What we really want is health and vitality.

The health part isn’t surprising. Plenty of adults are looking to get in better shape, boost their immune system, and reduce stress levels. Plenty of parents are looking for similar things for their kids. They understand the value in activities that supplement a healthy lifestyle, and look to make them part of their weekly routine.

It’s also been refreshing how many people get the importance of food as it relates to health. So many families have shared stories about how changing their eating eating habits had a positive impact  on their lives. They talk about their increased resistance to getting sick, achieving weight loss/gain goals, and the reduction of medications for everything from blood pressure and cholesterol to attention deficit.

All very cool.

However, there was something deeper that I could hear our guests looking for a way to voice.

They would talk about having more energy, or more quality time with the people that matter to them. They’d smile as they came out of Zumba or AIM sweaty, or laugh at their red-cheeked kids tumbling out of the park. They’d mention how much more relaxed they felt after yoga or Tai Chi, or how their child’s balance seemed better after ballet class.

Which all makes sense, but that didn’t seem to be exactly what they were trying to voice. There was some underlying, connected theme behind some seemingly unconnected conversations.

Vitality.

That’s what they were talking about.

It’s that sense of vibrancy that seeps into everything: the way we move, play, converse, and eat.

That’s when we feel alive and present.

Vitality goes beyond simply increased energy. It’s that feeling of bringing your best self to what you’re doing in a way that is so powerful anyone near by can feel it radiating out from you.

We can cultivate it. We can connect with it. That’s what our guests and members were reaching towards.

Health and vitality. Those two things magnify everything.

Sounds like good things to want in one’s life 🙂

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It’s been two months since we opened Questers’ Way. What an awesome ride!

The energy of the place is amazing, and it’s been so cool watching over three thousand people flow through the center…each for their own reasons.

Every individual has “Quested” in their own unique way. When wandering through the center, you’ll see everything from kids learning to breakdance, to adults learning to paint, to families sharing dinner while playing Connect 4 and Uno.

I’ve personally had countless conversations with our many guests, and found a couple of common themes that kept popping up. The conversation would start with a chat about whatever neighborhood they came to visit that day: Maybe their child was playing in Pebble Park, or they had just finished an adult AIM fitness class in Move U.

The interesting thing was, regardless of why they came that day, after a couple minutes, we’d start talking about why they REALLY came. This would lead to a much deeper conversation about how each neighborhood in the center relates to each other, and how they could create a unique “Pathway” designed to get them where they wanted to go.

Through these conversations there were three underlying themes that stood out to me. Three outcomes people were looking for that really charged them up. You could see their transformation as we talked about one of these underlying ideas. They’d get more animated, energized, and excited. It was infectious.

So the next three blogs will be dedicated to what our guests are telling us they really want. Interestingly enough, it’s what everyone on the Questers’ Way team wants as well… not only for our guests, but for ourselves. We’re all sharing the journey.

More to follow 🙂

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The University of Movement

kenjcaputo —  February 7, 2016 — 3 Comments

We’re designed to move! And not just because of the physical benefits. When we move regularly, our brain functions better, our energy levels rise, our immune system is stronger, and we tend to be more emotionally balanced. Massive amounts of research support the importance of even moderate exercise.

Here’s a fun link to John Medina’s “Brain Rules” site if you want to learn a little about the dramatic impact exercise has on the brain.

It doesn’t take research to know that when we move, we feel better. Recently, I suffered a grade three AC separation that had me mostly immobilized for several weeks. (It was my Golden Retriever’s fault…long story) The disruption in my normal exercise routine had a massive impact on my level of focus and energy levels. I also ended up getting sick, which is a rarity for me.

Here’s the other thing about moving: we learn better when we are moving! Our brains are more engaged and alert because more oxygen is pumping through our cells. So how do we usually end up attempting to absorb information? Sitting at a desk in school, or in front of a screen at work. Not good. Some are beginning to combat this by using standing workstations and treadmill desks.

Which brings us to the purpose of “Move U”. Since we learn best by moving, doesn’t it make sense to improve our ability to learn while we’re actually moving? In a Move U program, you develop a capacity to learn that will spill over into school, work, or just picking up anew skill for the fun of it.

Each program helps you learn how to “balance” your brain through whole-brain synchronization exercises. You learn how to reduce Cortisol levels, a stress-related hormone that decreases the brains ability to process information. You learn to adopt a growth mindset, which has a dramatic impact on our ability to learn new things and achieve higher levels of proficiency at virtually anything.

The coolest part is: it doesn’t matter how you choose to move. Dance, stretch, punch, tumble, or free-form…you choose a course of study. Just like at a university, it can be as diverse as you’d like, or you can specialize.

The expression doesn’t matter. All that matters is that:
You Move… “Move, you!”… Move U… Get it?moveu_trans

Today the Sign Went Up…

kenjcaputo —  February 3, 2016 — 8 Comments

It’s just a sign. But it’s not. For some reason it made this whole project seem so much more real. We’ve invested so much time and passion into making this happen for so long.

It kind of feels like when you’ve had your head down just concentrating on running the race as hard as you can, then you pick your head up and…surprise!…there’s the finish line.

Of course, this is really just another starting line.

The start of something amazing.

The team we’re putting together is incredible. The impact we plan to make is immeasurable. Our community deserves nothing less. This is shaping up to be even more than we had imagined.

Today the sign went up, and it feels like everything shifted is some indefinable way.

Seeing “Questers’ Way” stamped on the side of a building for the world to see lead to this crazy spontaneous celebration that ripped through social media before the letters were even dry. So many people congratulating, sharing, and anticipating…simply amazing.

Thank you everyone, for making it so much more than just a sign 🙂IMG_3346

Best Party Ever

kenjcaputo —  December 31, 2015 — 2 Comments

“That was the best party ever!”

What a cool thing to hear from your kids.

We think a lot on what makes a kid’s birthday party memorable.

For the kids, it’s all about the interactions with their friends:
Are they having fun?
What kind of cool activities do they get to do?
Do they feel special…the star of the show?

For parents, it really comes down to this:
“No mess, no stress”

Set-up and clean-up can be a little overwhelming, and we always worry that things won’t come together as planned.

Our Adventure Birthday Parties are designed with these things in mind.
Here’s a quick video if you’d like to hear a little more:

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Food and Optimal Health

kenjcaputo —  December 28, 2015 — 4 Comments

A few months ago, I went food crazy. (In a good way)

You see, we’re opening a cafe in Questers’ Way, and it’s important that the food choices support the purpose of the center. Part of that purpose is to help families live healthy, balanced lives. (With a lot of fun sprinkled in to everything we do, of course)

So, I went food crazy to find out how important what we eat really is to our overall health. Now, I’m already in good shape and have always eaten reasonably well. Here’s what I changed:

Eating only “single ingredient foods”. That means nothing processed or made with corn oil, soy, etc. Pretty much I’ve been eating lean meat, fruits, veggies, seeds, eggs, and supplementing with a high quality protein powder in my daily shakes.

Including healthy fats like avocado oil & coconut oil in the foods I prepare.

Getting carbs from healthy sources likesweet potatoes and whole grain rice.

The result? Increased energy, more muscle, and no joint pain. I can run without knee pain for the first time in years. I simply cannot believe how good I feel.

Yep, food makes a HUGE difference. Crossroads Cafe will not only serve foods that will help you feel this way, it will also help you learn to do this for yourself and your family.

Check out this video to find out a little more about our super cool cafe 🙂

We’ve had quite a bit of interest in employment opportunities at Questers’ Way. Yes we will be hiring both full and part time employees for the center.

Warning! We do things a little different. Our methods for vetting and hiring are not the norm. For example, applying for a job begins with this blog and a series of videos presented by a dude in a “Life is Good” t-shirt.
If you’re looking for a formal, stuffy setting, or a more traditional retail-type job, this might not be a good fit for you. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for something unique, fun, and very high-energy…read on 🙂

So, if you’re looking to join our team, here’s the first step:

Below are links to a series of videos that give you an overview of who we are looking to hire. There are also short videos that provide some detail regarding the positions we have available. (Make sure you watch the first video to the end and follow the directions if you wish to apply for a position.)

Watch the Employment Overview video first:
Employment Overview

Crossroads Cafe
We are looking for “Food Enthusiasts” to help create and prepare healthy dishes for children and adults. The position will also involve in-house catering for events of 15 – 25 participants.
Learn more here: Food Service Position

Pebble Park
If you love working with kids, a position in our indoor park might be for you. Team members will interact, play and educate in a variety of ways. There are two types of park positions available. Both will be very hands-on and interactive.
Learn more here:
Park Educator Position
Park ranger Position

Move U
We will be offering a diverse series of movement-based programs for children and adults. Examples include:
Instructional classes like dance, cheer, and martial arts.
Health and wellness like Yoga, Tai Chi, and Chi Kung.
Fitness programs like Zumba, Kickboxing, and athletic cross-training.
Learn more here: Move U Position

Simply Celebrate & Adventure Birthday Parties
Questers’ Way will have three rooms for event hosting. We will be looking for organized, creative, individuals who can coordinate and host amazing parties for kids and families.
Learn more here: Party Coordinator Position

Front Desk Position
Finally, we will be looking for capable, responsible individuals to work the front desk.
Learn more here: Front Desk Position

One last thing….
It would be a really good idea to watch the video in this post, which gives a more in-depth explanation of Questers’ Way and our purpose.
You can also follow our journey to the grand opening by liking our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/QuestersWay/

12 Minutes of…..

kenjcaputo —  November 4, 2015 — 3 Comments

Lisa asked me to give her an explanation of Questers’ Way. It was’t planned or rehearsed. Once I got warmed up, I couldn’t shut up. It actually ended up being a pretty good overview of Questers’ Way and its purpose. Feel free to check it out:)

By the way, we’ve already had quite few people ask about job opportunities. If that’s you, watching this video would be a good way to get a feel for who we are and what we’re about.

So…here’s a 12 minute riff on Questers” Way.

Ok, this is our first post, so it’s probably a good idea to explain what this blog is about.

We are beginning a new adventure, and that adventure is called Questers’ Way.

Questers’ Way is a new business coming to the Eastbrook Mall in Mansfield CT.  This soon-to-be-born business is going to be a lot of different things to a lot of different people, so we figured a blog would be a great way to tell the story.

Right now, the story will mainly be about birth and parents. We’ll be chronicling the construction of the center as we move towards our projected opening date in February 2016. We’ll define who we’re looking to hire for our team. Well explain how the center will positively impact the families of our community.

We’ll also detail some of the back story that lead to the birth of Questers’ Way. You see, this is the next step in a purpose that goes back over twenty years. That purpose is this: Make ripples. We’ve chosen to do this by creating and running small businesses that positively impact the community. Stay tuned to find how we’ve done that, and we’ll continue to expand that impact moving forward.

Once Questers’ Way opens, the story will shift. It will shift to the people who will fill the space we are creating. It’ll be your story. It will be about how the center brings laughter and learning to your life. It will be about the relationships you form, the growth you experience, and the memories you create.

You see, Questers’ Way is about you. It’s a place where you can work to be your best self, celebrate life’s milestones with friends and family, enjoy a tasty meal, and have a whole lot of fun.

Whether you’re an old friend who has know us for years, or just learning about us for the first time, welcome.

Let the adventure begin:)Coming Soon