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Empowering Women from Coast to Coast

When Cooper Fitness Center Professional Fitness Trainer Colette Cole, MS, created the Female Focus program 14 years ago, she never imagined having to navigate the ups and downs of leading the class virtually during a statewide shelter-in-place. Nevertheless, she and her team of trainers successfully went virtual with Female Focus being one of the first programs at Cooper Fitness Center to do so. Not even a pandemic can deter the program from its purpose of empowering women to improve their health through fitness and education.

Once the shelter-in-place order went into effect, Cole and her team got to work exploring the best options to keep Female Focus up and running. Female Focus never missed a beat. Exactly one week after Cooper Fitness Center closed due to local and then state mandates to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Female Focus welcomed 20 participants on its first ever class via Zoom. Cole led the women using only an iPad in her living room. “The ladies were so remarkably adaptive! I just had to trust in the Lord, listen to Him and let Him get us through it,” said Cole. Little did she know the program would thrive with more consistency than ever before. “The women recognized the need for physical activity— mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally” said Cole.

Also for the first time, women from across the country were able to participate in Female Focus. The virtual classes included not only Dallas residents but also welcomed participants from New Jersey and even Canada! Former Dallas resident of nearly 20 years and Female Focus participant of 10 years, Laurie Scott, currently lives in New Jersey and was ecstatic for the opportunity to participate in Female Focus once again! “Colette does an amazing job. In addition to being an excellent trainer, I really appreciate how she knows everyone’s physical limitations and how to modify each exercise. I love the structure and the comradery.” said Scott. “During quarantine, it has reminded me that no matter how difficult life is, there are still really good things in our lives to be thankful for. I would not be the same without Female Focus.”

“I’ve learned that I’m stronger than I think that I am. We all are!”
-Leslie Goth
Dallas, TX

Fellow Female Focus participant Christi Hays, who has been active in the program since April 2019, echoes Scott’s praise. “I love that now I am doing something positive for my body. For this shift in my 40s, it’s not about the number on the scale or what size my clothes are—it’s about being physically active and healthy long term.”

Over the course of our shelter-in-place, in addition to the expanded class size, the support system among the women grew in leaps and bounds as they dedicated themselves to not only caring for their physical well-being but also caring for each other. Both the participants and instructors shared and prayed for each other’s struggles and difficulties. “Everything the program is about—deep relationships, community, support and accountability—was experienced one hundredfold during the shelter-in-place,” says Cole.

Cole explains how she consistently asks God to bring to Female Focus the people He wants her to help. “Through all of this I have learned that God brought every one of these ladies to help ME, too! They’re just as equally my support system and source of encouragement,” says Cole.

Another first for Female Focus came when Cooper Fitness Center reopened once the shelter-in-place was lifted. Women participated in-person and virtually all in one class. Whether someone was local or across the country, each and every woman was welcomed with open arms. University Park local and 18-year Cooper Fitness Center member Meg Carlsen says, “I love the program and I love Colette. She and the staff who help her are knowledgeable and professional—it is exactly what you would expect from Cooper! It is truly tailor-made for you but includes such comradery. It’s all the benefits of working with a personal trainer and group dynamic rolled into one.”

Cole and her team continue to simultaneously lead Female Focus participants in-person and on Zoom. They plan to offer virtual classes as long as the women need them and are participating. The 55-minute classes meet Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.


To join the Female Focus program at Cooper Fitness Center or for more information , please call 972.233.4832 or visit cooperfitfemale.com.

Categories: Cooper Updates
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