Curves: Another Bankruptcy

No one was a more staunch supporter of Curves, the women’s gym franchise, than I was.  Almost exactly a year ago, I had an exchange of comments (see Curves blog category) with someone named fitdude, and you could almost see my enthusiasm on the page.  At the time, the Curves founder, Gary Heavin, was in the news, and many franchises in the US had either been closed or had gone bankrupt.

When bankruptcy finally felled my own Curves, I can only say that the owner showed neither grace nor thoughtfulness nor concern for her members–and maybe worse–not even for her own employees.  I say this with great sadness because she was also the host of my first Book Signing (which lasted an entire week) last year.

On November 30th, 2011, members showed up only to find the doors locked and a bankruptcy notice taped to the door.  Many of us had been in the day before, and nothing seemed awry.  In fact, I later learned that the owner had been taking in new memberships right up to that fateful day.  I just don’t understand why she did it this way.  Apparently, even her employees didn’t know until the evening of the night before, and then had trouble and delays applying for UIC because the paperwork was nowhere to be found.

I’ve tried another Curves which is a 20-min drive from here.  I stuck with it up to a month ago, but the added distance consumes too much time, especially given that I need exercise four to five days a week, if not every day.  I’ve since decided that, after nearly seven years, it’s time for me to try something else.  As a youngster with polio, I was keenly aware of how important exercise is and have been physically active most of my adult life as a result.  Now, with osteoarthritis and leading the sedentary writer’s life, it’s even more important to keep those joints oiled.

I miss my Curves friends.  Some I knew better than others, and many knew me because of my novel, and were fantastic about supporting a local author.  It truly was a community club where everyone switched between French and English readily, and everyone shared family stories and funny, inconsequential stuff as well.

Maybe it’s the seven-year-itch…or maybe I just haven’t got the heart for Curves anymore….because a thoughtless Curves owner kicked my heart and everyone else’s to the curb…and didn’t even bother to look back.


  1. Beverly Pridgen
    Jun 15, 2015

    As a Curves franchise owner, it really saddens me to hear about your Curves experience. It has been a struggle for me to keep my franchise afloat because of all of the changes in the organization(not all change is good for everyone) My franchise is small and I struggle to get members but I’m going to stick with my ladies as long as I can. If I find myself having to close I won’t leave my members hanging.

    • Cynthia
      Jun 15, 2015

      Beverly, I am still with Curves…one in another district where I moved to 2 years ago. The entire philosophy and practice of Curves for women is sound and good. It’s unfortunate that the global organization and head office were unable to sustain all the good that Curves does, and can do, for women. Keep on keepin’ on as long as you can, and please…don’t leave your members hanging if all goes wrong. Curves is a home away from home, and if your members can help, they will; I know this for a certainty. I think you’re the type of person who won’t do that; leave them hanging. I was crestfallen at what happened but, realizing that each Curves is a franchise, I took a chance on another Curves and am with them (in Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Canada) again. Thanks so much for your input. It’s valuable and encouraging.

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