The certified personal trainer and Curves Complete Weightloss Coach has helped countless women lose hundreds of pounds – the evidence of before and after pictures are proudly displayed on the walls of her studio.
But, it hasn’t been an easy journey.
When Tracy Singel was 12 years old, her father died and she sought comfort in food. Inactive and consuming calories, Singel was overweight through her teenage years. Pregnant at 16, she ran away from home and got married.
Despite her situation, Singel raised her son, Jimmy Witty, and daughter, Mitzi Gargus, to become successful professionals – Witty was recently principal of Metro Nashville Public School’s first virtual high school and Gargus received an Emmy for her skill in directing News Channel 5’s live news program.
Looking back at her adolescence prompted Singel to create a positive, healthy environment for teenage girls of today.
“I want to give hope about being able to be active,” she said, pointing out the nation’s epidemic of childhood obesity. “You can take control of your life, and we need to take our kids taking the first step. In fact, we all need to take the first step (toward becoming healthy).”
She partnered with Michelle Swann-Frank, owner of the Curves on South Church Street, to provide Teens In Training, a summer program where members can bring their teen girls to work out for free.
Both women agreed that mothers and daughters need to have quality bonding time, so they decided to work it into their fight against childhood obesity.
“We wanted to open this up to mothers to be able to spend quality time with their daughters,” explained Swann-Frank, a mother of five who “never took time for myself.”
“We need to peel away the excuses that people have. This program works if you work it,” she said.
Singel chimed in, “We need both the mom and the child. We can’t just have a (teenage) class; we need that relationship.”
Teens in Training is further proof that “Curves has reinvented itself,” she added. That said, Curves is still a female-only environment.
The program prompted Murfreesboro mom Sancy Davenport to bring her 13-year-old daughter, Alexandra, to work out with her.
She likened Teens In Training to a “Mommy and Me” class and used it to “build a bond” with her daughter. Davenport loved the idea so much so that she opted to bring her 11-year-old twins, Hanna and Faith, to the workouts, as well.
“Curves is Christ-based, and I wanted an environment where I could take my young daughters,” she said. “I don’t want my daughters at 11 and 13 to be self conscious, and this is a place where we can come and work out with women.”
Davenport said the 30-minute workouts three or four times a week aren’t in an effort to lose weight, but rather to teach her girls the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle.
“I want them to learn, so when they become adults, they (already know) the balance of eating well and exercising,” she explained. “I love the fact that Curves allows an opportunity for younger kids to start, so they don’t become overweight before exercising.”
Additionally, Davenport said her daughters have the opportunity to interact and socialize with other girls and women of all ages.
“Thirty minutes is not a lot of their day, so they’re not neglecting their friends and the things they have to do,” she continued. “And it’s something I can do with my daughters.”
For information about Teens in Training or to sign up with Curves, contact the Barfield location at 615-217-7299 or the Georgetown Square location at 615-217-3200.