It all began with a single vision...women helping women. Tucson's premiere all-women's gym opened in 1986 and enjoyed many years of success. We didn't have state-of-the-art equipment. We didn't have the largest or best-maintained facility. But we went the extra mile for our clients, and they were loyal to us.
When the gym closed in September 2005, we had a history that for some of us, spanned nearly 20 years. We needed a place to train our clients. Not just anyplace, but a place where they could be comfortable. It didn't need to be women-only, but it had to have the feeling of intimacy and the special touches that made our clients feel valued and cared for.
The vision that began with Naturally Women Fitness Center lives on at The Training Zone. Marla Wallace and Maggie Rappaport took the incredible step of moving beyond the role of personal trainer and formed The Training Zone, LLC. With a little luck and a lot of hard work, they opened their first studio on Feb. 1, 2006. On August 23, 2010, we moved from that location to a beautiful more accessible location with improved parking and visibility. We added even more special touches for our guests. As exciting as that is, we realize that our building is only a building, and the equipment is only equipment. We are thankful for what we have, but the real value of our business is what walks through the doors on a daily basis...
Our clients, our colleagues, and their clients.
Sue Young has been a group fitness instructor and personal trainer since Naturally Women opened its doors in 1986. Some of her clients have been with her for nearly as long. She is involved in their lives in a way that a best-friend is involved. She gives them a great workout, but along the way she listens to their problems, offers her support, and sometimes dispenses advice.
We met Tracy Argenziano and Margie Darling at Naturally Women, too. Tracy Argenziano was the Weight Training Supervisor at Naturally Women. She had as many as 15 trainers that she supervised, all of whom liked and respected her. We are glad that she chooses The Training Zone to continue to train her clients.
Margie Darling came to us by way of Naturally Women as well. Not only is she a certified personal trainer, but she was a participant in The University of Arizona's BEST Study program for osteoporosis. Naturally Women was one of the sites that participated in the study. Her years of experience as a personal trainer make her a valuable source of information and inspiration to her clients.
Deitrich Benjamin was a nutritional consultant in the early years of Naturally Women. She developed many of the teaching tools she still uses today during her tenure.
Our colleagues had many choices available to them as they considered how to best continue their careers. We are honored that they continue to make The Training Zone their professional home.
Maggie Rappaport has been a group fitness instructor since 1990 and personal trainer since 1997 and joined the staff at Naturally Women in 1997. One of the highlights of her time there was a senior fitness class she taught. Some of her participants in Senior Cardio Mix at The Training Zone have been with her since 1998!
While the original plans at The Training Zone did not include group fitness classes, accommodations have been made to offer small classes for participants who enjoy Sue's and Maggie's instruction.
Marla Wallace came to Naturally Women in 2002 after Maggie encouraged her to share her skills and talents as a personal trainer. Soon she, too developed a loyal following as a trainer. Her grit and determination was ultimately the key to The Training Zone's inception. Fueled by commitment to her clients and yes, a little anger, she made endless phone calls and appointments that ultimately led to the proud moment in which we opened our gym.
We want to acknowledge the new men in our lives...Kevin Abernathy, Jeff Anderson, and Antonio Peavy. All three are nationally certified and are excellent personal trainers. We're really trying to keep it from being TOO feminine at the gym! We promise not to paint the walls pink. Maybe we'll put up some wallpaper with ducks or stripes...NAH!
And we'd also like to acknowledge our husbands, Kevin Wallace and Robert Rappaport. Without their support, none of this would be possible.
Marla and Maggie