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The Path to Wellness  

The Path to Wellness  

  • Photo by Keith Borgmeyer
  • This story originally appeared in the April 2020 "20 Under 40" issue of COMO Magazine.
Amanda Barnes

Amanda Barnes-Tolson puts in the work to pave the way.

The heart of wellness is the practice of good habits; adopting behaviors that promote both physical and mental wellness. The fitness programming at The Club at Old Hawthorne is tailored to meet that need.  

Amanda Barnes-Tolson was a member of COMO Business Time’s 20 Under 40 class of 2011. Now she’s the fitness director for The Club at Old Hawthorne.  

“Yeah,” she said with a laugh. “I’ve been there for a minute.”  

In her current role, she acts as an instructor, health coach, and personal trainer. What does she love about that job? Tolson doesn’t hesitate to answer.  

“Everything,” she said. “Helping people is everything; it’s why I do it. Helping people set goals, and watching them achieve their goals.” She takes pride in establishing relationships with her clientele, watching them flourish, and seeing their quality of life improve.  

Within the last year, The Club at Old Hawthorne has renovated its facility, reimagining it as a wellness center.  

“Essentially, we’ve doubled the size of the facility,” Tolson said. “We added a huge, new classroom, and we’re offering more classes like yoga and tai chi, and anything that will help keep our population of members well.”  

Tolson works with a wide range of clients while wearing a wide range of hats — and some of her clients, who have relocated but maintain their membership at The Club, participate in virtual training sessions with her. She said working with different kinds of clients and using different methods is one of the main reasons she values what she does.  

“I feel like our population is a little bit different,” she said. “We have a very wide range of ages. We have lots of young families, so we want to try to offer as many classes and programs to keep our population able to do the things they want to do.”

Retirees can do tai chi, which may help them get back on the golf course or the pickleball court or the tennis court, and there’s also a summer aquatics program featuring a swim team — the Barracudas — for the kids, and there are swim lessons.

“We’re just working to give all of our members whatever they need and want, even if they don’t necessarily know they need or want it,” she added.  

Tolson said that her primary goals are accountability and guidance. She said she loves her one-on-one appointments with her clients because those sessions motivate those folks who are busy, but still want to work out, and having that session booked helps them stay focused on their goals. She also enjoys working with people who are trying to figure out how to be productive with fitness equipment.  

“I have some clients who say, ‘I walk into the gym, and I know that I can do stuff, but I’m not sure how to do it, and I get overwhelmed, so then I walk on the treadmill for 15 minutes, and then I go home,’” Tolson said. “And I get it. I’m about guidance, and making sure you’re doing it safely, so you’re not going to hurt yourself.” 

Old Hawthorne Wellness Center
Old Hawthorne Wellness Center
Old Hawthorne Wellness Center

Many of her clients are older and Tolson has specialized certifications in senior fitness and orthopedic recovery, working with people who have gone through therapy because of a surgery or an injury.  

“We work with [the regimen] that the physical therapist was using, and help them continue that. There are all kinds of valid reasons to seek help [with fitness],” she added.  

For anyone interested in learning more about membership opportunities at The Club, contact Ariana Schneider via email at [email protected], or by phone at 573-442-5280. Tolson can be reached via email at [email protected], via Facebook or Instagram, or via her personal website  

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