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Ladies, mind those Curves

Women’s gym owner puts nursing background to use
By: Megan Wood The Press Tribune
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She’s there in the best of times and the worst of times. And she’ll hold your hand through it all, no matter what. For many of her members, Pat Dayton, owner of the Orangevale and Granite Bay Curves, is one of the reasons they give for major life changes. “I used to have really high blood pressure and was on medication for years,” said Granite Bay resident and Granite Bay Curves member Linda Downs. “After I started working with Pat and coming to Curves regularly I was taken off my medication. That was huge because usually when they put you on blood pressure medication that’s it, you take them for life.” Dayton turned to Curves after becoming frustrated at other gyms for not offering on the floor training of how to use the equipment. “I understood the importance of strength training but didn’t know how to use any of the weight machines,” Dayton said. “I think most women feel that way, they’re uncomfortable either with the equipment or with the atmosphere of other gyms.” Dayton walked into Curves, which caters specifically to women, and never looked back. With her personal motto of no men, no mirrors, no makeup, Dayton said Curves aims to be a comfortable and convenient workout environment for women. “It’s a 30 minute circuit with hydraulic resistance machines that allow women to go at their own pace, there’s no adjusting weights, the machine does it for you,” Dayton said. “When our members come in, there’s always a trainer on the floor to help with your form so you’re never working out alone.” That kind of constant support is just what the doctor ordered, especially for those getting back into the exercise routine after being sidelined from a knee or shoulder injury or members suffering from Alzhimers or arthritis. A former nurse for 28 years, Dayton has the kind of medical background that enables her to provide rehabilitative workouts for her members. Dayton said her background in medicine has also helped her catch the red flags, like shortness of breath, or a tightness in the chest, indicative of bigger health issues that other gym staff might ignore at a larger facility. “We’re like a family here, we watch out for each other,” Dayton said. And a family, like the one she found at Curves was just what Orangevale member Dianne Houts was looking for. “I had gone to other gyms and was criticized. They told me I’d break their machines or that I’d make the place look bad for working out there,” Houts said. Weighing in at 352 lbs at the time, Houts said she saw a commercial advertising Curves’ 30-minute workout and thought to herself, “I can put up with the looks and being criticized for a half hour.” “From the first moment I walked through the doors, I have felt like I belonged,” Houts said. “I never felt out of place, or unwelcome. Pat and all the women here are wonderful at making you feel wanted.” For Houts, Curves truly became a lifesaver for her when the members rallied together to get her back to Curves after a period of severe depression and mental breakdown kept her from the gym for nearly a year. Now, back to attending the gym regularly and down more than 130lbs, Houts said she couldn’t have done it without Dayton and the Orangevale members that called her for encouragement support and cheered from the side when she was unable to see the progress for herself. “They pointed out when I was losing weight, I felt my clothes getting bigger but I was so focused on the depression I didn’t see it,” Houts said. “It wasn’t until they pointed it out and had me buy new clothes that I really saw what I had done, and what they had helped me achieve.” More than supporting each other, Curves members at the Orangevale and Granite Bay Clubs have made it a point to be active in giving back to their community. From raising more than $7,000 for the American Cancer Society and participating in the Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk to collecting backpacks and school supplies for needy children and Christmas gifts for the homeless, Dayton organizes and encourages her members each month to give to those less fortunate. “It’s our obligation as citizens to help out in our community, especially during these times when it’s most needed,” Dayton said. “Think of all the love and support you get on a daily basis and think about where you can give some of that back, it’s that simple but so necessary and worth it.”