Indeed, as the door closes behind you on 1611 Main Street, all traffic and construction noise stops as you’re cheerfully greeted at the front desk. Wind around the earthtone-colored hallway and you’ll forget you’re in the middle of downtown Dallas. A glimpse of the couch, comfy chairs and magazines tells you this is more than just a gym.
Club owner Zane Aveton, a telecommunications executive and downtown resident, never expected to be in the fitness business. While working a trade show, she ended up talking to ShapeXpress. They were looking for a Dallas franchisee and something clicked in Zane’s head. She booked an appointment with them the next day to talk about moving forward. “I can’t believe this is my place and I get to work out,” she marvels. “The club feels like family and that’s what the women’s fitness movement is all about.”
Staffer Jennifer Risner points out that they know all the members by name and everyone is encouraged to work at their own level. A friendly competition called the Fall Fitness Challenge has members competing against themselves and each other for healthier bodies.
The gym has circuit training and free weights. State of the art treadmills and elliptical machines have individual TVs with headphones. The nearby Kid’s Corner, well stocked with toys, blocks and coloring books, allows Mom to keep an eye on the little one while she’s taking care of herself.
It would be almost impossible to get bored with your workout at Sedona. Class offerings include Pilates, Yoga, Hip Hop, Dance and Tone, and Kickboxing. Lunchtime classes are 30 minutes to fit in with busy work schedules. Individual marble showers, lockers, and a good supply of towels, hair dryers, shampoos and lotions mean you can get back to work refreshed without having to lug your toiletries around.
Sedona has been designed to encourage and support women’s needs. Most members start coming because it’s a women only gym, but the camaraderie keeps them coming back. “It’s a comfortable place to be,” explains member Deborah Johnson. Everyone encourages each other and “it’s so easy to come here instead of going home first,” she says.
Paula Grant, who often works out here with her mother, Betty Carter, appreciates the way the staff helps as much or as little as you want. “We love it,” she enthuses. Her mother is especially fond of the FAR infrared sauna, which is reported to penetrate the skin to open blood vessels, providing a cardio workout of sorts and helping to prevent muscle soreness.
And there’s more here than workout equipment. Tanning beds and massage are on the menu as well as an aesthetician, who offers manicures, pedicures and waxing. There’s also space to just hang out and chat. Aveton says it’s a great place for mothers and daughters or friends to spend quality time together.
Member of local mother’s group, RECPTA, Aveton used their famous email list to find many of her instructors. “My new name for Oak Cliff is ‘the network,’” she laughs. Aveton loves Oak Cliff and the Bishop Arts area, and wants to give back to the women here. She’s looking to offer something special at the club for stay-at-home moms and is open to suggestions from the community. “We’ll grow with our clientele. We just need to know what the moms want.”
Several membership packages are designed to fit most any budget and to let members pick whether they want the full Sedona experience or just classes. Gift certificates are also available, and members get discounts on workout gear in the club shop. CliffDwellers needn’t worry about spending much time crossing the river to enjoy the club. Aveton shares her own transportation-epiphany: “Discovering the Zang Bridge changed my life.” Sedona is mere minutes away. Parking is $1 per hour at the City Park garage on Commerce and you can walk through Nieman’s, which is directly across from Sedona. A fun workout, some girl time and shopping? Now that’s a New Year’s resolution worth keeping.
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