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Tom

Tom kiddingly refers to himself as just a “peasant from Texas.” Don’t be fooled. Yes, Tom’s a native of Waco. But, he’s also a successful executive with a long track record of helping to build corporate value within global companies. When he retired, Tom bid adieu to his 80-hour workweek, but he maintained an important part of his daily schedule, swimming. And we don’t mean a couple of laps. So, when Tom discovered The Aquatics & Fitness Center at Shannondell, the indoor Olympic size pool drew him in, well, like a duck to water.

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Q:
How long have you been swimming?

Tom:
Since I was 14, after a lengthy recovery from an accident that included rehab work in the pool. It was a savior mentally and physically.

Q:
And you maintained the practice throughout your corporate career?

Tom:
Yes, for the most part. Running companies is time consuming, but being an early riser, I would just get up earlier to allow time to swim before heading to the office. Even after I retired, I would swim in the pool behind our home. But being a small pool, I constantly had to turn when I hit the edge. Here at Shannondell, I can swim a mile in just under 80 laps.

Q:
So, was it the Shannondell Aquatics Center that sealed your decision to move here?

Tom:
That was certainly part of it. When my wife and I started looking at communities, we thought we wanted to live closer to Newtown Square, where our home was. So, when a friend who had worked with me invited us to join them for dinner at Shannondell, I can remember pulling out the map and thinking that’s a long way. Once we walked through the front door of the Ashcroft clubhouse, the distance became moot. We fell in love with the place. My wife says it’s because the dining room served our favorite dessert, Bananas Foster, that first night with our friends.

Q:
So, the pool and bananas did the trick?

Tom:
Yea (laughing), and about a thousand other details.

Q:
What do you mean?

Tom:
We had looked at other communities: Dunwoody, the Erickson properties you know, the usual in this neck of the woods. You have to see the others to appreciate the attention to detail at Shannondell architecturally, staffing, personal services and, performing arts. I’ve always been very interested in music, but never had the time to devote to it. Now, I’m taking music appreciation classes with Jeffrey Uhlig, and through the Shannondell Performing Arts Center, we’re exposed to top talent like David Kim, a world-class violinist with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Q:
So it sounds like the Performing Arts serve as a balance to your swimming.

Tom:
Not just swimming, now. About a week after I was here, I got out of the pool and walked into the Fitness Center and met Michelle, one of the personal trainers here at Shannondell. She re-introduced me to all the strength-training machines and put together a program to compliment my daily swim.

Q:
Can you tell a difference since you added the new program to your swimming?

Tom:
I’ll tell you how much of a difference it’s made. I had to use a cane when we first moved to Shannondell. After a couple of months of working on the machines and swimming, I didn’t need the cane anymore. I thought I was pretty fit when we lived in Newtown, but I’m more active and healthier because of it, since we moved to Shannondell.

Q:
And I understand you’ve become quite a role model for other residents.

Tom:
I do know there are more people in the pool at 5 a.m. than when I first moved here. I have heard from a couple of women that they figured if I could swim 80 laps, they could at least do walking laps around the pool. And they have thanked me for providing the motivation. I don’t take credit, though. I mean.

Q:
I know, you’re just a “peasant from Texas,” right?

Tom:
You’re dang toot’n.

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