Four years ago, Lisa Ingraham felt like she had tried every diet and every gym, but nothing ever worked for her. Then she joined the Curves in Leschi and everything changed. It was a combination of the workout style and the strong community of women that gave her the support to keep coming back.
But the gym closed in May, and the tightly knit group of women teamed up to figure out how to keep it open. Ingraham stepped up to spearhead reopening the gym at 22nd and Jackson (on the south side of Jackson where 22nd ends). The gym opened Monday, and 45 members already showed up to work out, said Ingraham. They don’t have a big sign or a website yet, but you can swing by to sign up or call 206.325.6200 for more information.
A social worker for King County, Ingraham holds a master’s in social work, specializing in helping teens. She’s still somewhat surprised by the chain of events leading her to sign a lease.
“It’s something I never thought I would do,” she said. “I never had a desire to own a business.”
With the support of mentors and members of the old Curves, Ingraham is hoping that the gym will be a positive and safe place for women in the community. She feels a sisterhood with the women in the Curves world, remembering times when, in the middle of a circuit workout, women would swap advice on “how to deal with chemo treatments, or how to handle your teenage son. People would swap recipes afterward and help each other stick with their weight loss goals.”
The Curves approach is a combination of proprietary workout machines and aerobic movement in a fast-moving circuit. You spend just 30 seconds at each machine before moving to a “recovery board” where jogging in place maintains a high heart rate but allows for rest between strength training. There is a fitness instructor present to help with additional instruction. Members can begin the circuit at any time, slipping into the circle of women coming and going on 30-minute schedules.
Lisa says it’s an ideal workout for busy women, moms and seniors to squeeze in cardio and strength training a few days a week. She wants to get the gym open the first week of September so old and new members can jump back into the circuit.