Seeking to unite community, Austin trainer launches free fitness series

Trainer Sarah Stewart (top) and Rabah Rahil exercise at the Hills Fitness Center in this 2012 file photo. 01.26.12 Laura Skelding AMERICAN-STATESMAN


The serial bombings put the city on edge, and one Austin trainer wanted to do whatever she could to keep the community united and uplifted during the trauma.

Trainer Sarah Stewart this week announced she planned to launch a series of free fitness classes that would begin on Friday.

Shortly after she announced the sessions, Austin police announced that the suspected bomber died in a bombing early Wednesday as law enforcement officials closed in on him. She decided to move ahead with the free classes as a way to encourage community solidarity.

Sarah Stewart

“We’re all Austin,” she says.

The first sessions will take place at 7 a.m. Friday at Pease Park, 1100 Kingsbury Street. The group will meet at the picnic tables. Depending on response, the free classes will continue on the last Friday of each month.

“I have a passion for teaching the science of movement,” Stewart says. “Not everyone can afford personal training or good instruction, but everyone needs it. This is an opportunity to take advantage of quality instruction in a safe environment.”

The 45-minute sessions will include a warmup, core-based movement, compound movement and cardiovascular work, followed by a 15-minute yoga and stretching session. Bring a mat, water, and hand weights (2-20 pounds) if you have them. The classes are open to any fitness level, any age and any capacity of movement. Stewart will wrap up the sessions with sponsor giveaways, and T-shirts will be awarded for various challenges.

Sarah Stewart will lead a free series of fitness classes starting Friday at Pease Park.

“Just come out, come move your body and get healthier,” Stewart says. “Austin is a pretty cool place and there’s a lot out there, but I know what I have to give and I want to give it.”

One more thing. Stewart is a form perfectionist. Consider yourself (happily) warned.

For more information, email Stewart at

Author: Pam LeBlanc

Pam LeBlanc writes about fitness and travel for the Austin American-Statesman. She has worked for the Statesman since 1998 and written her weekly fitness column, Fit City, since 2004.

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