Hi OTAC Family,

In the face of the coronavirus challenge, we at OTAC want you to know that we are doing our part in the fight against this illness, and that you are a priority to us.

Since the very first day we opened, we have considered cleanliness a number one priority and always use the highest quality products to fight unwanted bacteria and germs. In addition to our normal rigor, we have added more cleanings throughout the day with even more detailed and diligent focus. 

The wipes that are available to members are called FLEX WIPES, which kill MRSA, E. coli, norovirus, hepatitis, herpes, influenza, COVID-19 and more. 

We are asking you to partner with us in the effort to minimize the spread of germs. If we work together, we can maintain a healthy environment for everyone. Here are some ways to help prevent sickness:

  • Throughout your exercise sessions, we ask that you wipe down mats, bands, foam rollers, dumbbells, and handles. 
  • Wash hands before and after your workouts.
  • Many people choose to invest in their own mat if they use one frequently. We have mats for sale for $25.00 at the front desk. 
  • If you participate in group fitness and/or training sessions, instructors and trainers will ask you to use one wipe (one is enough!) before class and one wipe at the end of class to make a quick sweep of equipment you used. This is normal protocol—but we think it is important to be even more aware during this time. 
  • Sneeze in your elbow.
  • Refrain from putting your fingers in your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Did we mention we should all wash our hands frequently? 🙂

We as staff members will be washing our hands frequently and following CDC guidelines for maintaining clean work surfaces.

We ask that if you are presenting any symptoms of illness, please stay home. Our staff will be doing the same.

THE MOST IMPORTANT MESSAGE regarding the best way to PREVENT disease and illnesses is to keep our immune system strong by:

Exercising regularly, following a healthy eating plan, getting adequate sleep, reducing our stress and surrounding ourselves with a community of support and friendships.  We should all keep doing what we are doing at OTAC because we are preventing disease by doing so!

We understand how easy it is to buy into the fear—we all have natural instincts to protect our families. At the same time, it can be unhealthy to disrupt your normal activities if you are a healthy individual. Our business is disease prevention and wellness through healthy activities and strong sense of community. We will continue to do thiseffectively and with confidence.

Be smart, encourage cleanliness, and promote wellness! Do activities that keep your immune system strong and stress levels low.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will make adjustments as needed.

Please do not hesitate to ask us for help. We want to be part of keeping our community strong. Together we can!



In December of last year,Old Town Athletic Club on Walker Drive was transformed into the Old Town Athletic Campus with the addition of The Hub, a brand new space delivering an improved fitness experience with boutique-style exercise spaces.

Members of all fitness levels now have the ability to select memberships that cater to their specific goals. Options include OTAC Spark, or group exercise classes; OTAC Fury, or small group classes; OTAC Force, or semi-private training; and OTAC Focus, or one-on-one training. OTAC Breathe a yoga and Pilates membership, and Parisi Speed School, an athletic conditioning membership, are available at the lower building.

Now officially joining the lineup as of March 8, comes OTAC Iron, a utilitarian-style gym designed for the specific needs of independent exercisers, and OTAC’s most affordable option at $39 per month. Iron, operational since last December, has undergone extensive renovations to create an open floor plan that will house brand new cardio and weightlifting equipment.

Cole Forsten, the visionary behind Iron, has spent the last year preparing for its debut. “Iron has always been a dream of mine,”he says. “People deserve a space to work out that is open, clean and welcoming with plenty of amenities. You’ll find that both at Iron and at OTAC as a whole. Whether you’re a student, single, married or retired, you can find a form of exercise here that you love.”

One of Forsten’s main goals in creating Iron was to give members access to the best equipment at an affordable price point—without forfeiting quality. “It’s time that the independent exercising community has a place that allows them to work out the way they want,” says Forsten. “Our equipment will always be clean, operational, and upgraded on a regular basis. No one should have to forfeit amenities just because they like to work out independently.”

Iron members can enjoy brand new treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, rowers, selectorized equipment, and wide variety of cable options. For avid lifters—dumbbells from five to 150 pounds, squat racks, bumper plates, standard and specialty bars, and an outdoor workout area with a squat rack, a sled and monkey bars are available. There are also dedicated areas for stretching, ab and body weight work, and accessories like bands, plyo boxes, TRX systems, pull-up bars and more.

Additional amenities include a fully stocked juice bar, locker rooms with showers and a supplement and retail store. For members with young children, Kid Care is also offered as an option.

There is just one more thing Forsten wants the community to know. “There is a common misconception about integrating health into your life,” he says. “People think they have to get in shape before joining a gym, and that’s just not the case. We are here to help people at any stage of their fitness journey. You don’t have to wait until you reach certain goals to come see us.”

In the month of March, OTAC Iron is offering a 10% discount for new members, bringing the monthly price from $39 to $35. To learn more about becoming a member of OTAC Iron, Spark, Force, Fury, Focus, Breathe or Parisi, call (540) 349-2791.

‘It’s Time’: OTAC Iron Fitness Center Opens to Community


Is this you?

You’re ready to shake off the dust of the past 12 months and move into a fresh, clean new year with no mistakes and no regrets. You’re drawn to the idea of a fresh start. The notion of renewing your dedication to your goals is a very attractive one. When you close your eyes, you can see your future self, handling everything life throws at you and making it look easy. “From now on, your troubles will be miles away,” as the holiday songs promise. A new beginning, right around the corner.

Each time the calendar resets, though, none of this comes as easily as you’d envisioned in those dwindling days of the previous year.

But maybe it’s not your fault. Maybe it’s your schedule’s fault. How long is your daily to-do list, for example? It’s long, isn’t it? Maybe each kid has to be driven to various activities six days a week, or maybe you find yourself overcommitting and now work and your personal life are competing for your attention. And at the end of each day, no matter how busy you were, you’re left with this nagging feeling that you didn’t do enough. What is up with this?!

And then there’s this (is this you?):

It’s hard to bring 100% of your focus to the task at hand. As you’re doing one thing, your mind always wanders off to something else. You feel unsatisfied at the end of the day because it felt like a blur of uninterrupted chaos, where you somehow didn’t get everything done. Tasks feel joyless, even the things that are supposed to be for your benefit, like carving out time to exercise, read a book or get a haircut.

Maybe the secret to unlocking that future version of yourself described above is to learn how to focus. Maybe it’s impossible to focus all of your energy into each individual task right now because you’re simply doing too much. You’re coming home frustrated and frazzled, because even though you’ve technically done a lot, you haven’t done anything particularly well.

When you’re not focused, you’re not “in the moment.” And there’s joy to be had in the moment. Imagine if you could figure out how to get completely lost in the adrenalin high from a spin class, or be totally present when your spouse is talking to you from across the table, or get genuinely swept up by your child’s excitement over an accomplishment. How would your life feel different?

We make choices every day about how we’re going to spend our time. Twice a week, I cook for my family. Depending on what I’m making, it can take hours to prepare. I choose to do that, and it brings me great satisfaction and great joy. But if I have to rush home because I haven’t devoted the right amount of time needed to do it, or I agreed to take on something else while I’m preparing for the evening, I’m dividing my attention. I’ve made it so much harder to be grateful for the time with my family. But when I commit to focusing 100% of my energy and attention on what I’m doing, it’s the best I feel all week.

Whenever we’re about to start an exercise class, I always ask the group to think about what brought them through the door, and what they want to get out of the workout today. I say, “Think about that, and let that be your driving force for the next hour.” When you start thinking about your list of things to do, or that you’re bored, or that you wish the person next to you wasn’t slinging sweat on you, go back to why you’re here. It’s not like you’re wasting your time; you’ve chosen to be here. This class may be 10% of your day, but if you devote 100% of your effort into that 10%, you are in the moment. You’re alleviating anxiety. You’re feeling what you’re doing, and that in and of itself is a satisfying thing.

Devoting 100% your focus and energy into each activity that you do builds happiness. It builds gratitude. It builds awareness and passion and self-discovery. It builds that future self that otherwise always seems just out of reach. A future self that might do less, but feel more.



Why Focusing Fuels Gratitude


Serves 6
1 can artichokes in water (drained)
Juice of 2 lemons plus zest from 1 lemon
4 plum tomatoes – cut into chunks
4 cloves garlic – minced
2 tbs. capers
2 tbs chopped fresh basil
1 cup of white wine
1 cup of chicken stock (You could use seafood stock instead)
Tabasco (optional)
Vegetable oil or grape seed oil (use oil that can handle high heat)
Olive oil small amount
6  (4-6 oz) halibut filets (you could use grouper, too or another similar fish of your liking)
Salt and pepper and creole seasoning

Rinse and pat dry the filets – salt and pepper them – sprinkle some creole seasoning on them too (creole is optional)

Heat oil in skillet – medium high
Add filets – cook on one side for 4 minutes – flip and cook for 2 more minutes
Remove from the skillet and set aside

Turn stove down a bit to medium.
Add some olive oil to the pan and sauté garlic for 1 minute.
Add artichokes and let them get a little brown (2 minutes maybe)
Add tomatoes, white wine, chicken stock, lemon juice and zest and reduce the liquid to about 1/2.
Taste – add a little Tabasco if you want a little kick – add the basil and capers- and adjust salt and pepper if needed.
Add the filets back into the pan and sauté for another 2 minutes or until fish is cooked to your liking.


Halibut with Artichokes, Lemon, Tomatoes and Capers


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