CHRISTINE MILLER FORD Spirit Staff
SHEPHERDSTOWN – Dr. Phil Maffetone may be best known as the physician who helped transform Mark Allen into a six-time winner of the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon with some surprising advice: “Slow down.”
Maffetone takes a holistic, low-stress approach to endurance sports, helping athletes train to go slower so they can better tap their body’s energy reserves – and end up on top.
Next week, the world-class fitness coach will bring his wellness advice and his skills as a singer-songwriter to Shepherdstown, where he’ll star in a free, family-friendly event.
The Tuesday event begins at 6 p.m. at Shepherdstown Opera House at 131 W. German St.
Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, the Jefferson County physician and marathoner behind this weekend’s Harpers Ferry Half Marathon, the fall Freedom’s Run and other fitness events, is organizing Maffetone’s visit. He’s a longtime fan of Maffetone’s.
“His methods have changed my life and how I teach others and we are now applying his methods to the entire U.S. Air Force,” Cucuzzella said. “Dr. Maffetone is one of the few geniuses in the world of health. The ideas he was sharing 20 years ago are now entering the mainstream.”
But a lifelong passion for music prompted Maffetone to set aside his full-time fitness practice and head out with his partner, Coralee Thompson, on a tour that’s taking them from Arizona to Georgia and then up the East Coast to New York. They’ll travel back and perform in Indianapolis and Chicago.
Shepherdstown is among their smaller-town stops. Here, they’ll share their original music – a fusion of folk rock, country, jazz and blues – as well as expertise on health, fitness and holistic living.
Smaller venues are just fine with Maffetone. “We have found that house concerts are becoming popular again,” he said. “These are small, intimate get-togethers typically held in someone’s home, backyard or nearby club or cafe. Often, local musicians will join in the fun.”
The pair also has performed in auditoriums and before large crowds at venues such as the Tucson Folk Festival and in Europe, Asia, Australia and Canada.