More than a decade ago and admittedly out of shape, Sheila Schmidt said she decided to do something. The Ocean View resident started attending aerobics classes religiously, more than a couple times a week, until she became a regular and to the point that when the teacher had to miss a session, she asked Schmidt to fill in for her.
In shock, Schmidt said, she taught the class and loved it. Now, about 15 years and a stint as a Seaford teacher later, Schmidt teaches exercise for a living. Adjacent to her Central Avenue home, she serves as a personal trainer, offering yoga and mat Pilates atop a barn-like structure in No Excuses Exercise Studio.
“My work is right here,” Schmidt said, standing in the gym her dad built for her more than three years ago. “It’s good. I love it.”
While teaching in Seaford, Schmidt worked part-time as a personal trainer at Sea Colony. She then started teaching classes in Bethany, before starting the unique offering in her new home gym. In the gym, which features a painted beach landscape on one side and mirrors on the other, she offered free classes throughout the summer of 2003, to spread the word. After only taking donations for those three months, that September she started the one-on-one work she seems to genuinely enjoy.
“They don’t want to go to a gym where people are gawking at them,” Schmidt said of her clients, who enjoy the personal setting. “It’s just me and them. I can give them individual attention. I thought that was so much more beneficial.”
Schmidt charges $30 for hourly workouts and customizes that workout to the customers’ needs, she said. Some of her clients have been college-age female athletes trying to retain flexibility and stay in shape over the summer. Some of her middle-aged male clients and older females strictly want to gain flexibility or drop a waist size, she said. But from her youngest, 9-year-old client to her oldest, at 80, the story is the same.
“Whatever the customer wants, the customer gets,” Schmidt said. “I like to push people but I don’t want people to do things that make them feel uncomfortable. There’s a fine line there.”
Schmidt has even been known to give a foot or shoulder massage at the end of a session, upon request, to loosen up the client before they leave for the day, she said. Anyone interested in No Excuses’ services can call the certified trainer at 537-1101 to set up an initial appointment to identify expectations. House calls are even available for an extra charge.
But either at home or with a visit to the personal setting next to Schmidt’s home, there is no reason not to get in shape, she said, speaking from personal experience.
“You can’t put a dollar figure on your health,” Schmidt said. “Once your health goes, it doesn’t matter how much money you have.”