TAHOE CITY, Calif. — “I convinced myself I absolutely hated working out.”
After many months of hard work, Peggy Nicholas had talked herself out of her established exercise routine. It was her trainer Lisa Renschen and a fellow member at A Sante Lakeside Fitness who “conspired to get [her] back into the gym.”
Three days per week Peggy can be found back at A Sante training with Lisa or doing cardio. She reports feeling great and experiencing freedom from her battle with chronic neck pain.
“I remind her as a trainer that she loves working out,” Lisa said.
The former body builder and personal trainer says that “hard work” has been the main ingredient to Peggy’s 100-pound weight loss and success in the gym.
She uses Peggy’s story as an example to others. Her client’s lifestyle change involved training multiple days per week and attending physical therapy with physical therapist Rich Bozzio.
“So far I’ve been able to negate the necessity for surgery,” Peggy said of her neck pain. “As far as I’m concerned Rich and Lisa are both lifesavers.”
A Sante Lakeside Fitness, owned by Cindy Streepey, is a place of community and support, where friends gather and meet, while improving their muscles one rep at a time and their lives one day at a time.
“Our membership is built on our members,” Cindy said. “People come to see friends, and get their workouts.”
The social aspect is a large motivator for people. Friends join and become members, members become friends, trainers and clients develop close friendships.
“There so much more to the gym than a workout, it’s about being healthy, it changes lives,” Cindy said. “If you come here and make it just about a work out people lose interest.”
What’s in a workout?
Vince Baldridge joined A Sante after a skiing injury left him with a tweaked back and compressed discs. The athlete enjoys going to A Sante’s group fitness classes, which include ski training during the winter, yoga and Zumba.
“Yoga is therapeutic and a good compliment to lifting weight and running,” Vince said. “And Zumba is a lot of fun. I did it because I’d never really danced before.”
Since working out at A Sante, Vince’s back has improved. He enjoys going to the gym for the nice view of the Lake Tahoe and the gym’s sense of community.
“It’s a good alternative to the bars,” he said. “It’s a good, healthy environment to spend time in.”
Margaret Ashe is another member at A Sante. She is tall and lean, an avid long distance runner.
“A Sante is the best option for what I need,” Margaret said.
She runs on the treadmill, takes classes, and lifts weights for cross training.
Last spring she ran the Boston Marathon for the third time. Margaret said she runs “for the fitness benefits and the stress relief.”
Since opening A Sante Lakeside Fitness in 2001, Cindy has watched many people’s transformation, both the daily short-term boosts in mood and energy and the long-term noticeable effects of consistent exercise.
Lisa Renschen came to A Sante Lakeside Fitness to work as a trainer one year after its opening. She has watched the community of the gym grow and become a network and support system for the members.
“People can feel self conscious in a gym,” she said. “Here everyone is accepted, all ages and all fitness levels. Cindy does a pretty good job of it.”
A Sante employee Lupita Bermudez said she can now keep up with her two young sons with ease. She attributes her loss of baby weight and the increase in energy to an exercise routine adopted when she began working at A Sante three years ago.
“When I lost those 30 pounds I felt great,” Lupita said. “Before I was so tired always. I know working out helped me a lot.”
Lupita works out with a trainer once a week and does cardio as well as the group fitness classes offered at A Sante.
“When you start it gets easy and you’re going to want to come.”
Aside from monthly and annual memberships, A Sante Lakeside Fitness offers 10-pack, multi passes and walk ins. The group fitness schedule offers various yoga classes, spinning, mat Pilates, Zumba and Powerstep.
The location on North Lake Boulevard, just behind Safeway in Tahoe City, offers a view of the lake as well.
“They love the view in the morning,” Lupita said of early riser members. “They love looking at the sunrise, they don’t miss a day.”
“There is so much more to the gym than a workout, it’s about being healthy.”