Archive for Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Duo purchase local health center

September 8, 2004

Unlimited Fitness means what it says.

The new owners of the former Midwest Health Center in Tonganoxie plan to be open for business 24 hours a day -- every day of the year.

Mark Padfield and Larry Easter, both athletic trainers, also plan to install a shake bar in their health club.

"It will have every kind of shake available," Padfield said. "They're awesome -- from protein shakes to fat burner shakes to meal replacement shakes."

And, they want to expand on personal services for customers.

"I'm in the process of getting the ladies who work here certified as personal trainers," Padfield said. "We're hoping to start working more with people one on one who are interested in that."

They also want to offer a variety of courses.

"We're trying to figure out what people would be interested in as far as organized classes," Padfield said.

Although the center will be open 24 hours a day, Padfield noted that it would not be staffed 24 hours a day.

"Members will have a key number they can punch in which will allow them access to use the fitness equipment," Padfield said.

For the time being, members will continue to pay the same rate.

"Until we get all the construction done, in six or eight weeks, people that join are locked in at the same rate that Jeremy Robbins was operating under," Padfield said. "Once we have our grand opening our rates will come up a little, but not much."

Similar beginnings

And, Padfield noted, the facility is open to everyone, not just those who appear to already be fit.

"We want everyone to know that no matter how old they are, that exercise is good for everyone," Padfield said.

Both Padfield and Easter are well-prepared for their work. Padfield has a master's degree in health, physical education and recreation. Easter has a master's degree in health and human performance.

Both have worked with physical therapy patients and as athletic trainers. They are both nationally certified athletic trainers. In fact, Easter is working this year as an athletic trainer at Baker University.

Both are from small towns, which may be why they feel at home in Tonganoxie. Padfield hails from Garnett and Easter grew up in Phillipsburg.

And both men now live in Tonganoxie.

Padfield's wife, Rachel, teaches school in Eudora. And Easter's wife, Tanae, is currently staying at home with their young daughter.

Community minded

In making the changeover to Unlimited Fitness, the men plan to install windows on the north wall of the gymnasium area. And, they noted, for security, a camera will take a picture every time the front door opens.

The men praised former owner Jeremy Robbins for his work in establishing the now 4-year-old facility.

"He's done a good job of taking care of it," Padfield said.

They hope to follow in his footsteps.

"We hope people will get to know us," Padfield said. "We

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