Aspen Times Weekly: Power Play
IF YOU GO…
2016 ASPEN SPORTS SUMMIT
PRESENTED BY BILL FABROCINI AND THE ASPEN CLUB
Sept. 9 & 10, 2016
Aspen Meadows Resort, Doerr Hosier
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Price: $299 for two-day pass/ $165 for single-day pass/ $129 student pass
A PAIR OF PRESENTERS
One of the most versatile athletes on the planet, Williams won gold medals in both the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, as a member of the 2 Woman Bobsleigh team, and in the 2012 London Olympics as a member of the US 4x100m relay team. She also won a silver medal eight years before in the 100m at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Now, using her skills as a speaker, she will address the Aspen Sports Summit on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 12:30 p.m. In a presentation titled “A Few Things I Know For Sure,” she will discuss her experiences as a woman on a global athletic stage and in the world of sports medicine, nutrition and competition.
“I hope to inspire people to be the best they can be,” she said. “Nobody is perfect and we should delight in our imperfections.”
Greg Roskopf, M.A.
As the founder of the Muscle Activation Techniques program, Roskopf is an expert in how the cause and effect of the muscular system relates to physical pain. He operates the Denver-based program and works with personal clients and professional sports organizations, including the Denver Broncos, the Utah Jazz and the Denver Nuggets.
Perhaps his best-known client was former Bronco quarterback Peyton Manning, who worked extensively with Roskopf as he recovered from neck surgery that forced him to miss a season. Manning was quoted by Peter King in a Sports Illustrated article in 2012 as saying, “Last year, when I flew Roskopf to Indianapolis, I was paying him what he’d make all day for his appointments in Denver. But if he helps me extend my career by two years, with two more years of salary, it’s well worth it.”
I guess it was.
“My goal is that attendees will recognize how many times exercise can reinforce our imbalances which in turn can lead to injury,” Roskopf said. “From this they will be able to take away principles that will allow them to more effectively prescribe exercises for their clients.”
Roskopf will speak on the effects of Muscle Activation Techniques on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.
Over the past quarter-century, Bill Fabrocini has become a go-to physical therapist in the Roaring Fork Valley.
For those who have injured their knees on the slopes, their shoulders in the hockey rinks, or their backs in their day-to-day lives, an appointment with Fabrocini has become the holy grail of recovery. He has developed a reputation for aiding athletes and helping ordinary folks regain control of their bodies as they come back from the injuries that are part and parcel of the Aspen lifestyle.
But just don’t call him a “healer.” At least not to his face.
“Yeah, I get that a lot,” he said sheepishly, as his gaze drifted to the floor of Victoria’s Espresso and Wine Bar, where he sat sipping a green tea. “But I’d never call myself that. I consider healers as part of the Eastern traditions. I just use what I have learned over the years about the neurological, muscular, respiratory and cardiovascular systems of the body to find connections, to see patterns, and use those to help people improve and get better.”
He paused, then added, “I’ve been playing with the same machine for years.”
It is this combination of a wide-ranging knowledge of the human body and his gentle but laser-focused personality that has made Fabrocini perhaps the most in-demand physical shaman in the valley. Now, he is expanding his presence and sphere of influence by sharing not only his expertise, but also the wisdom of many of America’s finest minds in physical therapy, coaching and medicine in a two-day event called the Aspen Sports Summit.
ASPEN SPORTS SUMMIT 2.0
On Sept. 9 and 10, the Aspen Meadows will host the second annual Aspen Sports Summit, presented by Bill Fabrocini and the Aspen Club. In an intense and diverse program, attendees will listen to lectures by luminaries in the sports-lifestyle culture ranging from athletes (former 100m world champion and five-time Olympian Lauryn Williams) to sports psychologists (Dr. Haley Perlus, professor at the University of Colorado) to best-selling authors (Chris Crowley, of the “Better Next Year” series of books).
In addition to lectures, year two at the Aspen Sports Summit will give attendees the chance to physically participate with the speakers in specific exercises and workouts.
“The first session on Friday at 8 a.m. will be a workout session with PJ O’ Clair, one of the most highly regarded Pilates instructors on the planet,” Fabrocini said.
For an 75 minutes, Summit attendees will be able to go through a stretch session at the Meadows with the best in the business without flying to Boston, O’Clair’s home base.
“Best” is a word that comes up often in discussions of the Aspen Sports Summit. Though unaffiliated with the Aspen Institute and the Aspen Ideas Festival, the Aspen Sports Summit has many things in common with that august group. Not only does it share a venue with the Ideas Fest, it also embodies a similar philosophy: bring the most innovative and important speakers on a given topic to Aspen and provide an open and unfettered forum for the exchange of ideas. Think of the Aspen Sports Summit as an Ideas Festival for those who aspire to live the uber-physical Aspen lifestyle.
“I believe the best way to inspire people is to gather inspirational speakers together and let them talk about their passion,” Fabrocini said. “The best in their given fields will be here with a primary motivation of helping others create and achieve their dreams and fitness goals.”
And the best come because they recognize the value of being part of the vision.
“All of the speakers donate their time to be here at the Summit,” Fabrocini said. “It was a bit humbling last year when I began calling up colleagues and friends, explaining to them what I wanted to do and asking them to speak at the first Summit. But when they started calling back and saying, ‘yeah, I want to come,’ it was enormously gratifying.”
While the overall focus of the Aspen Sports Summit is on the elements of health and fitness, year one had a sub-focus on concussions in sports. This year, the focus moves to reduce back pain.
“Backs are an example of something you can help by understanding patterns,” said Fabrocini. The roster of specialists in the field who are speaking include: Dr. Eric Goodman, a 36-year-old California back guru who has designed the revolutionary “Foundation Training” program (he counts surfer Kelly Slater amongst his clients); spine and neck specialist at the Steadman Clinic, Dr. Donald Corenman; and Dr. Jeremy James, the Director of the Aspen Club Back Institute. Rarely do people have an opportunity to find this range of experts on the subject in one place at one time.
THE ASPEN SPORTS SUMMITS CONSTITUENCIES
“Everybody has a dream,” Fabrocini said about the people who attended last year’s inaugural Aspen Sports Summit. “It may be about team sports or winning an individual medal. Some folks may want to just finish a 10K, or even be able to play a round of golf. Or maybe the goal is to just get through the day pain-free.”
The Aspen Sports Summit is designed for those who are interested in learning how to live a more efficient or pain-free active lifestyle. The constituencies range from world-class athletes to weekend warriors to those who are simply fighting off the natural effects of the aging process.
In addition, professionals in the areas of sports medicine and physical therapy qualify for Continuing Education Units as part of their accreditation when they attend the Aspen Sports Summit. The American Council on Exercise, the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the National Academy of Sports Medicine have all sanctioned the event for credits.
But Fabrocini also noted that it is imperative for the success of the Summit going forward that the local community buys into the program. While the hope is to create national, even international, demand for the Summit, it is the local population that holds the key. “The only way for this to succeed is if there is a connection between the Aspen community and the events,” he noted. “We need to show the connection between attending the event and improved performance.” And they can.
Fabrocini came to the world of physical therapy following a career as a NCAA Division 1 Hockey player, first at Cornell University and then as a UMass Lowell River Hawk.
“I had injuries and back pain. So, I got a degree in physical therapy and came to Aspen,” he said.
That was in 1990, and in the ensuing years he has enjoyed an extended relationship with the Aspen Club, which is a presenting sponsor of the Aspen Sports Summit. For 18 years, he was the Club’s Director of Sports Performance. Over the years, he has developed a loyal following of long-time Aspenites he works with on a weekly basis, keeping his schedule full.
Local Nancy Nevin, a partner in the Bumps for Boomers ski program, is an example of one of Fabrocini’s loyal client base.
“I started working with Bill after my second spine surgery,” she said. “Eight years and three knee surgeries later, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. Bill literally gave me my life back.”
Fabrocini also has worked professionally with athletes, including winter Olympians Gretchen Bleiler, Chris Klug and Casey Puckett, as well as tennis hall of famer Martina Navratilova and Tour de France rider Tejay Van Garderen.
“Bill constantly challenges me with innovative and creative workouts that are relative to cycling. It’s been an enlightening and fun learning process and I feel much stronger and stable on the bike,” Van Garderen said.
He also consults for a number of different sports organizations, including a recent stint with the Club Deportivo Guadalajara, or Chivas, Football Club of Guadalajara, Mexico.
These experiences culminated in an “aha” moment for him last year.
“I was turning 50, and I thought I had accumulated all of this knowledge,” he said. “I wanted to do something special, so rather than just take a trip, I thought I would honor the relationships I have with my clients and colleagues and create something. That something has become the Aspen Sports Summit.”
“Bill always says, ‘you have to pay to play.’ We are so blessed to have Bill share his gift with our community,” Nevin said about Fabrocini’s involvement in the Aspen Sports Summit.
A critical component of the Aspen Sports Summit is charitable contributions made to different organizations. This year, $5,000 checks were written to the Carbondale-based Haiti Children (haitichildren.com) and Basalt’s Bridging Bionics Foundation (bridgingbionics.org) on behalf of the Summit. Fabrocini sees the ability to contribute as a key reason for attending the Aspen Sports Summit.
“Everyone can be a part of this,” he said about the philanthropic goals of the Summit. “We have the potential to grow the charitable contributions to $30,000, even $40,000, in the years to come. Our goal is to help other organizations while gathering a group of professionals together and creating a solid event.”
While learning from, and working out with, the speakers at the Aspen Sports Summit is the draw, Fabrocini believes that the opportunity to be a part of the giving component is a big reason for participating.
“I’ve been to Haiti, and I know the difference a $300 contribution can make to the children there,” he said.
He also has worked extensively with Bridging Bionics founder Amanda Boxtel in her life after paralysis.
“At the end of the day (Saturday), we’ll have big party at BB’s (open bar and hors d’oeuvres) for everyone who came. And it will be fun, but I hope people will have been inspired and feel good about making a contribution as well.”
That is what will define success for Bill Fabrocini and the 2016 Aspen Sports Summit.
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