Glendale woman keeping young athletes interested in fitness.

When Glendale’s neighborhood streets and parks are empty of children’s laughter and games, Shannon Pondella grows worrisome.

Pondella grew up in Glendale with a family that spent much of their free time outdoors. At Crescenta Valley High School, she sprinted in track, and played softball and soccer. Her athleticism and love for sport led her to pursue kinesiology at Arizona State University, where she realized she enjoyed working with children.

As a certified personal trainer, her passion has now led her to create Surface Fitness, because “no matter what surface you’re on, there’s always a place to move,” she said.

Pondella trains young athletes or children who are new to physical fitness. With many of them, Pondella’s greatest goal is getting them to move. Often, when she meets children who have never skipped or jumped rope, she contemplates the sedentary lifestyle children have become accustomed to with the phones, computers and games that entertain them.

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