Neighbors Share Their Love of GCFF

Adrian and Marcela Porro and Joan Golembiewski have been neighbors in Schiller Park for more than fifteen years and friends for more than 25 years. “We share produce from each other’s gardens; we borrow tools and we know each other’s children as well as we know our own,” said Marcela. So when the Porros decided to adopt a regular workout routine and joined the Gottlieb Center for Fitness (GCFF), they purchased a trial membership for Joan as well.

“The one month membership was my Christmas present,” said Joan.  GCFF was an instant hit and the three have worked out several times per week together and separately for the past three years.

Marcela was advised to increase her fitness by her physician, Richard Mattis, MD, internal medicine, at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital. “I needed to lower my blood pressure and cholesterol and also trim my weight,” said Marcela, a teacher at East Leyden High School. “I also suffer from asthma and improving my physical health would also improve my breathing.”

Dr. Mattis recommended GCFF.  “The experienced, Certified Exercise Physiologists are excellent at helping members to establish effective physical routines,” he said. “The GCFF atmosphere is also very welcoming and supportive, especially to those who are new to working out.”

In addition to using the machines, Marcela, Adrian and Joan regularly join studio exercise classes ranging from cycling to body sculpting and Pilates to Zumba.  “I can watch the evening news as I exercise on the machines and the studio classes always offers something new and creative so I don’t get bored,” said Marcela.  

She also likes the security of knowing a comprehensive hospital is just minutes away. “I got sick once while exercising and the staff was very attentive. I feel my health is safeguarded very closely,” she said.

The three also participate in GCFF special events. “We three walked up the 103 flights of the Willis Tower and completed two additional area building walks with others from GCFF,” said Marcela.   

“I am in better shape now than I was five years ago and I keep working out to improve my health,” she said. “My blood pressure and cholesterol are much lower, my asthma medication is reduced and I have lost 8 pounds.”

Joan has lost almost 50 pounds in the past three years at GCFF. “I was really working hard to increase my stamina and range of exercise at GCFF and after about a year decided to get serious about my eating habits,” said the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons manager. “I am now in the best shape of my life.”  

Just as the Porros introduced GCFF to her, and also to their daughter, Joan has also introduced Gottlieb to her daughter and son-in-law who have been members.  “From young married couples to working professionals to retired people, GCFF offers a solution for everyone looking to improve their health,” she said.