people, and I love “being the best part of their day”- even if it’s the fastest hour of a person’s day.

What’s one thing that most people don’t know about massage therapy?

That they are in charge. Too many people say, “I had a massage and it hurt”, but they don’t speak up. People are afraid to ask for what they want. I always thank people when they make it clear what they want. It makes it easier for me to do my job and complete my mission which is to satisfy my clients by giving them what they need. It’s about you. It’s not about the massage I want to give you.

What type of massage do you specialize in?

Oncology massage, Swedish/Deep Swedish, Hot stone and Pre and post natal. I’m also a Reiki Master. Sometimes, people will ask me what kind of massage I’m giving. After 2o + years of experience, I have the confidence to incorporate my many years of continuing education and often combine elements from different modalities so I can tailor a massage to fit a person’s specific needs. Sometimes there’s no simple answer – it’s often a mix of things based on experience.

Carol has helped many people over the years, both members and Cornerstone staff. Here’s what Kim Starkey, Doylestown Personal Trainer, had to say:

“Carol has helped out our whole family reduce pain and stress with her deep Swedish massages. I buy gift cards regularly for my mother, husband and sons. So much more effective than going to a doctor and getting medicine that causes other side effects.”

If you have any questions or would like to sign up for weekly emails announcing upcoming appointment openings, contact Carol at

If you’d like to make an appointment with Carol, she’s available in Doylestown at the following days and times:

Mondays, 3:00 – 8:00pm
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 10:00am – 3:30pm
First Saturday of the month, 10:00 – 3:00pm

Water in Motion: Water Exercise Classes in Bucks County

Cornerstone Clubs Aqua Fitness Class

A few months ago, I told you about a new program here at Cornerstone Warrington, the Arthritis Foundation Aqua Program, which helps those with arthritis and similar conditions. But maybe you don’t need the Arthritis class. Maybe you want a class that is going to get you moving, get your heart rate up, and have you smiling most of the time. In that case I encourage you to try Water In Motion, our newest aqua exercise program! Continue reading Water in Motion: Water Exercise Classes in Bucks County

FSA Accounts Could Include Fitness Club Membership With PHIT Legislation

FSA Account and your Gym

Physical activity is a great way to manage stress and feel great doing so, but we know budgeting for fitness club memberships, health club dues, or your kid’s sports leagues can seem like too much. Wouldn’t it be great if you could save 20 to 30 percent on these costs using pre-tax dollars from your Flexible Spending or Health Saving Accounts to cover these costs? We do too! That’s why we’re asking you join Cornerstone Clubs in supporting the PHIT Act!

Continue reading FSA Accounts Could Include Fitness Club Membership With PHIT Legislation