The Center for Fitness. Part 1

friends at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Kerrville, Texas. After taking courses at theCooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas, Texas, she moved her classes, “Gail’s Aerobic Lifestyle,” to two different locations, expanding her business with each move. On August 2, 1999, she opened The Center for Fitness, a full-scale, full-service health and fitness facility, in Kerrville, Texas, a retirement community with a population of 25,000 that has two other health clubs. “It’s a retirement community, but our schools and hospitals are our biggest business,” says Sears. “We get very fit older people exercising right alongside of people in their 20s — some really great young people. It’s mostly older adults, though.”

Membership has hovered around 700 people. Sears says, “It’s just fine with us. I don’t want it to be overcrowded, and it helps us to give personal attention to our clients. We really work at retaining these people.” Club literature says: “At the Center for Fitness, we pride ourselves on the attention we pay to each and every client. We get to know our clients, their needs and goals, and provide them with the safest, most effective instruction. Our goal is to provide our clients with a friendly, clean, safe, non-competitive atmosphere in which they can actually enjoy getting fit.”

Sears, who is triple certified with the American Council on Exercise as a group leader, personal trainer, and weight and lifestyle management consultant, works at the facility as a personal trainer and group exercise instructor. She also employs four personal trainers, eight group exercise leaders and a massage therapist. “I pride myself on the fact that every one of my instructors and personal trainers are certified,” she says. “Everyone has a college degree in an exercise field, even the front desk people. We all love our work, and support each other in taking safety measures, being knowledgeable about exercising safely and continuing our education. It’s a happy field: We’re helping people.

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