Rediscovering the Athlete Within: Daniel Greenberg and Ali Asadi

Sometimes the wife is right.

Ophthalmologist and eye surgeon Daniel Greenberg had been hearing from Evie, his wife of 31 years, that he needed to pay more attention to his health and fitness. But he was busy taking care of his patients’ health concerns and issues and considered himself in moderately good shape, so it was easy to ignore her well-meaning advice.

“I was an obese kid, but in junior high I discovered that running kept the weight off,” Greenberg says. So running has been his go-to exercise ever since, but after a few falls while playing paddle tennis, he knew his balance was off and suspected it was because he only did one thing, and did it repeatedly. “I noticed that no one else was falling on the court.” And in spite of running, pounds had crept on and his posture and his mobility needed work.

He started to think about hiring a personal trainer just as Michigan Shores Club—a private club in Wil- mette where the Greenbergs live and are members—renovated the building’s third floor and opened a new fitness facility overlooking Lake Michigan. Ali Asadi, who has more than 10 years experience as a trainer and multiple certifications, including the National Academy of Sports Medicine, became the club’s new Fitness and Wellness Director.

Last October, Greenberg started working out with Asadi. “My base weight was 173,” Greenberg says. “In less then a month, I lost five pounds without even trying. The sessions were challenging, but doable.”

“Dan’s posture was bad when we first started, but in two weeks time we made progress on that,” Asadi says. He also noticed that his client was very data driven and comfortable with technology, and suggested a Fitbit band to help track exercise and diet. Greenberg, who works nine or 10 hours in his office and then finishes his administrative tasks at home, often ate whatever he could grab out of the vending machine to keep going. But by tracking what he ate, “I quickly figured out that if I ran 30 minutes, all it took was one bag of M&Ms in the afternoon to negate that,” Greenberg says. “I started grabbing a banana instead.”

Greenberg now weighs 151 pounds and says he feels great. The workouts have corrected both his posture and the imbalances from overworking some muscles and ignoring others. “I’m not tired and cranky, like I had been before when I’ve tried to follow a diet. This is really a lifestyle change.”

“A lot of people don’t realize how good they’re going to feel,” Asadi says. “That becomes the motivation.”

Evie—who is also a runner and uses The Dailey Method, which focuses on core and orthopedic exer- cises, to cross train—is very happy with the progress her husband has made. “I want us to be active and able to do things, not just now, but also as we age,” she says. And she knows that what they do now will make a difference in their quality of life for years to come.