It wasn’t for lack of trying. Two years before, she had earned her personal fitness trainer’s certification. Following that, she completed her yoga certification and, currently, she’s working on getting certified to teach Pilates – two physical fitness systems that use stretching and low-impact exercises to strengthen muscles. They were credentials she wanted, but not to increase her income. Rather, she wanted them for the knowledge she could share with those who needed help. Her background, plus her certification, sparked an interest in teaching. And ultimately her own studio.
It wasn’t Teresa’s idea to open her own fitness center in Elwood. It was her husband, Michael’s.
“The more I talked with him about it – about how I wanted to help people, to share what I’ve learned about anatomy, nutrition, stretching, etc. – he told me, ‘If you want to open a studio and share your passion to help people, I won’t care if it doesn’t make a dime. … If you want to do it, go do it.’”
In describing her members, Teresa explained, “Most of my yoga people are retired and want the benefits of stretching and moving, which helps them stay agile and mobile, and helps with arthritis. And there are also a number of clients who are interested primarily in the fitness side. They’re the ones looking for the hard-core workout.”
Teresa (formerly Teresa Mays) was born and raised in Elwood. She and husband Michael are parents of three grown daughters – Taylor Hembree, Allison Perez, and Hillary Deitchman. They have one grandson, Bennett Deitchman.
The Perezes love being part of the Elwood community.
“It’s small, people are close, friendly, and welcoming,” Teresa said. “I would never live anywhere else.”
She said she’s always been amazed that such a small city like Elwood can pull together, raise funds, and reach out to people in their community who need help.
“Things like this don’t happen as much in a larger community,” she said. “I was amazed at the amount of resources we can come up with in times of need. It blows my mind.
“I’m proud to be here and live here,” she continued. “I’m proud to say I’m from Elwood and have lived here my whole life.”