Six sixth-grade girls from the Springs School enthusiastically underwent an hourlong workout, using the TRX straps and mats at the Epic Strength and Conditioning studio adjacent to the Maidstone Market last Thursday.
The workout, provided gratis by Epic’s four personal trainer partners, Alex Posada, Christian Pena, Jorge Alvarado, and Stephany Brito, was intended to help prepare these newest members of the ever-growing I-Tri adolescent girls empowerment program for a youth triathlon that is to be held at Maidstone Park on July 14.
“They’ll do at least four more of these sessions with the girls,” said Theresa Roden, I-Tri’s founder. “They’re donating everything, and they also help sponsor our Turbo Tri” to be held at Maidstone Park on June 15 over the same course used in the youth triathlon.
I-Tri, whose motto is “Transformation Through Triathlon,” has 50 members at present divided between the Springs and Montauk Schools. Of that number, about 35, said Roden, are “alumnae,” inasmuch as they’ve been through the program once.
And while I-Tri, now in its fourth year, has focused on developing the minds and bodies and self-esteem of adolescent girls, at least two mothers of I-Tri members, Noemi Sanchez and Alissa Mulligan, have become so intrigued that they are training with their daughters so that they can give the Turbo Tri (300-yard swim, 7-mile bike, and 1.5-mile run) a try.
Before the girls arrived, Epic’s four young partners, three of whom graduated from East Hampton High School, and whose families’ roots can be traced to Colombia (Posada and Pena), Venezuela (Brito), and Peru (Alvarado), said they’ve been giving back to the community for the past two years now, trying to spread a healthy-living gospel.
Posada, the eldest of the group, at 34, starred with the late John Villaplana on East Hampton High’s first standout boys soccer teams in the mid-1990s. He no longer plays the sport, owing to torn anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus injuries — the latter was surgically repaired — though he remains fit.
“We’re doing pretty well and the summer hasn’t even begun yet,” said Posada, to which Pena added, “For the past two years we’ve been giving back, as we’re doing today. We’ve been training single mothers and their children for free; we’ve been working with Phoenix House too, helping drug addicts in recovery . . . we’re training the Maidstone Market men’s soccer team. . . . We all believe in positive energy and that what you give comes back.”
They also believe, said Brito (whose younger sister, Jennifer, is on the high school’s girls track team), that “the mother of all pain is being sedentary.”
Brito and Pena are competitive body builders who have been coached by Chris Cosich. “Eighty percent of it is nutrition,” said Pena, who added, “We’re all gym rats. Chris saw us and offered us help. A lot of our drive derives from Chris.”
Sharon McCobb, who recently was named president of the Old Montauk Athletic Club, which underwrites numerous athletic endeavors here, and who oversees I-Tri swimming and running workouts at the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter Saturday afternoons, came to the studio with Roden, Kathryn Perry, and the girls, who numbered Alandra Aguilar, Marissa Harry, Sammy Schurr, Jennifer Villacis, Tiffany Wyche, and Anna Rafferty.
Later, McCobb, who was OMAC’s athlete of the year in 2011, said she thought the sixth-grade girls, who were introduced to TRX straps for the first time that day, did well. “There was a lot of enthusiasm, and they kept going, didn’t they.”