Tag Archives: EJ Zebro

Roundup: Paving, Business, Smart People …


Westport Means Business.

That’s the name of a Westport Library/Town of Westport-sponsored panel on June 3 (7 p.m., at the Library or via Zoom).

2nd Selectwoman Jen Tooker will lead a discussion with 3 great — and very different — local businesses.

Sam Gault of Gault Energy, Dr. EJ Zebro (TAP Strength Lab) and Gina Porcello (GG & Joe) will share “Stories from the Pandemic.” They’ll describe what they learned, how they survived — and how they’re thriving.

Click here to register.


Speaking of business:

Westport photographer Nancy Breakstone lives a few minutes from Rive Bistro. It’s her go-to spot.

Yesterday she met a friend for drinks, at 5. Her husband was set to meet Nancy there for dinner, afterward.

But despite a dozen outdoor tables on the plaza — plus under a tent — Nancy called him and said: No go. The restaurant was booked solid. The waitress advised calling 3 days ahead.

That augurs well for outdoor dining in Westport this summer. Bon appétit!

Outdoor dining at Rive Bistro, on the water. The plaza tables have been filled, as well as the always-popular deck.


Westport’s spring paving program is underway.

The Library and Senior Center parking lots are already done. Paving will continue through mid-June on these roads:

  • Railroad Place
  • Franklin Street
  • Ferry Lane
  • Partrick Road
  • Clinton Avenue
  • Saxon Lane
  • Timber Lane
  • Moss Ledge
  • Dawn Drive
  • Greens Farms Road
  • Maple Avenue North

Once those are done, several school properties will be paved:

  • Greens Farms Elementary
  • Long Lots Elementary (partial repaving)
  • Bedford Middle School entrance and Wakeman Farm Road
  • Coleytown Elementary

That project is a collaborative effort with the Westport Public Schools.


Getting into Cornell University is hard enough. Graduating in the top 1% of one of its undergrad colleges is insanely difficult.

But Isabelle Amlicke did it. The Staples High School Class of 2017 alum earned recognition as a Merrill Presidential Scholar for that achievement.

Isabelle was deeply involved with Cornell Sustainability Consultants. No word on what’s ahead. But we’re sure it will be impressive! (Hat tip: Cecily Gans)

Isabelle Amlicke


Speaking of Staples: 4 juniors have earned Superior Achievement in Writing awards. The honor comes from the prestigious National Council of Teachers of English.

Caroline Coffey, Matthew Genser, Maya Markus-Malone and Talia Perkins
were honored as among the best student writers in the nation. In addition to submitting a piece of “best writing,” contest entrants were asked to craft a piece in any genre that took readers inside a community that is important to them, and convey the beauty they see within it.


Speaking of education: On Monday night, the Bedford Middle School team got together. They celebrate their win at the Connecticut Science Olympiad Tournament, and watched the national event.

Coaches Arthur Ellis, Daniel Cortright and Kathryn Nicholas received special recognition. Congratulations to all!

Sisters Annam Olasewere, Anwara Olasewere, and Ayaan Olasewere are part of Bedford’s state champion Science Olympiad team. All paced in the top 3 of their events.


Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows black swallowtails at Sherwood Island State Park:

(Photo/Elena Nasereddin)


And finally … legendary Muscle Shoals drummer Jerry Roger Hawkins died last week. He was 75, and had suffered from numerous illnesses.

Producer Jerry Wexler called him “the greatest drummer of all time.”

Hawkins — a member of both the Swampers and Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section session groups — played on hits like “Respect,” ” “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “Mustang Sally.” As great as those songs are, listen again. Without Hawkins’ drumming, they’d have a lot less respect.  Click here for a full obituary.


COVID-19 Roundup: Bell Ringing Tonight; Animals (And The Easter Bunny); Working Out, And More

Last Wednesday, Westport thanked doctors, nurses and all frontline workers during the pandemic with our first “Ringing of the Bells.”

So many people had such a great noisy, community time that we’re doing it again. All Westporters are invited to join in today, from 5 p.m. to 5:02.

Church bells, musical instruments, pots, pans — whatever you’ve got to make noise is joyfully welcome.

Anne Lawton put together this video, featuring Greens Farms Church and many local participants. The former news anchor (Fox 5 New York, News 8 New Haven) appears at the end urging everyone to join in.

Besides bells, Americans are howling.

Staples High School 1979 graduate David Stalling reports from Missoula, Montana, where every night at 8 p.m. he hears large packs of people — and dogs — howling loudly. They (the humans) are doing it for the same reason others ring bells: to honor healthcare and other frontline workers.

“It’s strangely fun and therapeutic,” he says. “Get out and howl!” Here’s a video from Missoula:

Speaking of animals, “06880” readers have noted an increased number out and about. They’ve commented on how many birds are singing too.

Wendy Cusick reminds Westporters to keep all dogs on leashes. There are coyotes and skunks galore!

This may be Easter without filled churches. But kids can still have a bunny and a basket.

Aarti Khosla — the generous owner of Le Rouge Aartisan Chocolates — is creating 200 Easter baskets. Thanks to the Westport Downtown Merchants Association, the Easter bunny will stand on Church Lane at the turn-in by the Christ & Holy Trinity courtyard. Families can drive by, wave, and do a contactless basket pickup.

It’s 12 to 2 p.m. Sunday — first come, first served!


Of all the things I miss about life BC — before coronavirus — my daily swim at the Westport Y is near the top of the list.

I’ve substituted daily walks. In addition to far fewer endorphins, I’m limping around with a severely pulled calf muscle. (I’m not the only one. Several people told me of similar issues. Go figure.)

Normally I’d suck it up (and ice it). But without my daily exercise, I’d go batshit.

So I called EJ Zebro. The owner of TAP Strength Lab, he helps everyone from high school athletes to 80-somethings “move better through life.” I wanted to feel better (fast!), and reduce the likelihood of another idiotic overuse injury.

A guy like EJ is very hands-on. Of course, that’s the last thing he can do now. But he’s pivoted well. We FaceTimed. I showed him my calf; he showed me stretches and exercises, and patiently answered my questions. (Yes, I can bike.)

EJ is one small example of how our world has changed. TAP is one small but important business that’s figuring out how to continue to help, in new ways. It’s not easy — but I am very grateful that EJ is still around.

EJ Zebro

Sydney Newman turned 17 yesterday. The Staples High School student celebrated the new 2020 way: with a few friends, all properly distanced. Happy birthday, Sydney!

Everyone has something they miss about their old lives. Here’s Stephanie Bass’ contribution:

And finally, for all those celebrating Passover — and even those who are not:

(From Wikipedia: ‘”Dayenu’ is a song that is part of the Jewish holiday of Passover. The word ‘dayenu’ means approximately ‘it would have been enough,’ ‘it would have been sufficient’ or ‘it would have sufficed.’ This traditional upbeat Passover song is over 1,000 years old. The song is about being grateful to God for all of the gifts he gave the Jewish people, such as taking them out of slavery, giving them the Torah and Shabbat, and had God only given one of the gifts, it would have still been enough. This is to show much greater appreciation for all of them as a whole.”)

EJ Zebro Turns Heads At NFL Combine

A year ago, EJ Zebro was the new kid at the NFL Combine.

As the owner of TAP Strength Lab downtown, the certified movement and performance coach was eager to show that the Optimal Human Motion machines — and methods — he uses can minimize, or even eliminate, pain athletes may feel from injuries. The key feature is limiting joint compression forces.

This week, at the annual event in Indianapolis, Zebro was greeted like an old friend.

The OHM equipment was used this year by the Giants, Jets and Dolphins. Other teams have placed orders. So has an NBA club, NASCAR, and Quinnipiac University (for its nationally ranked men’s ice hockey team).

EJ Zebro (left) and Optimal Human Motion founder Dave Schmidt, with the OHM machine.

TAP Strength Lab has more of this equipment than any place else in the world, Zebro says — including NFL strength and conditioning rooms. He’s also got devices that are not yet on the market.

Zebro is proud of his work with pro football teams. But he’s equally excited about his local clients. They include up-and-coming athletes — and 80-somethings, who he works with on balance issues.

Of course, Zebro uses the OHM machines too. Otherwise, he says, he’d be unable to run around with his Over-40 soccer team.

That’s his World Cup — and Super Bowl — rolled into one.

Bookcycle’s Remarkable Journey

The Remarkable Bookcycle sure gets around.

The mobile free library — a fun, funky collaboration between writer Jane Green, her husband Ian Warburg, artist/longtime Remarkable Book Shop enthusiast Miggs Burroughs and former Staples High School student Ryan Peterson — made its way from the Green/Warburgs’ Owenoke home to Bedford Square last fall.

EJ Zebro — owner of TAP StrengthLab — pedaled it over to Main Street recently, where it greeted visitors to the 1st Outdoor Market behind Savvy + Grace.

But Jane — a client and friend of EJ’s — told him the Bookcycle had to be back at the beach for the summer.

He and his TAP staff jumped at the chance to help. When the weather was right, Lauren Leppla hopped on, and made her move.

Local director Amelia Arnold chronicled the trip. If you didn’t see her (and it) riding by, here you go:

EJ Zebro Draws Attention At NFL Combine

Westport did not have any future stars at this week’s NFL Combine.

But we did have EJ Zebro. And his work may have more of an impact on the game than any one of the 300-plus football hopefuls who put their running, jumping and lifting talents on display in Indianapolis.

Zebro owns TAP StrengthLab. At his downtown Westport center, the certified movement and performance coach shows people of all ages that intelligent, functional movement — coupled with awareness of their own bodies — can minimize, or even eliminate, pain they may feel from injuries.

It’s a message tailored for the NFL meat market.

Zebro was invited by Bill Parisi, Phil Simms’ personal trainer. He’s written a book about fascia training — exercises that improve the functioning of tendons, ligaments, joint capsules and muscular envelopes. One of Parisi’s chapters profiles Zebro.

The Westporter focused his talk on utilizing fascia training to help high-level athletes.

He also demonstrated an Optimal Human Motion machine. Developed by David Schmidt of Darien, and a key feature of Zebro’s TAP StrengthLab, it limits joint compression forces.

EJ Zebro (left) and Dave Schmidt, with the Optimal Human Motion machine.

Once users become more “balanced,” they can focus on becoming more powerful. That appeals to the folks who swarmed the exhibit hall in Indianapolis.

One of Zebro’s first conversations was with Dan Dalrymple. He’s the New Orleans Saints strength and conditioning coach — and an NFL Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year.

He told Zebro about his own orthopedic issues — including difficulty moving his neck, and a bad knee. The  Westport trainer worked on his fascia. Dalrymple hobbled over to the OHM machine. Ten minutes later, he finished his workout — pain-free.

Dalrymple raved about his experience. That sent other coaches flocking to Zebro.

EJ Zebro works on Dan Dalrymple.

Since returning home, Zebro has followed up with many of them. They may incorporate some of what he does into their own NFL routines.

Which means that in years to come, the stars you watch — or whom you pray stay healthy, for your fantasy teams — may owe a debt of gratitude to perhaps the only Westporter who attended the 2019 NFL Combine.

4 Good Guys, 1 Good Deed

Over 400 Staples High School seniors have completed their internships. For the past 4 weeks they’ve worked at non-profits, in offices and on farms. They’ve served customers and clients, discovered a bit about the real world, and learned something about themselves.

Nearly every employer has a story about his or her Staples intern. EJ Zebro wants the entire “06880” community to hear about his.

Train Away Pain logoActually, the owner of Train Away Pain — the downtown Westport preventive sports injury and lifestyle practice — had 4 interns this year.

After a long morning, the quartet — Jack Zeldes, Josh Willis, Jack Griffin and Sam Arciola — headed out to lunch.

They spotted a patient — a woman recovering from spinal surgery — holding a cane and struggling. She’d been driven to her session, but was unsure how she’d get home.

No one told them what to do. On their own, the interns offered her a ride.

It was a wonderful gesture. The woman was so thrilled that when they dropped her off, she insisted they take a photo together.

It’s a little thing, sure. But, Zebro says, “Little things like that happen every year in the Staples internship program year after year. And it’s the little things that give me great hope for the future of this community.”

A grateful Westporter, surrounded by Staples interns (from left) Jack Griffin, Josh Willis, Jack Zeldes and Sam Arciola.

A grateful Westporter, surrounded by Staples interns (from left) Jack Griffin, Josh Willis, Jack Zeldes and Sam Arciola.