WILKES-BARRE TWP. — As a father of three active kids involved in a variety of sports, Mike Bazadona’s schedule consists of running from one athletic event to another.
Wanting to share his family’s passion for action with others, Bazadona, owner of NEPA Event Pros in Forty Fort, envisioned bringing all things health and fitness-related together for a weekend.
“I said, ‘Let’s do a trade show, but it’s got to be a great trade show,’ ” said Bazadona. “I wanted there to be excitement, with exercise classes every hour on the hour.” That dream came to fruition over the weekend during the NEPA Sports and Fitness Expo held at the Wyoming Valley Sports Dome.
In addition to the 67 vendors offering health advice and screenings, the event featured karate demonstrations, rock climbing, a variety of fitness classes, a cheerleading showcase and a BMX freestyle competition.
Catching her breath after competing in the U.S. Air Force Fitness Throwdown competition, Louise Alabre Trumm of Shavertown said she has come a long way since she first started training.
The competition, in conjunction with NEPA Crossfit, tested a broad range of fitness including running, rowing and barbell lifting.
“At my age, I’ve noticed that I have more muscle than I’ve ever had, and I’m much more flexible,” said Alabre Trumm, 52.
Alabre Trumm said she and her fellow teammates, Lisa Davidson, 38, and Allison Buczynski, 21, both of Mountain Top, cheered each other on when the going got tough.
“You get nervous because you want to do well, but everyone is so nice,” said Alabre Trumm. “It’s like competing with a bunch of friends.”
“When we were at the gym, we strategized,” said Buczynski. “You make a plan, but once you get tired, however, you don’t always execute it because you’re frickin’ dead.”
Davidson agreed, adding that the women frequently alternated positions as they carried the 200-pound barbell back and forth across the playing field. “The key was to rotate through it,” she said.
Being in great physical shape isn’t the only measure of athletic ability, said Jen Croneberger, a motivational speaker, life coach and author who was on hand to offer advice to event-goers. Being able to connect with others is just as important.
“Showing up as our best selves in everything we do is what it’s all about,” said Croneberger. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re an athlete, a stay-at-home mom or the CEO of a Fortune 500-level company. The ability to connect with people is universal.”