In the early 1970’s, Gail Sears began teaching exercise classes to

12 friends at the Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Kerrville, Texas. Later, she studied extensively at Cooper’s Institute for Aerobic Research in Dallas, Texas, and planned and directed four weekend fitness seminars at Camp Waldemar, bringing in speakers such as Dr. Kenneth Cooper, Dr. Len Kravitz, and Charlene Prickett. She directed a preparation course for the first American Council on Exercise (ACE) Certification test attended by over 200 people in San Antonio. She also coordinated workshops brought to San Antonio by Cooper’s Institute.

“Gail’s Aerobic Lifestyle” moved to the Municipal Auditorium in the late 1970’s and was sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department. The business grew and began offering morning and evening exercise classes. As Gail began training more instructors, she expanded from 3 classes a week to 15. Water aerobic classes were soon being taught in the summers at the Riverhill and Municipal pools.

In 1993 “Gail’s Aerobic Lifestyle” moved to 623 Myrta Street in Kerrville. Exercise equipment was added and 22 classes a week were offered. Gail’s staff now included seven instructors. There the enrollment steadily grew. Over three-fourths of the people had come for over five years—many for more than ten, which is very unusual in the fitness business. Gail became triple certified with the American Council on Exercise as a Group Leader, Personal Trainer, and Weight and Lifestyle Management Consultant and is recognized as a Continuing Education Provider for the American Council on Exercise.

On August 2,1999, The Center for Fitness opened its doors at 1407 Water St. in Kerrville. The 10,000 square foot facility offers a full line of aerobic and strengthening equipment, as well as an indoor lap pool and warm therapy pool. We have over 50 group exercise classes a week, both on land and in the water, taught by certified, tenured instructors. Dr. Kenneth Cooper was the guest speaker at our grand opening, which was well received and drew statewide attention. Membership has steadily grown since then, and continues to flourish. Invited guest speakers over the years have included local physicians and physical therapists as well as nationally recognized personalities such as researcher and exercise physiologist, Dr. Len Kravitz, Georgia Kostas, RD, LD, the head of nutrition at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, and Personal Training innovators Eric Lang and Adita Yrizarry.

In 2000, Gail began her journey with Pilates and it became her passion. As a result of avid and extensive practice, she was recognized as an authorized educator with the Ron Fletcher Program of Study. Ron was a former Martha Graham dancer who studied for over 20 years with Joseph and Clara Pilates in their New York Studio. He was one of the few elders who have continued to teach the method to other teachers. The intricate, detailed, precise method of exercise is the fastest growing type of exercise in the world now. Fletcher was determined that the true essence of Pilates will be preserved and continued to be taught with excellence.

The Center 2 opened in November 2004, next door to The Center for Fitness. The 1750 square foot building is quiet and serene, with windows looking into a tranquil garden and toward the hills and Guadalupe River. Private sessions are available. The reformer and trapeze offer resistance exercise to strengthen abs, back, arms and legs. The Center 2 is the first mind-body facility to offer the Pegasus in Texas, for stretching and strengthening. We have what many consider to be among the best Yoga classes in the area, taught by well-known local instructors.

Gail passed away in 2010. She is no longer present with us but her presence is felt by all. Her family and loving staff have continued her legacy in creating a place for all ages and stages of fitness.