by Tom Chowanec
Hi, Conejo Valley! I’m Tom Chowanec, and I am a personal trainer/gym owner. I will be writing Conejo Valley Fit, a fitness column for Conejo Valley Happening. My goal is to help educate our community on the importance of general fitness and help keep you strong and fit, especially if that’s one of your New Year’s resolutions. Before getting started, I thought you’d like to know a little more about me.
I received my certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine in April of 2000 and, currently, I am working as the Program Director of SportFit Westlake. My background in the athletic, fitness and rehabilitation arenas are vast. With over 15 years of continuing education and experience on the fitness floor, I have been able to develop a very effective, science-based training system that suits the needs of each individual or athlete. My education is constantly evolving and on-going.
I train professional, national and Olympic athletes. I also work with high school/collegiate football, baseball, soccer, Lacrosse, tennis, cross country, wrestling and track & field athletes. My ultimate goal is to help our athletes achieve athletic college scholarships. I understand and respect how hard it is for the parents to write that check each month as their investment towards that scholarship. We have a great record achieving that goal for the persistent and determined athlete.
I spent my younger youth playing club soccer and baseball until the age of twelve. But my true passion was in action sports. I started riding motorcycles at eight years old. I began racing BMX and Motocross at 12 years old until I was 16. I won two regional nationals during that period. Then competed downhill mountain biking from 19-21 years old, achieving second place in a world cup as my best finish. I also did a lot of surfing from 13-17 years old. Today’s passions include trail/desert motorcycling, snowboarding, skiing and surfing.
At the age of 18, I suffered a motorcycle vs. automobile accident. The condition was serious and included a broken sacrum, lower back, left shoulder and ribs. Internal bleeding contributed to the collapse of both my lungs, twice. Rehabilitation included being able to breathe and walk again properly. A left shoulder replacement and low back spinal fusion were to come 12 and 15 years later. The passion for post-rehabilitation for others is personal for me.
I opened SportFit Westlake to provide the people with the means and know-how to accomplish any personal fitness and athletic goals. Through proper nutrition and committed execution of our training system, any realistic goal will be accomplished.
In December of 2016, we built a small obstacle course like you see on American Ninja Warrior. A retired Recon Marine-turned-Hollywood stuntman from the show built the course. We opened our facility to the general public for memberships in January of 2017.
I have lived in the Conejo Valley for over 30 years. It has been a dream and honor of mine to serve our local community. Through our services, we have played a large part in helping our local youth earn athletic scholarships as well as helping our citizens improve their general health and get the back into the game of life.
Through my column, I will offer helpful fitness tips and tricks to keep you healthy, strong and active in the coming new year.
Sportfit Westlake is located at 31360 Via Colinas #102, Westlake Village; (818) 419-4330