Forte to Fit: Sarah Cion's Fitness Journey

Health and Wellness are terms that are constantly trending on the web these days. From millennials to baby boomers and everyone in between, getting in shape is a goal started by many and accomplished by few. Sarah Cion is one of the few that is accomplishing that goal to be healthy and she’s used tennis as the vehicle driving her success after having an illustrious music career.

Cion, a professional jazz pianist and published author, has traveled the world performing with her jazz trio. After years of traveling and performing in places like Israel, Portugal, Japan, and some of the most famous jazz clubs around New York City, Cion decided to settle down to have a family with her equally talented musician husband, Phil.

For Sarah, her fitness journey started in February of 2014 after a dress fitting for her brother’s wedding. “My soon to be sister-in-law asked me to try on a dress and after looking in the mirror, I realized I needed to get toned up, but I have a real love hate relationship with the gym” said Cion. She isn’t alone with her dislike for the monotony of the gym. It was at the urging of Sarah’s mother that helped her come up with different ideas for getting in shape. “My mom tried to help me. She suggested walking, swimming, yoga, but none of them seemed like any fun,” commented Cion.

It wasn’t until her daughter started a free tennis program at nearby Van Cortlandt Park that Sarah came to learn about Yonkers Tennis Center. “After my daughter finished her program, she wanted to continue with her friend who was already playing at YTC and I ended up enrolling her in the program,” stated Cion. “I was sitting watching her clinic one afternoon and someone suggested that I do an evaluation and start playing myself.” Timing is everything and for Sarah tennis came at a perfect time in her life. “It was serendipitous that I had to put aside my music career and now I’ve found something that has helped me with my own personal reinvention.”

Sarah’s first step in her fitness transformation was first seeing herself in a new light. “I was loving tennis and I wanted to improve. I soon started viewing myself as something I had never been before, an athlete,” commented Cion. It was after this first epiphany that Cion made her next big step. “ I decided in my mind that I was an athlete and if I was going to be the best athlete I could be, then I also needed to eat and train like an athlete.” It was then that Sarah would change her nutrition and start becoming the athlete she saw herself to be.

Yonkers Tennis Center’s times two (X2) philosophy of playing more to improve faster fit perfectly with Sarah’s goals. “I went off of the 10,000 hours approach and that I would be 88 years old if I only played one hour each day per week to become a good player,” joked Cion. “Having experienced what it takes to become a professional musician, I knew that I needed to play multiple times per week if I wanted to see improvement.” Sarah’s current tennis regime includes her weekly clinic, a private lesson, and a few drop-in clinics throughout the week.

A year into her fitness journey and thirty pounds lighter, Sarah loves that each game is a new experience and giving her new goals to strive for. “The ball is bouncing every which way and each day on the court can be unpredictable, but it keeps me laughing and smiling,” stated Cion. Sarah’s new goals include “being a dependable doubles partner for my USTA team and to keep improving my skills.” A noteworthy achievement is her recent victory at one of YTC’s Women’s USTA 3.0 tournament, which also happens to be a level above where she first started.

While the pages of her score are now filled with grunts and groans rather than the melodic bass line of her trio, Sarah’s fitness journey is still music to her ears!

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