Braille Monitor                                                     October 2007

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Curves for All, a Testimonial

by Seville Allen

From the Editor: I have been a member of Curves for just over three years. Despite a very busy life, which includes a fair amount of traveling for work and family, I have just received my T-shirt for having completed 400 workouts. You can tell from this that I agree with Seville Allen that Curves is a great place for women of all ages to exercise.

Seville AllenThe workout consists of twenty-four minutes of exercising on a series of machines with recovery stations between them. The machines are designed to exercise different muscle groups. You jog or do various dance steps on the recovery stations. Music is playing, and a recorded voice track instructs women to move to the next station every thirty seconds. The number of machines varies depending on the size of the space and the profitability of the franchise. I have seen teenagers at Curves, and I know women in their eighties still exercising. The faster you do the repeats, the more demanding a workout you get. When you have exercised for twenty-four minutes, you step to the side and do a series of stretches for six minutes. This means that you can be out the door in just over a half hour.

I can say from experience that it is easier to remain disciplined by coming at least three times a week if you work out with a friend. Both my daughter and I do better at getting to Curves when the other is going to be there than we do when for any reason we have to go alone. I certainly have found the Curves staff and patrons as easy going and accepting of a blind member as Seville has. Seville lives in northern Virginia and is a longtime leader of the NFB of Virginia. She wrote the following article for her local Curves newsletter. It first appeared in Monologues, Winter 2007, Volume 9. This is what she says:

I had read about Curves two years ago and encouraged friends to go. They joined Curves, but I didn't. In fact, a friend (Cathy Schroeder) in Vienna, Virginia, was the first woman to tell me of Curves and how it works. I listened to my friend, but from her description I decided that the Curves routine was for sissies, those who only wanted to brag about participating in a gym program; after all, isn't that politically correct?

In September I decided for sure I needed to exercise and lose a little weight because I wasn't doing it at home. I looked on the Internet and saw that there was a Curves just two blocks from my home. I mustered my courage and walked into the Curves facility at Virginia Square. Holly, a smiling young woman, greeted me and took my details for an eventual contract. I returned two days later for Jennifer to show me the equipment. When we finished, with a big smile in her voice Jennifer said, "Welcome to Curves!" The rest is history.

I've been coming to Curves for five months now. I feel much better about myself, and my energy level is higher. I keep coming because I feel welcome and encouraged to exercise. One more thing I will add to this is that I am blind, and, while that isn't significant to me, I find that being blind often excludes me from community activities. Not from Curves! In fact, I invited some of my blind colleagues to join me, and they are now also members at Virginia Square.

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