Walking into LIFT at SUNY Purchase every Wednesday and Saturday, my excitement builds as I begin to hear the motivating music from inside the gym.
By A.J. Chabot
Walking into LIFT at SUNY Purchase every Wednesday and Saturday, my excitement builds as I begin to hear the motivating music from inside the gym. The lights shoot on as they sense movement, I turn the corner, and I’m there — mentally and physically. Ready. My brain is telling me to start right away, but as I have learned, stretching comes first. My muscles are still sore from physical therapy, but I forget about it immediately. Following ten minutes of stretching and biking comes the challenge, the burning, the hard part.
Founded by Matthew Tauber in 2007, Lifestyle Integrated Fitness Training (LIFT) has been very successful, working with a wide range of athletes.
During a typical day, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tauber trains anyone from middle schoolers and soccer moms to professional athletes and Olympians. Tauber’s career as a trainer began in 1996. The Mamaroneck resident, formerly of Rye, has helped hundreds of area citizens reach their health and fitness goals.
Tauber is Rye High’s football team trainer, and served as athletic trainer at Rye for all sports from 2001 to 2009. As former athletic trainer at New Rochelle High School, Tauber has known NFL players Ray Rice and Courtney Greene since they were in middle school. Tauber continues to work with both of them, even through their busy schedules. Greene plays safety for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Rice, a tailback for the Baltimore Ravens, works with Tauber mostly during his off-season. Tauber also has worked with:
— Smush Parker, a former Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat basketball player.
— C.J. Miles of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
— Alexandra Singer, a Rye High graduate who plays professional soccer for FFC Turbine Potsdam of Germany.
— Luge athlete A.J. Rosen. Rosen competed for Great Britain the last two winter Olympic Games.
— Gymnast John Orozco, who competed for the United States in last summer’s Olympic Games in London.
Tauber and Orozco have known each other since 2010. When Orozco tore his right achilles tendon at the National Championships, he said his doctor recommended him to “these awesome guys to get me back in the game.” While doing his rehabilitation at LIFT, Orozco was limited to working on his core and upper body. When asked why LIFT is different from other training facilities, the Olympian answered, “I like the hospitality and how I can get a lot done. There’s no shenanigans and everyone is very professional.” On a recent Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics, Orozco tore his ACL and meniscus on a dismount off the parallel bars; he now comes to LIFT three times per week to get stronger.
Throughout his career, Tauber has trained various Rye High athletes, who are now playing in college. They include Connor Eck who plays football at Union College, Cole McCormack who plays lacrosse at Cornell, Andrew Davis who plays lacrosse at Dartmouth, Rob Santangelo who plays lacrosse at Union, Maddy Chabot (my sister) who plays lacrosse and soccer at Wesleyan, Carter Talgo who plays soccer at Middlebury, and Emma Tucci who plays lacrosse at Duke. Throughout their athletic careers, all have been injured or kept out of their sport at least once. Tauber has helped rehabilitate them and propelled them into college and international competition.
Another Rye High student-athlete, Charlotte Tucci, said, “Although running 300s isn’t my favorite thing to do, Matt’s motivating words and the blasting Pandora radio somehow get me through the sprints.”
I’ve been a client of Tauber’s since 2010 when I was injured due to a lack of preparation transitioning from downhill skiing to lacrosse. I developed stress fractures in my upper shin on both legs in the during the 2010 lacrosse season. By April, I was out of sports, however the doctors were unsure why I was having pain. After MRIs, X-rays, and eventually a bone scan, medical experts figured out my hip problem. I hope to resume playing lacrosse for Rye High this spring, and skied for the first time since bi-lateral hip surgery this month.