Jennifer O’Connor named her private health and fitness training business Élan Elite because she closely related to the definition of “élan” – vigorous spirit, panache, and enthusiasm.
By Janice Llanes Fabry
Jennifer O’Connor named her private health and fitness training business Élan Elite because she closely related to the definition of “élan” – vigorous spirit, panache, and enthusiasm. Add to that, entrepreneur extraordinaire, and you’ve got O’Connor to a T.
Her career choice as a certified athletic trainer/health and wellness specialist was cemented ever since she was an adolescent. Growing up in Lake Ronkonkoma on Long Island, she recalled, “I played everything under the sun outside, but wasn’t into organized sports.”
Nevertheless, she was fascinated by the internal workings of the human form and always wanted to do something in sports medicine.
“I always loved learning about the body, including anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology. That covered the scientific aspect, then yoga enhanced everything in a more holistic way,” explained O’Connor, who has ten years of training, conditioning, and rehabilitation experience.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, she recently completed an intensive 500-hour yoga teacher training with renowned yoga masters Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman Yee, Enriching her already impeccable credentials, she has a Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine and a Master’s in Athletic Training from Long Island University, from which she graduated magna cum laude. Setting her apart from most personal trainers, athletic training requires a college degree and 1,500 hours of fieldwork. In addition, she is a certified strength and conditioning coach as well.
After working as an Assistant Athletic Trainer for the Long Island Lizards, a Major League lacrosse team, her professional journey led her to Rye, where she was a health and performance coach at Altheus. Subsequently, she became the Head Athletic Trainer at the School of the Holy Child, where she was in charge of Impact Testing for concussion management.
These stints weren’t her first foray into Rye, however. O’Connor worked at Rye Grill and Bar for a couple of years, then Elm Street Oyster House in Greenwich, while she put herself through school. Four years ago, she made Rye her home.
She said she and her husband Matthew Faucher, a former Maritime Federal Law Enforcement Officer for the US Coast Guard, who is now a Brand Specialist at Audi New Country in Greenwich, love living near the water. “We also love Rye’s charm and its central location.”
The fit newlyweds talk the talk and walk the walk. They work out routinely and eat local organic. While Matt does TRX suspension training and swims at the Rye Y, she practices yoga. “Back bending opens the heart, invigorates, and puts one in a better mood,” she noted. “We also cook together a lot. Lately, we’ve been making grilled whole chicken under a brick with lots of vegetables.”
In addition to cooking those healthy, homemade meals, O’Connor is working on expanding Élan Elite, now in its sixth year. In 2008, when most people were downsizing, she decided to branch out on her own with a private training firm that would focus on building a strong body and a confident mindset with an integrative approach to health and wellness.
Having worked with special populations that included cardiac disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, and osteoporosis at Greenwich Hospital and Burke Rehabilitation Center qualifies her for meeting the needs of a wide clientele.
“I design a unique program to help you achieve your fitness objectives, taking into account any injuries or limitations. Whether we’re working on movement, mindset or nutrition, every session is tailored to your specific needs in a private setting of your choice, be it home, office, beach or boat,” she explained.
Her main objective is to help people change their lifestyles, so they feel less stressed and more energetic, productive, and balanced. Élan Elite’s functional training protocols don’t require a gym or machines. Instead, O’Connor uses free weights, cables, medicine and air balls, bands, and one’s own body weight. She relies on core strength and endurance exercises to help maintain the stability and fluidity of the spine. In addition, she’s excited to be teaching private or small group yoga sessions.
“I work with people of all ages, from kids and young athletes heading to college to mothers with busy schedules and CEO’s with time constraints,” remarked O’Connor, who recently led a vacationing client through an entire yoga session via FaceTime.
“I love what I’m doing. I enjoy teaching yoga and helping people succeed in health and wellness. It’s about helping people help themselves,” she said.
For more information on services and packages available, log on to www.elanelite.com or call 494-0957.