Hudson Valley Parent

HVP - June 2014

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Page 8 of 57 n Hudson Valley Parent 9 I am a Hudson Valley Parent Joe Wiles: Keeping his community on the run By KATHLEEN WILLCOX F or many of us, finding time to work out and eat right are optional chores that we try to squeeze in between absolutely essen- tial to-do's. Chiropractor Joe Wiles is trying to change that, one step at a time (quite literally), with a variety of expos, classes for children and adults, and a Facebook page that has become a virtual support center for their community in Marlboro. "Our goal is to help adults and children develop lifelong habits," Wiles says. "We try to meet them where they are on their health jour- ney, wherever that may be. What I always tell the kids I coach is true for all of us: it takes practice, prac- tice, practice to get that jump shot or that goal. And once you develop that discipline in one area of your life, you'll find that it is easier to apply yourself in school, in paying atten- tion to what you eat and even your overall mood and outlook." Discipline Careful, applied discipline is a way of life for Wiles. He was born in Queens to a father who ran a martial arts center. As a boy, he trained in the martial arts, eventually teaching in his father's center. He attributes the focus, determination and inner strength he learned in martial arts with helping him earn the grades for admission to Cornell University, where he met his future wife Carla, also a doctor. For the Wiles family, including Lily, 12, and Jayden, 6, physical activity and general wellness became a part of their identity. "Whenever we spend time togeth- er as a family, we're doing some- thing, preferably outside," Wiles says. "When Jayden was old enough, we started going to the track as a family. He was only 3, but he loved it! Peo- ple started noticing that we went out there together as a family, and they started asking questions. We invited them to join us with their families and before we knew it, there were 25 of us working out there every week." Online support The casual group workouts mor- phed into what has become known as Wiles' Fitness Boot Camp. In 2008, he created a Facebook group called the Marlboro Fit Club, where people could post their workout plans, invite others to join them and generally spill the beans about their health goals and pitfalls. "Now we have over 1,000 mem- bers," Wiles says. "Anyone and everyone is welcome to join and we always say 'you're only a stranger the first time.' Members post info about races they're going to be in to get other people to sign up. When- ever I run a local 5K or go out to the track now, I know I'm going to see 20 other people I know." In addition to leading Fitness Boot Camps, Wiles coaches 6th grade bas- ketball. He also initiated the first an- nual Healthy Living Expo held at the Marlboro Elementary School and the first annual Marlboro Fit Day, which includes a 5K race, healthy living classes, health vendors, demonstra- tions, a kickball tournament with 10 teams and a basketball tournament. Set for June 7 this year, there are still open slots for interested par- ticipants. Visit for more information. (All proceeds go to the Marlborough Recreation Department.) Impacting children When the town had to slash school budgets, funds for fitness are often the first to disappear. When Wiles saw that happening in Marl- boro, he says he couldn't just sit back and watch it happen. "I looked at my schedule and said 'I can fit this in!'" he says, laughing. "I started a running club for 3rd to 8th graders." The biggest rewards for Wiles have been in the clear, demonstrable impacts that parents have seen in the lives of their children. "When I get an email from a parent, it makes my day," he says. "A mother recently emailed me saying her daughters asked her to take them to the track on a day when they didn't have a session at the running club. Learning a sport is great, but it's lifelong habits that we're trying to instill and change, one person at a time." Do you know a Hudson Valley parent who inspires you? We profile local parents who are impacting their community. Submit your "I am a Hudson Valley Parent" nominations at "Learning a sport is great, but it's lifelong habits that we're trying to instill and change, one person at a time."

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