THE MAHFOOD FAMILY
It’s a real honor to profile one of my favorite workout buddies, Margaret Anton, and her amazing family. She represents the ham in a three-generational sandwich of devoted members at Michael’s Body Scenes.
Her dad, Ferdinand “Ferdy” Mahfood is 80 years young and has never workout out in a gym before.
“Now he trains with Joel and loves the whole experience,” says Margaret, 54. “Joel is very caring and patient and has helped my father with his balance and strength. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s two years ago and become weak. The family was truly worried about him falling or having an accident. But we’ve seen a tremendous improvement since he started working out. Even his voice is clearer and brighter!”
Margaret’s mother Patricia Mahfood is 78 and has been a member for over five years.
“My mother had four heart stents in a few years and the cardiologist stressed the importance of cardiovascular training. Patty goes to the gym three times a week and trains with Kate. Kate has been very helpful with the type of exercise she needs to help with balance and core strength.”
Margaret says that both her parents love Michael’s atmosphere because of the courtesy and respect they get from all the staff.
Her daughter Lauren, 24, who is studying to be a dietitian, also is a member.
“Due to college and graduate school, I have only been able to go to Michael’s during holiday breaks or over summer vacations. But even when I return after months of absence I feel welcomed. Unlike the big chains, I have gone to Michael’s is family. They know you by name and they genuinely care about your personal success. You are not just a number and there aren’t any gimmicks.”
Margaret’s cheerful smile can be seen in the many group classes she attends, ranging from Body Sculpting, Pilates to Spinning.
“What sets Michael’s apart is there is something for everyone, at every age level and ability,” she says. “Ever since I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 I am even more committed to working out and eating healthy. I feel that the gym keeps me motivated and gives me a positive sense of well being. In going through my breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, I started to lose control of who I was and how I could take care of my health. I was encouraged by several trainers at the gym when I was going through chemo and it helped me tremendously.
“I work fulltime at Food For The Poor, which is a nonprofit ministry aiding the poor in 17 countries and Stacy Rosen, one of my favorite instructors/trainers, announced during one or her classes that we were collecting toys for children during the holiday season. Sure enough, the ladies in her class brought in gifts for Food For The Poor!
“Michael’s has an intimate atmosphere and you quickly establish a connection with other members as well as the staff. It’s how lasting friendships and good health are made.”
By Lynn Allison